Saturday, February 29, 2020

On the Banks of Bogue Falaya

In 1901 Charles J. Colton wrote a poem about the natural wonders of St. Tammany, Covington in particular. The St. Tammany Farmer published it in its June 30, 1901, edition. Here it is. 

On the Banks of Bogue Falaya

by Charles J. Colton (Respectfully inscribed by Miss Lona A  Allain)

When I'm tired of the city, when I'm weary of a life,
Spent amid the marts of commerce and the ceaseless push and strife,
When I'd leave it all behind me, all the noises and the beats,
And the constant press and flurry of the busy city streets;

When I'd fain commune with Nature, in her lovliest of moods,
Then I'll hie me to the country, to the balmy piney woods,
Where of joy there is abundance and of trouble there is none,
On the banks of Bogue Falaya, by the town of Covington.

There I'll ramble through the thickets of the alder and the beach,
North the pine trees, south the pine trees,
And the pine trees east and west,
Seeming each to reach to Heaven, with its tall majestic crest,

I will harken to the carols of the birds among the trees.
High up you upon the branches, swaying gently to the breeze,
Or I'll watch the gurgling waters of the river onward run,
On the banks of Bogue Falaya, by the town of Covington.

Yes, whene're my heart is weary and my brain requires rest,
I will pack up my belonging and go eagarly in quest,
Of the land of mingled odors of the pine and violet,
There the world and all its worries for a moment to forget.

And as through the woods I wander, Here and there and everywhere,
Breathing in the balmy incense, Of the early morning air,
I will thank the great Jehovah for the work that he has done,
When he made the Bogue Falaya, by the town of Covington. 

 Charles Joseph Colton was a New Orleans essayist, poet, journalist, lawyer and court reporter, who was born in 1868 and died in 1916.  In 1918, a school located on St. Phillip Street, in the French Quarter, was named after him.

See also:

A Brief History of Covington

Bogue Falaya Park

Bogue Falaya Park Pavilion

Sign Dedication at the Park Entrance 

Columbia Street Landing



Friday, February 28, 2020

100 Years Ago This February 28

What was going on 100 years ago this week? CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer Issue of  February 28, 1920. The link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service.

Click on the sample images below to see larger versions.

Society News


Farmer's Market Opens

Shelling the road from Madisonville to Ponchatoula

New Brick Train Depot to be Built

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Coca Cola Bottling Plant, Covington

The old Coca Cola Bottling Co. building in Covington is still standing, but in 1953 was converted into Talley's Feed & Seed Co. on North Columbia Street for many years, followed by Spencer Feed and Seed, and is now O'Keefe Feed and Seed. Click on the images to make them larger.

Here's a picture of the original building at 900 North Columbia Street. The two old trucks shown are Model T Fords. Standing in the door, left to right, are Bennie Aouielle and his father J. M. Aouielle. Standing by the trucks are Willie Bickham and Sonny Brown. The elder Aouielle owned the building and the son managed the plant.

According to the sign on the upper right side of the building, it was also the home of the Pineland Spring Bottling Works. 

Here's a brief description of the Pineland Spring enterprise published in the January 24, 1920, issue of the St. Tammany Farmer. 

 Trucks are loaded with Coca-Cola ready to be sent out to grocery stores and restaurants across St. Tammany. From left are Leroy Barker, Ben Aouielle and T.C. Galloway.

(Photo of Covington Coca-Cola bottle by Stephen Alexius)

Here's what the building looks like today
Coca-cola bottling plants were located in many small towns, and there is even a webpage dedicated to showing pictures of them.

Coca-Cola has an interesting history. It was invented by a Confederate Colonel who was looking for a substitute for getting people off of morphine addiction. John Pemberton (July 8, 1831 – August 16, 1888) was an American biochemist and Civil War veteran who used his pharmacy skills to develop the formula of Coca-Cola in May of 1886.

It was first made and sold in the Atlanta area and marketed as a non-alcoholic "temperance" drink. Sold out of drug store soda fountains, at one time it was considered a patent medicine. 

Then the bottling and distribution industry began for the drink as its popularity grew due to aggressive marketing techniques. It was first bottled in Vicksburg, Miss., by a man who lived in Monroe, Louisiana. That was Joseph Augustus Biedenharn. His home is now a museum complete with Coca-cola exhibits. He was credited with originating the massively successful bottling and distribution concept for the drink. A few years later, he bought and enlarged a crop-dusting aviation company that later became Delta Airlines.

