Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Downtown Drugs Debuts

 A new pharmacy has opened in downtown Covington, La., at the corner of N. Vermont St. and Gibson St. It's more than just a pharmacy, though, since it contains a wide variety of merchandise that people have come to expect in the full-service one stop combination drug store and convenience store.

 The signage has been going up on the front windows and on the side of the building, announcing the coming of a new drug store to the downtown area, which at one time had several pharmacies at the center of the growing community.

Harold Dill puts the finishing touches on the Gibson St. side "Downtown Drugs" sign. 

 Matthew Morvant, the pharmacist in charge, said the venture had always been a goal of his, particularly since his whole career had been based on the advice of Jerry Braswell, another longtime Covington area pharmacist. "I even wrote my entrance paper into pharmacy school about him," Morvant stated.

From Braswell Morvant learned that in Covington, the pharmacist was more than just a pharmacist, he was also a leader in the community.  "And to be in the downtown area was significant," he concluded. The address is 338 North Vermont St.

Downtown Covington has a rich legacy in community drugstores: Schonberg's, Hebert's, Bulloch, Tyler Downtown Drugs and City Drugs.

The new Downtown Drugs is located in what he calls "the perfect location," since many people are familiar with the corner, which in the past was home to Western Auto, an artist gallery, and more recently, a yoga studio. The business is located in the northwest corner of the block where the Southern Hotel occupies the entire south half of the block. A few doors down on Gibson is the Bogue Falaya Fitness gym and across the street is Marsolan's Feed & Seed. So while it's not on one of the main streets, the new drug store still sees lots of traffic of people going to and from the school board office and parish courthouse.

Jerry Braswell, the advisor to the business, says that since its a "destination" business, they didn't worry too much about traffic passing by. People will come to the drug store to buy what they need, to visit, to shop for other items, and to just be a part of downtown Covington activity. Braswell may also serve as a relief pharmacist when things get busy.

The crew at the new business includes, from left, Matthew Morvant (PharmD), Jerry Braswell, Whitney Braswell (CPht), and Jennifer Gaines.
 "There's nothing else like it downtown," Braswell went on to say. 
Whitney Braswell, Jerry's daughter, is a co-owner in the new venture, and she decorated some of the walls with pictures of previous drug stores in the downtown area.
 Morvant feels that with Tyler St., Collins Blvd., and Claiborne Hill getting more congested all the time, people will welcome a drug store in the center of town. He also pointed out that with the thousands of people visiting the courthouse each week, not to mention the visitors at the Southern Hotel who may need a prescription filled from time to time, a nearby drug store would come in handy

"We have something for the whole family in here," Morvant commented. 


 October 10, 2020, Grand Opening
Mayor Mark Johnson (at left) stopped by to help cut the ribbon.


 A previous occupant of the location
See also:




Tuesday, September 29, 2020

On the Banks of Old Lacombe

 In the July, 1931, issue of Louisiana Conservation Review magazine was this poem commemorating life, both human and wildlife, along the banks of Bayou Lacombe. Click on the image to make it larger. 


Monday, September 28, 2020

Honey Island Swamp Tour - 1970's

 The 1970's saw the beginnings of the modern swamp tour business in south Louisiana. Here are several photographs from the Louisiana Digital Library archives website that according to the caption information show a woman and child on a swamp tour in the Honey Island Swamp near Slidell.

Click on the images to make them larger. 


According to commenters on Facebook, the people in the photographs are Dr. Paul Wagner and Sue Wagner. 

By the mid 1980's, touring the swamps was on almost every visitor's to-do list.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Property Sales That Led To Mandeville & Fontainebleau

 In the summer, 1939, edition of the Louisiana Conservation Review magazine, an extensive description was published telling of the land sales and property acquisitions that led to Fontainebleau State Park and the Town of Mandeville. It is a complex tale of state legislative action, auctions, advertisements and family connections.

The account details Bernard De Marigny's political ambitions, his many purchases and sales of land in and around Mandeville, and his fortunes and misfortunes. Here is that story:

Click on the images to make them larger and more readable.

Text from the 1939 article:
The senior foreman historian, National Park Service, formerly at Tchefuncte State Park (now Fontainebleau State Park), noted that the basic research for this article was done by the Federal Writers' Project of Louisiana.

