Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Toolchest of a Cabinet Maker

In 1975 writer Polly Morris wrote an intriguing article about an old toolchest in which treasured woodworking tools were kept. 

It reminded us of a day when the tools of a tradesman, or any homesteader, were truly appreciated, never misused, always dutifully cared for and maintained, and handed down from generation to generation.

Click on the images below to enlarge the view. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lyon High Senior Class 1944

This is a photograph of the senior class at Lyon High in Covington in 1944, some 73 years ago. Click on the image to see a larger version. 

Below is a picture of the graduation class a year later, in 1945

Elmer E. Lyon High School Class of 1945

Top Row: Eileen Overbey, Gerry Abney, Gladys Dutsch, Sarita Whelpley, Kathryn Toups, Katie Core, Norma Gene Core, Elmer Lee Husser, Bobbye Trigg, Jo Ellen Heintz, Betty Bougere, Shirley Morris, Yvonne Findley

Second row: Joe Courtney, Sidney Thompson, Rayford Adams, Albro Blair, James Carey, Hodge Kiefer, James Perilloux, Jerry Renfroe, Henri Ferrer, Mr. Pete Schmidt

Third row: Ruby Edwards, Dorothy Parker, Pat Blackwell, Sylvia Ellis, Myra Wymer, Juanita Talley, Bobby Martin, Pansy Smith, Evelyn King, Nelda Crawford, Dorothy Heath, Betty Scheck

Fourth row: Coach Gallagher, Ralph Menetre, James Riley, Billy Burns, Allen Dragg, Logan Badon, Douglas Callihan, Fred Terry, Carlos Aceves, Melvin Jones, Russell Bruhl, Huey Jenkins, Lavon Revere. 

Fifth row: Mary Louise Sturm, Margie Perilloux, Norma Cooper, Muriel Sweeney, Clara Jenkins, Claire Mathies, Mary Crawfford, Grace Meyers, Anna Clair Stricklin, Agnes Moran, Vera Fay Booth, Lozane Magee, Mrs. Boyd. 

Sixth row: Jack Talley, Hollis Odom, Huey Taylor, Hezzie Fauntleroy, Leroy Sharpe, Myron Jenkins, Harvey Taylor, Robert Taylor, Paul Vergez, Pat Gunther, Robert Meyers, Cyprian Schoen, 

Seventh row: Myrtle Jenkins, Leah Dupont, Betty Sue Taylor, Evelyn Baron, Wilda Jenkins, Sadie Sharp, Margueritte Davis, Norma Fussell, Aileen Faucheaux, Shirley Warner, Elaine McKee, Kathryn Kersh. 

Photo provided by Darlene Wagner Creel.

Monday, August 28, 2017

School Board 1978 Portrait

Here's a group portrait of the St. Tammany Parish School Board in 1978, thirty nine years ago. 

Click on the image to make it larger.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Bridge Over The River

In the early 1970's construction on the Covington section of Interstate 12 was underway. Here is an aerial picture of the work being done on the bridge over the Tchefuncte River. Click on the image to make it larger. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Lee Road Cafeteria Staff 1971

The women who served in the Lee Road Cafeteria in 1971. Click on the image for a larger picture. 

Lee Road Junior High School Cooks
March 22, 1971
Front Row: Lillie Bell Thompson and Marie Jenkins
Back Row: Etta Keating, Claire McKee, and Beulah McClain

Friday, August 25, 2017

100 Years Ago This Week

What was going on 100 years ago this week?

CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer edition of August 25, 1917. The link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service.

Click on the images below to see a larger version of the picture.

Some items of interest from the August 25, 1917, edition

Funds Sought for Beach Upkeep

Why not a fire department?

Charter of Mackie Pine Oil Specialty Company

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Covington Carriage Photo

An often seen photo from Covington history is this picture of a woman in a horse carriage with a child standing next to the horse. The picture was taken near the edge of the Bogue Falaya River at the foot of Columbia Street. Rusty Burns and others noted that the first "St. Peter's Church" was in the background. The photograph came from the Norma Depriest Core Collection, and she told viewers the fire of 1906 or what she called the "great fire" started in this church. Featured in the photo is Minnie Depriest Coltora and her son Frank. 

Click on the image to make it larger.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Little Napoleon House

One of the oldest structures in Covington was the Little Napoleon House, located on the southwest corner of Columbia and Gibson Streets. Here are some photographs. 

According to the St. Tammany Historical Society, the quaint little building, corner of Columbia and Gibson Streets, was long known as the "Pere Planche Grocery" and in later years as the "Little Napoleon House."

This unique building, the only one of its type remaining in the area at that time, had a fascinating history. The site has changed ownership many times by inheritance or sale, and in 1954 was owned by the heirs of A. J. Planche and Mr. Albert Perbos who had given the building to the Society.

It was hoped that the building could be restored and used as a regional museum, craft and gift shop, or tourist information bureau.

With the "Little Napoleon Bar", corner of Columbia & Gibson Street, in the background, the dapper gentlemen on horses are Ulysses Depriest, Mr. Zenyer (sp) and Henry Camatte. In the background at right is the old "Mason Nez" building, which was the first telephone building, and railroad switch light in Gibson Street. This photo came from the Norma Core Collection.
In 1954, the St. Tammany Parish Historical Society tried to save the Napoleon House building from demolition by moving it to Bogue Falaya Park and using it as a museum or tourist information center.