See Wikipedia article for details. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Parish Fairgrounds in 1933

Here's a postcard from 1933 featuring a high-angle view of the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds. Notice the brick entrance gate to the upper right. Click on the image to make it larger. 

The parish fairgrounds have entertained and inspired thousands upon thousands of people over the past 100 years with fairs, festivals, agricultural and livestock exhibits and shows, games, rides and pageants.

See also:

Fairgrounds Entrance Gate

Racing at the Fairgrounds

St. Tammany Parish Fair History

Parish Fair Queen - 1925





Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Questions and Answers from 1901

On June 22, 1901, the St. Tammany Farmer featured a list of random questions and answers about the people and history of St. Tammany Parish.These are all very interesting questions, and they refer to several statements which, at the time, were considered facts:

1. It was long believed that Audubon was born in Mandeville. 

2. The Indian maiden in Abita Springs was named Velasco.

3. Fontainebleau State Park land was once owned by G. W. Nott.

4. Monroe Street in Lewisburg was once named "Route du Roi" for the King of France, Louis Phillipe. He was one of the Royal French princes who rode up and down Monroe Street in Lewisburg while he was the guest of Bernard Marigny. He later became the King of France.  

6. The name of the popular steamboat Camelia was changed to the "New Camelia" in 1878.

7. There was a home in Lewisburg that was identified as the fictional place in the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" where Little Eva died. 
Here is the list of the Questions and Answers published in the Farmer June 22, 1901. Links have been placed on the topics expanded upon in other Tammany Family blogs.


We have received the following questions from a correspondent and will answer to the best of our ability. In doing so, we have been rendered valuable assistance by our talented young attorney, Mr. Harvey E. Ellis.

After whom and when was Lewisburg named?

 Lewisburg was named after Joshua Lewis, a native of Virginia, and appointed territorial Judge of Louisiana, by Thomas Jefferson.

Q. Give the year and date when Audubon was born in Mandeville.

Audubon was born May 4, 1780.

Q. When was the town of Whar­ton changed into that of Coving­ton?

March 11, 1816.

Q. Why was Abita so named? Who wrote the beautiful poem of Velasco the Indian Maid in con­nection therewith.

Legend of Abita—Published in the New Orleans Times between 1874-76.

Q. Give the name of the Judge of the Supreme Court of Louisiana who was born and reared in Cov­ington.

Judge Henry C. Miller.

Q. Who was the famous orator and member of Congress who was also born in Covington, and when did he die? 

 E. John Ellis. Died in Washington, D. C., Apnl 25, 1889.

Q. Where is Fontainebleau lo­cated in St. Tammany, and from whom did the name originate?

"Fontainebleau" is a plan­tation a few miles back of Mande­ville. It originally belonged to Mr. Bernard Marigny's father, and was named for the royal palace and forest in France. It is now owned by Mr. G. W. Nott, of New Or­leans.

Q. What is the name of the pub­lic road running from Mandeville to the spring at Lewisburg? After whom was it named? Why was it first called Route du Roi?

The name of the road is Monroe Street, and was thus called in honor of James Monroe. It was first named  "Route du Roi" for Louis Philippe —afterwards King of France.

Q. Who were the royal princes that frequently rode up and down there, one of whom afterwards be­came King of France?

Louis Philippe and his courtiers; he was King of France from 1830 to 1848.

Q. Which of the Marigny family was their host?

Mr. Bernard Marigny, son of Marigny de Mandeville.

Q. Where did Dr. J. W. Thompson first locate in Covington? Whose residence did he occupy?

In the old home of Judge Penn.

Q. Give the name of the tribe of Indians whom Sanvolle, the first royal governor of the Province of Louisiana in 1698 found inhabiting the site now occupied by Lewisburg, Mandeville and Fonntainebleau.

Choctaw Indians, some­times called Apalaches, and Mar­tin's history says there were also here about sixty Oumas (Red men)

Q. What three steamboats made excursions from Milneburg and the old wharf at "Bucktown," to Cov­ington, in 1857-1861?

A. G. Brown, Pamlico and Arrow.

Q. Who was "Chahta Ima?" Near what village was his little chapel built? What was his French name?

Pere Rouquette, who former­ly lived near Bayou Lacombe.

Q. Who wrote the poem which ends as follows:
"I will thank the great Jehovah for the work that he has done,
When he made the Bogue Falaya by the town of Covington."

Charles Colton, of New Orleans.

