Sunday, February 28, 2021

The 1986 Pearl River High Football Team

 This picture, taken in 2011, shows the 1986 football team from Pearl River High, back on the field for a visit in uniform. 

Click on the image to make it larger. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Making Syrup

 Nothing got family and friends together like the day at the shed making syrup. Here's a few photos of the Frank Sharp family working together to make a batch of syrup the old fashioned way. 

Click on the images to make them larger. 

Jim Fitzgerald overseeing the syrup cooking. He was there every year to help.  
 The syrup making was usually scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year. 
Here's a YouTube video showing the process as done every fall by the O'Berry family in Pearl River, Louisiana. Click on the play triangle to view the video. 

 Using a horse or mule to turn the center crank for grinding up the sugar cane was common, but as machines became improved and more reliable, they were put to use in the process. One such machine was featured in this YouTube video after it was resurrected and put back into use grinding cane for syrup. Click on the triangle to view the video.
Kevin Kennedy revived the old Hercules engine to grind sugarcane once again


See also:

Sugarcane Grinding

Accommodations 1987

 These were the hotels, motels and campgrounds available in St. Tammany Parish in 1987, some 34 years ago, as listed by a tourist promotion brochure.


Click on the image to make it larger. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

100 Years Ago This February 26

What was going on 100 years ago this week? CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer Issue of  February 26, 1921. The link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service.

Click on the sample images below to see larger versions.  

Southern Hotel business dinner

Lacombe entertainment

Society news


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Garbage Bag Full of Loot

 On December 12, 1973, the News Banner ran an interesting article about a bulldozer operator finding a garbage bag in the Honey Island swamp containing several thousand dollars from a Hattiesburg bank robbery. 

Click on the article to make it bigger and easier to read.

See also:

Gold Coins Found in Honey Island Swamp

Monday, February 22, 2021

Louisiana Avenue All Over The Place

Prior to 1917, one of Covington's busiest streets was Louisiana Avenue, a broad dirt road lined with beautiful oaks. It led from the downtown area southward towards St. Paul's and turned westward to connect up with the bridge over the Tchefuncte River that led down to Madisonville. Here's a postcard showing the thoroughfare. 

Louisiana Avenue Postcard
 As the road to Madisonville got more and more traffic, due primarily to the expanding shipyard business on the Tchefuncte River there, complaints mounted that the dirt road should be improved, with a layer of shells if possible. The man to make this possible, Walter Jahncke, lived on Louisiana Avenue in Covington, and, with an interest in keeping travel between Covington and Madisonville as smooth as possible, he called upon his shell dredging company to make the city of Covington and St. Tammany Parish an offer that they were glad to accept: for every load of shells they purchased to put on the Madisonville Road, he would donate another load of shells for the project.
Click on the image to make it larger and more readable.
Several newspaper editorials lamented the need for improving the dirt roads and saw shelling a viable alternative, especially as more and more workers at Madisonville shipyards were looking for housing in the Covington area. 
Improvements to the Madisonville Road became a priority once shipbuilding began ramping up for World War I demands.
The Covington Town Council appreciated the offer of shells
Within a year, the Madisonville Road and Louisiana Avenue were greatly improved. The city of Covington , in order to show its gratitude, renamed Louisiana Avenue "Jahncke Avenue" in honor of Walter Jahncke's family who operated the shipyard and the associated navigation company that did the shell dredging.

Another postcard, this one in color and spotlighting Jahncke Avenue
Not all of Louisiana Avenue was changed to Jahncke, however, because the route to Madisonville veered westward at around 14th Avenue, leaving the path followed by Louisiana Avenue and making a sharp turn shortly after that to head west to Filmore Street, where it turned southward to cross the wooden bridge over the Tchefuncte River that was at that location.
Click on the images to make them larger

Interestingly, a four block segment of Louisiana Avenue remains today, along the same alignment as most of Jahncke Avenue, but south of where Jahncke veers to the west and moves a block over. The current day Louisiana Avenue runs between 12th Avenue and 8th Avenue. 
Here's the section of the 1935 map that shows the Bogue Falaya River and the streets from downtown (at right) down to St. Paul's Campus (at upper left). 