1830. In Le Courrier de la Louisiane of January 21' the candidacy of Bernard Marigny for Governor was an­nounced. A. B. Roman was, however, elected in July.

On July 12, Bernard Marigny "of the City of New Orleans" bought the prop­erty described below from "Martha Richardson wife of Joseph Letchworth".'

     A certain tract or parcel of land, lying and being situate in this Parish [St. Tammany] and State, bounded on the South by Lake Pont­chartrain, on the East by the Obner tract, now owned by the present pur­chaser, on the North by Chinchuba Creek, and on the West by the Labatut tract, now owned by Judge Lewis, containing six hundred and thirty one acres.
This property was acquired by inheritance from her former hus­band Zachariah Faircloth, who died leaving no heirs but his surviving wife the said Mrs. Richardson. The sale price of the property (now Section 46, T.85. R.11E. of the Greens­burg District) was $3,200 for which the purchaser has made two promissory notes of even date herewith payable to Joseph Letch­worth; the first for two thousand dol­lars, payable on the first day of No­vember next, at which time possession of the property is to be given.

The other for Twelve Hundred Dollars, payable the first day of November, eighteen hundred and thirty-one .
Gustave Adolph Marigny, second child of Bernard Marigny's first marriage, died October 26th, at the age of 23,' leaving no issue. On December 24th, Bernard Marigny bought the property described below from the heirs of Samuel Smith.'

     A certain tract of land lying or being situate in this parish, [St. Tammany] on the margin of Lake Pontchartrain, bounded on the East by land formerly belonging to the Edwards' [Section 50] now owned by the present purchaser [bought on January 22nd, 1829] on the South by Mrs. Elizabeth Bartle [Mrs. Eliza­beth Goodbee, widow by first marriage of Thomas Spell and by second marri­age of Jacob Bartle], supposed to con­tain two hundred superficial acres.

     This sale is made for and in consideration of the sum of sixteen hundred dollars all in hand paid.             
 This property (now Section 49 of T.85, R.11E of the Greensburg District) later became part of Mandeville.

1831. Rosa de Marigny married Fran­cisco Sentmanate y Sayas of Havana on June 20th.

Marigny acquired additional property in St. Tammany Parish at this time:

Be it known and remembered that on this fifth day of September, Jesse R. Jones, Judge of the Parish of St. Tammany, in pursuance of a Judg­ment of the Court of Probates for said parish, pronounced in the case of Hortense Delisle vs. Thomas Spell's heirs, after the legal advertisements and all the formalities required by law, I proceeded to the sale of a tract of land situate in this parish fronting on the Lake Pontchartrain and bounded on the other three sides by lands be­longing to Mr. Bernard Marigny containing according to the certificate, three hundred and sixty acres, but ac­cording to the surveyor's return, only two hundred and twenty-one acres, and after the various offers and bids, Bernard Marigny of the City of New Orleans, being the highest bidder, said tract of land was adjudged to him for the- price of One Thousand Six Hun­dred and Twenty dollars, which I hereby acknowledge to have re‑

This property (now Section 48 of T.8S, R. 11E, of the Greensburg District) later became part of the town of Mandeville.

Marigny's Ambitions

Marigny was a perennial office seeker and few elections passed without his name being included in the list of candi­dates. He was the outstanding Creole in the state and while he often carried the predominantly Creole Parishes he re­ceived scant support from the up state Parishes.

His ambition was to become governor of the state and he tried in 1824, 1828 and 1830 to secure the vote of the people for that office, but he was unsuccessful. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy contained in the following para­graph which appeared in Le Courrier de la Louisiane, for June 28th, 1824.

"We read this morning in the Louisiana Gazette, a very mean paragraph, from a very mean writer, BERNARD DE MARIGNY, candidate forever and ever for the office of Governor, which he shall starer get, notwithstanding all his journeys, and the handsome Spanish songs and Boleros with which he treated the voters of the upper Fourche; his promises to some, and his threats to others, in short those delicate means which excited a feeling of pity in the mind of everyone.

The following incidents show his per­sistence. On December 15th, 1831, Marigny was defeated at a special elec­tion for the seat of Mr. Freret, who had resigned from the House of Representa­tives." Nine days later he was a candi­date at another special election for the seat vacated by W. C. C. Claiborne in the House of Representatives by resigna­tion" and was defeated by S. O. Dixon by one vote.