Q. In what year was the Parish created and who was the governor then? What train station is named after him?

Dec. 22, 1810. The Gov­ernor was William C. C. Clai­borne; he was Governor of the ter­ritory of Orleans and all the coun­try east of Ponchatoula. Clai­borne Station. See Vol. 2, P. 542, Digest of Moreau Listel

Q. After whom was Lakes Pont­chartrain and Maurepas named, and by whom?

Named after Louis de Pontchartraine, Minister of the Marines to Louis the Fourteenth and his Secretary Jerome Count de Maurepas. See Grace King's & Ficklen's History.

Q. Give the name of the author of "Halimah, A Legend of the Tangipahoa."
"The voice of old Chinchnba echoing still, With fatal warning of the mystic hill."

Octu Nash Ogden, of Amite, La.

Q. What positions did Jessie R. Jones and Lyman Briggs occupy during the year 1835? Likewise D. B. Morgan, Henry Curtis, Thomas S. Mortee, and Samuel Smith.

Jessie R. Jones was Judge the 8th Judicial District. Lyman Briggs was Parish and Probate Judge. D. B. Morgan, Civil En­gineer. Thomas Mortee, Clark of the Court. Samuel Smith was Sheriff.

Q. What was the first name of the New Camelia, and where did she run in 1846?

The original name of the steamer was Camelia. It was changed to New Camelia in 1878. She was in the Lake Pontchartrain trade.

Q. After whom and when was St. Tammany Parish named?

St. Tammany Parish was named after a Delaware Chief, Tammenund, or Tammany, who lived in 18th century, and was tra­ditionally famous for his wisdom in council, and his friendliness towards the whites. He was faceti­ously canonized as the patron saint of the republic, and his name was  adopted by the Tammany Society, founded in New York in 1789, which subsequently became Tam­many Hall, a political club controlling one wing of the Demo­cratic party.

Unanswered Questions

The Farmer was unable to answer the following questions. The editor hoped that some of his readers could do so:

1. What was the name of the first steam boat and in what year did she commence running from New Orleans to Covington?

2. Can any one give the site of the home in Mandeville where lit­tle Eva in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" died, as described by Mrs. Har­riet Beecher Stowe? (Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1852)

3. Give the name of the United States Regiment that occupied Madisonville in 1864, and who were the officers?

(Thanks to Randy Hayno for above newspaper clipping)

4. When did General Morgan die? He commanded the U. S. forces below Algiers, La., on the 8th of January, 1815, and subsequently removed to Madisonville?

5. Give the date that the first U. S. shipyard was established at Madisonville?

6. Give the names of those who constituted the lottery company in Covington over sixty years ago.

7. What books give an account of the history of St. Tammany Parish and the names of the first settlers?

8. After the capture of the En­glish armed sloop "West Florida" by the Americans under Capt. Pick­les, Sept. 10, 1779, who were the settlers between Bayou Lacombe and the river Tangipahoa," that desired to be known as citizens of the United States ?

Here is the newspaper clipping of the Questions and Answers article. Click on the image below to make it larger. 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Brock Elementary's Group Portrait

Brock Elementary School in Slidell was damaged extensively in Hurricane Katrina, but it was repaired and restored, and one day in 2007 I was sent out to take a portrait photograph of the finely-renovated building and all of its students. 

I enjoy taking pictures that are challenging, and this one was going to be one of those. First we had more than 100 students and teachers involved, secondly there were powerlines all over the place, and thirdly it was going to require a high angle photo, so a scissors lift was brought in to take me up 15 or 20 feet off the ground.

The students and the teachers were all great, I took a dozen or so pictures, all the kids cooperated by saying "Cheese" at just the right time, and I had fun with the scissors lift, which, when it started going up, you could hear all the kids going "wow." Most of them had never seen a scissors lift before. 

Here's a video of the scissors lift photo session.Click on the "play" triangle to see the video.

Here's the final photo of the building, with powerlines removed via Photoshop. Click on the image below to see a larger version.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

WWL--TV Spotlights Tchefuncte Lighthouse

Here's a link to a WWL-TV video report on the Tchefuncte River lighthouse at the southern end of Madisonville.

Click here to see the video.

Friday, February 21, 2020

100 Years Ago This February 21

What was going on 100 years ago this week? CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer Issue of  February 21, 1920. The link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service.

Click on the sample images below to see larger versions.

A.D. Schwartz

Anais Boudousquie

Madelyn Pauline Planche - Albert Burns

Landon and Smith

Reuben S. Harlan returns to Covington

Captain G. M. Lester