 At the end of New Hampshire Street is "City Park," now known as Bogue Falaya Park, and just downriver from there was Ozonia, a rest home retreat on South America Street. At this point in time, Jahncke Avenue passed by St. Paul's College, although early on it was known as Louisiana Street and sometimes "Old Landing Road" since it went on down to the Old Landing.
To further confuse the matter, a 1927 Sanborn Map shows that four block section of Louisiana Avenue as Yates Street. 
Complications Arise

The matter was complicated further, about twenty years later, when the Covington City Council re-named some streets to accommodate a new post office address system. As per information from Jack Terry: 
"Louisiana is a complicated street. Around 1917 it was changed to Jahncke Avenue, then in 1936 Jackson St in the Division of Spring area was changed to Louisiana.  Jackson street was changed to South New Hampshire some time later.  It tends to be very confusing for anyone looking for relatives in Covington, since many of the old addresses have been changed over the years and there is very little documentation."
Excerpts from the January, 1937, minutes book, City Council of Covington

 At the January, 1937, city council meeting a resolution was offered to change the names of certain streets in the city where duplications had occurred. This needed to be done "in order to avoid confusion and hasten the delivery of mail to our city by postal carriers." The resolution said the following:

Jefferson Street, in Old Covington, which at that time ran from America Street to Jefferson Avenue, was to be changed to Jefferson Davis Street.

Madison Street, which at that time was a continuation of Theard Avenue, was to be changed to Theard Avenue from its intersection with Columbia Street all the way to Hancock Street. (19th Avenue?)

Monroe Street
and its continuation known as Independence Street in the Division of St. John, stretching from the Bogue Falaya River at the foot of Columbia Street, to Seventh Avenue beyond River Glen park, was to be changed to Wharton Street, in honor of the founder of Covington.

Washington Street, in Old Covington, which at that time ran from the Bogue Falaya River to Jefferson Avenue, was changed to Lafayette Street.

And Jackson Street, in the Division of Spring, which at that time ran from New Hampshire to River Glen Park, was changed to Louisiana Street.

That's not all of the story, however. To further complicate the matter, there's another Louisiana Avenue just west of Covington, located between Pruden Road and the Tchefuncte River, that starts at U.S. 190 and heads north.
 So if someone tells you their family lived on Louisiana Avenue in Covington, you may have to ask them which one when.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Radio Star Performer In 1928

 Byron Gautreaux of Covington became a big regional radio star way back in 1928.


Click on the image to make it larger and more readable. 


Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Rest A While - Renovated

 Here are several photographs of the recently renovated Rest A While complex of historic buildings on the lakefront in Mandeville. The project not only brought back to life the old hotel and retreat buildings, lifting them above future floods, but graced them with a Pat Gallagher's restaurant as well.

Click on the images to make them larger. 

The iconic gate archway

Dining on the balcony 

Rocking chair row

The open air elevated dining area

A view of the lake

A replica of the Frapart Hotel porch light

Ground level table section

A view of the lakeside gazebo from the balcony

It now has its own historical marker

See also:

Rest A While History

Sans Souci

 In 1905 H.P. Bougere started a creamery just off the Bogue Falaya River a few miles north of Covington in a place called "Sans Souci." It was where the Playmakers theater is today.  It went on to become "one of the finest creameries" in the state.

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 From a 1905 Booklet about the Covington area
 Bougere's Son

Horace Lewis Bougere was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. H.P. Bougere, who have been prominent residents of Covington for the past four and a half years. He was educated in the public schools and at the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Starksville, Miss., where he obtained a thorough knowledge of the dairy and creamery business. 

He was born in St. John Parish, LA, on May 7, 1889; died in San Francisco, Cal., on April 25, 1909. In his obituary on the front page of the May 3, 1909, Covington Daily Journal detailed the loss felt by the family and the community.

During the first two years of their residence here, he and his father conducted the Sans Souci Creamery, located on their beautiful home sight about four miles from Covington. For the past two  years, he assisted his father in the dairy business, until he decided to enter the navy, leaving here only a short time since for the Naval Training Station at San Francisco, where he was fatally stricken with spinal meningitis in the very prime of his life, being only in his twentieth year.

The barn in the bottom left picture would go on to become, in just 41 years, the Playmakers Inc. theater barn.