In 2018 the same corner is occupied by a two-story office/residence with balcony. 

An ad for the "Little Napoleon" in the 1947 phone book. 

In the 1950's

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Oliver Wagner Brought Mardi Gras to Covington

In 1985 the St. Tammany Farmer ran this article about Oliver Wagner, the man who brought Mardi Gras to Covington. Click on the image to make the text larger. 

Oliver Wagner

Text from the above article:

Oliver Wagner, the Man Who Brought Mardi Gras To Covington

by Marcelle Hanemann

COVINGTON — If the historical spirit of Mardi Gras in Covington had a name, a personification, many local folks agree it would be Oliver Wagner.

The sight of the enthusiastic man sitting handsomely astride a horse, and leading the nighttime parade through the streets of the town is etched in the memories of many. When they think of Mardi Gras, they think of him. And deservedly so, for Oliver Wagner was very much responsible for bringing carnival to West St. Tammany.

"It meant the whole world to him," said his wife, Yvonne Haik Wagner. "He was one of the organizers of Olympia. He was on the board, and was a duke. and I hate to say it because he's my husband, but he could have been king any time he wanted. He just never put his name up. He was the first knight on the first horse. And year in and year out,  he'd work like a tiger for that parade.

"He was also one of the finest Lions in the state, and he helped with that parade for many years," she said.

"He didn't just want Mardi Gras to be enjoyed by the few people who went to the balls. He wanted to give the children and the man on the street a chance to see Mardi Gras in Covington."

And that be did. In the early' years, Wagner says, he literally brought the parade across the Causeway from New Orleans And that. according to Warren Illing, Sr., captain of Olympia in those days, was no simple task.

'He was in charge of getting all the tractors and trucks and floats together," said Illing. "And we used to have to go to New Orleans to get the floats because we rented them from Blane Kern.

Around midnight on the Friday before the parade he'd get the trucks together and go to Blane Kern's den, and bring the floats back in the middle of the night.

 Then he was in charge of getting the tractors and floats all hooked up and off for the parade. On Saturday night after the parade he'd have to take the floats back to New Orleans He did a good job. He probably did that for 10 years a more, and he was also active in the Lions Club."

He'd be gone overnight, said Mrs Wagner. "He'd take all the young men with him And I remember one of the Causeway policemen once told me they had a time with those floats."

Wagner worked hard to ensure that the colored lights and elegant and traditional costumes of Carnival could be enjoyed in Covington.

And for the success' of the Lions Club parade on Mardi Gras Day Wagner also put in many hours of labor for he was a Lion through and through.

The Lions Club

"The Lions Club was his life," said Mrs. Wagner "It's probably the biggest service club in the world,  and he was devoted full time. I remember about 15 years ago when the club started to go down, Oliver worked night and day calling people and getting new members. I think the Lions was one of his great loves. He must have helped many, many people.

"I never saw any man in my life who worked the way he did," said Mrs. Wagner. "He loved children and would do anything for them- teenagers and little ones. I never saw a man devote so much of his life to others, but then, there's no one like your spouse." 

Wagner's charitable and community oriented energies were not offered solely during ,Mardi Gras, according to those that have known him. But Carnival was, and remains, special to him.

Medical Issues

A massive stroke and other medical maladies have left the once robust and active man unable to take part as he has, so joyfully and unselfishly, in the past. And the memories of those days and those parades, for him, are tearfully bittersweet.

Last week he reigned, in splendor, as the king of the Krewe of Forest Manor Nursing Home. His attire was grand and his bearing royal. It was a great honor. But there can be no doubt, as one look into his sad eyes gives testimony afterwards, that the king, in all his glory, would give a thousand kingdoms for just one more season as a handsome young duke on horseback.

Published February 21, 1985, in the St. Tammany Farmer

At left, Julie and Bob Sander, Dorothy Bachemin, Martin Bachemin, David Pearce, Carolyn Talley Pearce, Evelyn Talley, T.B. "Red" Talley, Louis Wagner, Jackie Wagner, Yvonne Haik Wagner and Oliver Wagner at right.

See also:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mandeville 1947 Phone Listings

Here are the 1947 Mandeville Phone Book listings. To view images that are zoomable to a larger size, CLICK HERE and follow instructions. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

St. Paul's Parade

Here are two pictures from St. Paul's School parades through downtown Covington in the late 1970's.

Click on the images to make them larger.

Source: St. Paul's School History Webpage

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Ben Guerra Heads Council on Aging

For several years Ben Guerra was project director for the St. Tammany Parish Council on Aging. In 1973 he stepped down, citing health issues. Here is an article about him. 

Click on the above image to see a larger version. Article from Sunday News, August 5, 1973

Friday, August 18, 2017

100 Years Ago This Week

What was going on 100 years ago this week? 

CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer edition of August 18, 1917. The link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service. 

Click on the images below to see a larger version of the picture.

Items of interest in the August 18, 1917, edition:

Editorial: Bathing in Covington

Editorial: The Birth of Vocational Education In Covington

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Madisonville Phone Book Listings 1947

Here are the Madisonville Phone Book Listings in 1947.Click on the images below to make them larger and more readable.

Madisonville Southern Bell switchboard operators in 1952: 
Ernestine Chatellier and Theresa Stanga.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

West St. Tammany Phone Book Ads - 1947

Here's the advertisements that appeared in the 1947 West St. Tammany Phone Book. To view images that are zoomable to a larger size, CLICK HERE and follow instructions.