Monday, June 12, 2017

Marsolan Feed & Seed

A landmark business in downtown Covington, LA, was Marsolan Feed & Seed located at 316 East Gibson Street. Its main building burned down the night of Monday, November 15, 2021.

Click on the images to see a larger version.

Founded in 1939 by Norman Marsolan, it was being operated by his son Harvey Marsolan. Marsolan's sold products for pet care, gardens, lawn, and landscaping services. And on certain days it hosted a music show. 

 Hundreds of Covington area residents have fond memories of the establishment, its seeds, garden tools, straw hats, its selection of washtubs and buckets. They recall going there as children, mesmerized by the sights and smells. Farmers and ranchers frequented the place, not only for the fertilizers and gear, but to visit and check on what's new.
In recent years, the business was the site of occasional entertaining music programs, featuring a wide variety of bands. 

The business was established in 1939 by Norman Marsolan, the same year his father, the mayor of Covington, died. 

A business review ad in the St. Tammany Tribune, March, 1961

In 1991 Todd Valois, archivist for the parish clerk of court’s office, wrote an article about the Marsolan family that appeared in the Times-Picayune newspaper that April. He told how one of his favorite memories was riding his bike to Marsolan’s to look at the Easter chicks for sale.

“The store was a great place for a child. There was that wonderful smell of feed and so many things I couldn't touch,” Valois said.

In the article, he included the history of the Marsolan family in Covington. “Frank Pierre Marsolan was born on Feb. 8, 1877, in New Orleans. In the spring of 1908 he married Johanna Heinrich. The couple set up housekeeping in a home on Louisiana Avenue (now Jahncke Avenue),” according to Valois.

Frank Pierre first worked as a mail carrier between Covington and Waldheim, but early in  1919 he bought a storefront on Columbia street and operated a five and ten cent store for two decades. “Marsolan also became intensely involved in civic affairs. He was elected fire chief and was a founding member of the Covington Fire Department,” Valois went on to say.

The five and ten cent store was located in the old Patecek Building, corner Boston and Columbia, according to Vera Haik. 

An advertisement from 1926

In 1934, after serving on the city council for years, Frank was elected mayor of Covington. He died five years later in 1939, and his son Norman opened the feed and seed store on Gibson Street the same year.

Taking part in community festivities

 An advertisement from 1918

Some photos by Google street view


The Old Feed Store Music Series
Performing live on stage- The Necessary Gentlemen 

To view videos of the music being performed at Marsolan's

 Photos from their Facebook page

For information on the devastating fire, CLICK HERE. 
The morning after the fire...



Cleaning Up Photographs


Memories of Marsolan's

Marsolan's was the place to go,
For feed and seed and more,
You could search both high and low,
And not find a better store.

Gardening and farm supply,
Was their stock in trade,
Suggesting what's best to buy,
On every purchase made.

Youngsters thrilled to baby chicks,
The rabbits and the rest,
Hard to choose among the picks,
Which birdhouse was the best.

The hanging chimes would surely bring,
A smile each time they're hit,
A golden sound, a lasting ring,
A memory exquisite.

The chickens clucked as they do,
Their antics will be missed,
They laid their eggs right on cue,
For tomorrow morn's breakfast.

The rows of seeds went on and on,
The veggies and flowers too,
And don't forget the organic,
Is mighty good for you.

It was a place to meet a friend,
And enjoy the old time songs,
The toe-tapping would never end,
Where everyone belongs.

The music and musician,
Meant so much to many,
Where everyone joined right in,
And fun they had a'plenty.

Memories of Marsolan's,
Will bring a tear to some,
Others will think of bands,
That will never get to come.

Farmers fed their families,
The finest food on earth,
From seeds they bought at Marsolan's,
And got their money's worth.

Many ranchers got their gear,
Their livestock feed and more,
From the fine people here,
At Marsolan's great store.

A fond farewell to Marsolan's,
Eight decades of service,
Brought lots of joy to lots of fans,
And you surely will be missed.

 Eighty years of helping their,
Customers to know,
What they needed to begin,
To see what they could grow.

Spring will always come again,
And gardens are what we need,
That's why we hope they'll build a new,
Marsolan's Feed & Seed.
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