"The election was im­mediately contested and on January 23rd, 1832 declared void by the House of Representatives." In the new election Marigny won by a majority of 130 votes."

Marigny served many years in the House of Representatives, part of a term in the Senate and held many local offices in New Orleans, being on the Board of Aldermen and the City Council re­peatedly.

1832.    In the regular July election,Marigny was elected one of the seven State Representatives from Orleans Par­ish."

Ownership Confirmed

On March 15th, The Congress of The United States confirmed Marigny's claim to the two tracts of land bought on June 25th, 1829 from the Bonnabel heirs."

Laws of the United States Passed At The First Session of The Twenty-Second Congress.


AN ACT for the relief of Bernard Marigny of the State of Louisiana.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress as­sembled, That Bernard Marigny, as assignee of Antonio Bonnabel, be, and is hereby, confirmed in his claim to a tract of land of four thousand and twenty superficial arpents, situated in the State of Louisiana and Parish of St. Tammany, bounded on the south­west by Lake Pontchartrain, and on the northwest by lands formerly owned by the heirs of Lewis Davis;

the tract confirmed by this section being the same which was surveyed for Antonio Bonnabel, by Carlos Trudeau, on the fifteenth January, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine and was granted to said Bonnabel on the twenty-fifth January, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine by Manuel Gayoso De Lemos, Governor General of the provinces of Louisiana and West Florida; and for which a claim was filed in the name of said Bonnabel, in the land office at St.  Helena court house, under the act of Congress of Twenty-fifth April, one thousand eight hundred and twelve.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That Bernard Marigny be, and is here­by, confirmed in his claim to a tract of land of seven hundred and seventy-four superficial arpents, situated in the State of Louisiana and Parish of St. Tammany, bounded on the south­west by Lake Pontchartrain, on the northern side by Castin Bayou, and on the southern side by the lands confirmed in the first section of this act;

the said tract of seven hundred and seventy-four arpents being the same which was granted on the twentieth January, one thousand seven hundred. and seventy-seven, by Peter Chester, British Governor at Pensa­cola, to Lewis Davis, whose title to the same was afterwards, to wit, on the eleventh June, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight confirmed by decree of Estevan Miro,—Spanish Governor of the provinces of Florida and Louisiana, and for which a claim was filed in the name of heirs of Lewis Davis, in the land office at St. Helena court house, under the act of Congress of the twenty-fifth April, one thousand eight hundred and twelve:

Provided, That the said two tracts of land shall be considered as confirmed, in the same manner, and under the same regulations, restric­tions, and provisions, as if the same had been recommended for confirma­tion in the reports of the commissioner for the district west of Pearl river and east of the island of New Orleans, which was confirmed by the act of Congress, approved on the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, entitled "An Act for adjusting the claims to land, and establishing land offices in the districts east of the island of New Orleans:"

Provided, also, That the claim of An­tonio Bonnabel, embraced in the said commissioner's reports, as of four hundred arpents, shall be considered as comprised in the forming part of the tract of four thousand and twenty arpents, confirmed in the first section of this act.

Approved, March 15th, 1832

1833. Marigny introduced a bill in the state legislature to incorporate the Citizens' Bank of Louisiana." The Act of incorporation was approved by Gover­nor Roman on April 1st." Marigny thus helped to create the institution which later took most of his fortune in mort­gages.

   In this year Marigny decided to sell some of his property over the Lake and the following advertisements appeared in The New Orleans Bee.

Valuable Property for Sale "Quartier de Mandeville"

Will be sold at public auction at Hewlett's Exchange, as soon as the plan shall be made, the wide space of ground divided in large lots, laying in front of Lake Pontchartrain, opposite the Railroad and at seven leagues distance from New Orleans: situated between Casting [sic] Bayou and Judge Lewis' plantation; it measures 5,000 arpents; previously to the sale a prospectus shall be published, which will give some particulars of the ad­vantages of the place and the beauty of the trees which overspread it, and in order that the purchaser may con­vince himself of the facts mentioned in my prospectus, he shall be allowed to refuse the sale within one month after the day of sale, provided he will go and visit the lot adjudicated to him and will declare to my agent on the premises that he does not accept the adjudication; the purchasers shall be afforded the facility of repairing to Quartier Mandeville, on appointed days, at the house of Mr. Coquillon, who is a resident there.

