Thursday, September 5, 2019

Treasures Along The Tchefuncte

Twenty four years ago a 22 minute long video was produced extolling the virtues, the beauty and the friendliness that could be found in Madisonville. A project of Mehaffey Multimedia Productions, the copyrighted film gives a nostalgic overview of life in the Tchefuncte River community, as well as quite a bit of history and panoramic views of its scenic wonders. 

The video was called "Treasures Along The Tchefuncte," and it is great to watch today, if you have a VHS recorder/player. It tells about the plans to build the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, and features scenes of the paddlewheel riverboat that was docked at the town and even the snow ball stand. 

The show includes several original pieces of music written especially for the project by Mark W. Mehaffy.

The narrator of the video takes the viewer on a leisurely tour of the "unique town," showcasing its recreational opportunities, the historic Madisonville museum and the lighthouse at the mouth of the river. The Madisonville museum has a copy of the VHS video, and hopefully a DVD copy is available somewhere.

There are shots of the old "Friends Restaurant," Morton's, the old lightkeepers house and Fairview Riverside State Park. There are also photos of the many steamboats that use to stop at Madisonville with passengers from the big city, New Orleans.

A special highlight are segments featuring the Krewe of Tchefuncte Mardi Gras boat parade from two decades ago and the annual Wooden Boat Festival. It comments on the historic preservation efforts to save old homes in town, as well as the magnificent old oaks that populate the area. The early churches and schools of the town are also spotlighted, along with the historic cemetery.

Special mention is made of the old two-story building which is now the police department but was once a hospital, the library, and a real estate office. The local restaurants are highlighted, along with various other quaint shops. 

Considerable attention is also given to the legendary rooster, Reveille, who, for quite a while, entertained the town's residents with its legal problems. The town eventually adopted the rooster as its mascot. 

The film is a great tribute to the town originally called Coquille, which was also once called Post Oak Landing, the southern end of the northbound fork of the Natchez Trace. 

So if you get a chance to view "Treasures Along The Tchefuncte" be sure to take the opportunity. Dig out the old VHS player and see if it still works.