Monday, May 10, 2021

Bayou Castine Bridge

 Bayou Castine in Mandeville was a busy place over the past 150 years. Here is a picture showing two men shrimping in the bayou in the years prior to 1920. 

Shrimping in Bayou Castine (La. Digital Archives)

 The next photo was found in the Louisiana State Museum collections. It shows the rickety old bridge that used to cross Bayou Castine in Mandeville at the end of Reine Street, near the harbor. The bridge led to the area now known as Fontainebleau State Park. The picture was reportedly taken in 1895. 

The bridge was one of the selling features that Bernard de Marigny put into his sales contracts when he started selling lots in his Quartier de Mandeville development. 

For more information on the bridge, CLICK HERE.

Percy Viosca Jr. took this picture of Bayou Castine in 1923

 See also:

The Mandeville Pottery 

Mandeville Harbor Aerial Photos 

Bayou Castine in 1923 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Streets of Mandeville

 On August 29, 1954, New Orleans newspaper columnist Pie Dufour wrote an interesting overview of how the Town of Mandeville got its street names. A copy of Dufour's "A La Mode" column was recently found in the papers of the late Bertha Neff, one time parish archivist.

 Here is the text of that column:

Streets of Mandeville -  

By Pie Dufour August 29, 1954 (Times Picayune/New Orleans States Item)

It isn't every town that preserves its history, in part, in the names of its streets. New Orleans, of course, does and John Chase has pointed this out delightfully in his "Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children and Other Streets of New Orleans."

And last week-end I discovered—why .it took this long, I don't know—that picturesque and charming old Mandeville has done the same thing.

To begin with, Mandeville's very name summons up the memory of one of Louisiana's most fabulous families, Marigny de Mandeville, and the most fabulous Marigny of all the Mandevilles, Bernard Philippe de Marigny.

It was Bernard Marigny who laid out the little town on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in 1832. Marigny named the place after one of the names of his illustrious family which was established in Louisiana shortly after 1709 by Francois -Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville.

From the names of Mandeville streets today—the town covers an area about a dozen blocks along the lake and about 10 blocks back to US Highway 190—I assume that Bernard Marigny did the naming of them. himself. For mostly, they bear the names of distinguished men of Marigny's day.

Appropriately enough, the street fronting the lake, with its charming old houses and many oaks, is named Lake street. Moving back from the lake we first cross Claiborne (the signs sometime misspell it, omitting the "i") street which was named for Gov. William C. C. Claiborne.

After that come three presidential streets, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, all of whom played a part in making Louisiana American. After that comes Livingston, named for Edward Livingston, the noted lawyer and an intimate friend of Marigny's. Then comes Villere street, named for Gen. Jacques Villere, head of the Louisiana militia at the Battle of New Orleans and our second governor.

Streets of Mandeville

The next street floors me. Its name is Montgomery. .I doubt if Marigny named that one and I have no idea whom it honors.

And then, finally, we reach the highway, which bears the name Florida street, because, as you know, that area was in West Florida at the time of the Louisiana Purchase.

Now let us look. at the streets running at right angles to, and back from, Lake Pontchartrain. Facing the lake, the first street on one's right is Carondelet, named for the same Spanish governor, Baron Hector de Carondelet, that our street is.

Next comes Wilkinson, named for Gen. James Wilkinson, commander-in-chief of the United States Army, on whose staff Bernard Marigny served around 1803. Lafayette street is next and it is understandable why Marigny picked it. In 1825, when Lafayette visited New Orleans, Marigny was the "official greeter" for the city.

The next two streets, Coffee and Carroll, are named for a couple of generals who fought with Jackson in defense of New Orleans. Brig Gen. John Coffee and Maj. Gen. William Carroll. Still another distinguished defender of New Orleans, Brig. Gen. John Adair of the Kentucky volunteers, is remembered by Adair street, although the signs on some corners spell it "Adear."

Jean Lafitte, the pirate, is remembered by Lafitte street and Nicholas Girod, mayor of New Orleans at the time of the battle has a street, too, although it  is spelled most of the time "Gerard."

The widest street in town is named for Marigny himself, but the origin of the next two streets eludes me—LaMarque and Foy. The last street in town is named for Marigny's long-time friend, Andrew Jackson.

Marigny was on Jackson's staff at Chalmette, and he was an ardent Jacksonian Democrat despite his aristocratic 'origins and great, and as yet undissipated, fortune. Jackson street in Mandeville today is, however, hardly more than a bumpy gravel road through the Woods.

I cannot think of many towns that have resisted change so admirably as has Mandeville. It is pretty much the same as it was 50 years ago when the Camellia ferried holiday folks across the lake from New Orleans. My hope for Mandeville is that it keeps on not changing.


End of Pie Dufour column

The New Camilia Steamboat 

Ella Paine, center, president of the St. Tammany Historical Society, greets Pie Dufour at a 1977 meeting in Mandeville.  Ron Barthet stands at right.