Dec. 7th    B. Marigny


"The steamboat Black Hawk, Captain Hoffman, will leave the railroad, Sunday next, at 9 o'clock A. M. for Mandeville, and will on the same day leave Mandeville, at 4 o'clock P. M. Persons desirous to visit the lots of ground offered for sale, are to repair to the railroad near the river at 8 o'clock A. M.—the departure will be at 8 1-2 A. M. Steamboat expenses will be paid by the subscriber.


Lots Are Sold In Mandeville At Auction

A few days later Le Courrier carried the following item:

"The sale of a small portion of the lands at Mandeville, situated over the lake, belonging to Mr. Marigny, and, which took place yesterday [February 24] at Hewlett's Exchange brought $55,000 [should be $40,975]. The part of the lots sold does not constitute the fourth part of the whole.

The sale continues today and will not probably be completed under two or three days.
The auction was conducted by Messrs. T. Mossy and Garidel and F. Dulillet and lasted three days (February 24th to 26th inclusive). Sales on the first day amounted to $40,975, on the second to $27,975 and on the third to $11,050, a total of $80,000 for the three days."

426 lots were sold and the price ranged  from $1,275 for Lot No. 3, Block 25 [on the Lake] to $40 per Lot No. 6, Block 18 [fourth Block from the Lake between Madison and Monroe Streets]. Considering that the entire property cost only $11,620 and that much of it was still unsold, Marigny made quite a hand­some profit on his investment. Other lots were sold from time to time but as late as 1842 all were not sold as will be shown later.

The conditions attached to the sale of the lots were as follows:"

Conditions: Payable in one, two and three years credit, in notes endorsed to the satisfaction of the seller with special mortgage until full payment. The acts of sale by Felix de Armas, at the costs of the purchasers.

The purchasers will be placed in possession by the vendor, Mr. Marigny, has authorized us to say at the time of the sale that Captain Cherident is charged by him, and Mr. John Davis to buy a good steamboat of a superior travelling capacity, for the Mandeville trip and that the price of the trip across the Lake will not exceed one dollar.

All the lots sold, conforming to the plan drawn by Louis Bringier, General Surveyor on January 14th, 1834, with the following observations, signed by Mr. Marigny,

1st. That the space situated be­tween Lake Street, and the Lake will always remain free and for the com­mon use; that no individual nor corporation shall raise any edifice whatsoever, nor change its destina­tion, and that the banks of the Lake facing the said space will also remain forever free and for common usage.

2nd. That all streets have fifty feet of width, with the exception of the streets of Marigny and Jackson, which have a hundred, and of Lake Street which has sixty.

3rd. That the little Bayou Castaing which serves to drain, will not be stopped in its course as also the Shell Ravines in the width of at least 25 feet taken in the center.

4th. And that the wharf marked on the plan once completed conform­ably to the prospectus will be main­tained by the owners of the lots of Mandeville.

5th. Mr. Marigny also obligates himself to have made a bridge across the little Bayou Castaing and one across the Shell Ravines, in the marked spots on the plan, these bridges once completed will be maintained by the owners of the lots of Mandeville.

Formal portrait of Antoine Jacques Phillippe de Marigny de Mandeville. He was born in Louisiana but attended military academy in France. He became an officer in the Orleans Lancers and served as Colonel in 10th La. Regiment in the Civil War. He wears the uniform of the Orleans Lance in this portrait. Source: Louisiana Digital Library Archives  

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Resting Under a St. Tammany Oak

 This oil painting was produced in 1882 and pictures a man sitting on a tree stump alongside a dirt road going from Chinchuba in St. Tammany Parish to Moss Point, Mississippi. So it could show a scene somewhere between Mandeville and Slidell.

 Click on the image to make it larger. 

Found in Louisiana Digital Archives, color adjusted

Friday, September 25, 2020

100 Years Ago This September 25

What was going on 100 years ago this week? CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer Issue of  September 25, 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.

Audubon Notes / Progress Notes


Bush Society News

Nash Automobile Ad

Citizens Contribute to Community House 

Fire Destroys Businesses 
Undertaker Still In Business

Personal and Society News 

Folsom News

Highway Promoted Across Country

Madisonville News

Thanks to Firefighters