Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Helenbirg Subdivision

Halfway between Mandeville and Abita Springs was the Helenbirg subdivision. According to newspaper accounts of the early 1900's, Helenbirg was named for the beloved sister of the founder of the St. Tammany New Orleans Railway and Ferry Co., Joseph Birg, who was a banker and planter (Katy Plantation) in Franklin, La. and who had a lot of New Orleans connections. She died at a young age.

The subdivision was accessed by the trolley line that ran between Mandeville and Covington. Click on the images to make them larger.

The trolley motor car line was built by Joseph Birg

(From N. 0. Daily States)

Joseph Birg, 69 years of age, leading sugar and rice planter, director of a number of banks and builder of the electric railroad from Mandeville to Covington, died at 9 a. m., Monday. November 25, 1918, at his residence, 826 St. Charles avenue, New Orleans, after a few day's illness.

Mr. Birg was a native of Franklin, St. Mary parish, where he lived practically all of his life. He was one of the organizers of the First National Bank at Franklin, which was St. Mary's first bank and later it was merged with the Commercial Bank & Trust Company and Mr. Birg was president from 1906 until the time of his death.

He was the owner of Katie Sugar Plantation, and a director of the Louisiana State Rice Milling Company, Inc. He served on the police jury of St. Mary parish for many years.

Mr. Birg's private philanthropies were numerous. He was modest, of a retiring disposition and enjoyed a
large acquaintance in New Orleans and throughout the state.

He was a son of Felix Birg and Mary Ann Birg. The death of his sister, Helen, five years ago, affected him deeply and later he named the township between Covington and Mandeville "Helenbirg."

He is survived by three nieces, Grace Richard Landry. Katheryn Richard, wife of Harry L. Lazarus, Jr., and Florida Richard, and one nephew, Birg Richard.

Farmer 11-30-1918
The trolley car would roll out onto a specially built pier off the Mandeville lakefront, and passengers getting off the arriving steamboats could hop right on the trolley and be taken to the shore, past Mandeville, past Helenbirg, and past Abita Springs on to Covington. This was in operation between 1909 and 1918.

Going to Helenbirg