Saturday, May 8, 2021

Block Party & Car Show May, 2021

 The downtown Covington Block Party and Car Show is back, with hundreds of people strolling up and down Columbia Street Friday evening, looking at the cars, visiting with friends, and enjoying burgers and drinks. 

Music was also in the air, but the stars of the show were the cars themselves. Here are some pictures of the event. Click on the images to make them larger. 



See also:

Final Friday Car Show - Halloween Edition 

Car Show and Block Party May 2017 

Covington Lions Club Car Show 

Final Friday Block Party 

Final Block Party for 2016 - Halloween Theme 

Car Show, Music, Conversation: It's Final Friday! 


Friday, May 7, 2021

Music Concert Entertains Folsom Giddy Up

 Live music wafted through downtown Folsom last Friday evening as the Brass Hearts Brass Band entertained more than 100 people in an open air concert held in back of Giddy Up Coffee House on La. Hwy. 25. The stage was lit, the music was jazzy, and the crowd was laid back as the group went through a number of old favorites.

 The back deck of the Giddy Up coffee house was also packed with customers enjoying the festivities. 

The front entrance to the coffee shop, which also sells paninis

Next door, the Far Horizons Art Gallery was open for visitors to enjoy works by local artists many of which were commemorating the 50th anniversary of the La Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Here are some photos. Click on the images to make them larger. 

Paintings on display



100 Years Ago This May 7, 2021

What was going on 100 years ago this week? CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer Issue of  May 7, 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.



 Big Psychotic Hospital

Mrs. Adeline Cooper

Badon Buys Corner Lot

Cemetery Maintenance Group

Druids Civic Group Meets

Folsom School Red Cross Activities

Graduation Dress Tips

Slidell News Notes

Society News

Birthday Party of Miss Ray Streeck, Folsom Teacher

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Southern Hotel in the 1950's

 In 2014 the newly renovated Southern Hotel was re-opening, and longtime resident Pat Clanton was asked to write down some of her early memories of the establishment.

Born in 1929, her most memorable recollections took place in the 1950's. Here are some excerpts of the short essay she wrote about what it was like in the Southern Hotel in the 1950's. 

Large Stone Fireplace

"Of course everyone remembers the large stone fireplace in the lobby and the wonderfully large fish pond. The rocking chairs on the front veranda and Tugy's Bar," she started.

During the those years Tugy's Bar was at the New Hampshire Street side of the Hotel. "You could enter the bar from the Lobby or from the porch as I remember it," she said. Before a new Post Office building was built next door in 1939, the Post Office was in the Southern Hotel building facing New Hampshire Street.

Clanton tells about how her mother (who was born in 1892) told her stories about how popular it was for the young people in Covington to gather for visits, over an ice cream soda at Schonberg's Drug Store to wait for the mail to be put up. 

"I remember Dr. Henry Gautreaux's office was also in the building, upstairs facing New Hampshire Street. I think that it was next to Schonberg's Drugs. There was a very nice little Jewelry Store, Smith's Jewelry Store,  owned by Mr. Pete Smith.

"When I was 12 years old I use to pass his shop, and I had my eye on a Zercon ring. I bought that ring with some money that I made selling popcorn for Dad. That was in 1941 and I have that ring to this day," Mrs. Clanton recalled.

Dunning's Flower Shop

Bill Rose had a Barber Shop in the building and a Dentist, Dr. Logan Magruder, had an office upstairs at the corner of the building, over looking the alley, she went on to say. "A little later in time Jonette Dunning, now Mrs. Richard Shelton, had a Flower Shop, Dunning's Flower Shop, this was in the 1940's into the 50's. Jonette made my bridal bouquet and bridemaids flowers for my wedding in 1950," Mrs. Clanton recalled.

 At some point in time Schoenberg's closed and the store was taken over by Mr. Walter Jones and it became Jones's Drug Store. For a long time Covington had and supported five drug stores in the downtown business area.

At some point in time, Tugy's Bar moved to the west side of the Hotel near the parking lot.

"Playmaker's formed in 1953 and 54, and I do remember that for a short time we had a desk in the Lobby of the Hotel selling tickets for our first play in the Playmaker's Barn in San Souci Forest," Mrs. Clanton explained.

"I also remember that in that year or maybe just a little later the Rotary Club held a Dance in the Patio of the Hotel. It was beautifully decorated with ferns and other large green plants. There were little lights hung here and there overhead and across the Patio, tables with white table cloths and the theme of the party was The Roaring 20's .

"This appealed to the thespian spirit of the young and enthusiastic Playmakers, so we all donned costumes of the 20's, and it was a wonderful evening as the band played until the wee hours of the morning. As they said in all of the newspapers, "a good time was had by all."

The Dining Room

She then remembered that her Dad, Sidney Fuhrmann, managed the Southern Hotel Dining Room for a number of years in the 40's and early 50's.

"I wish that I could remember just when he took over that Management and or when he no longer performed that duty. I do remember that you walked down a hall from the Lobby to the Dining room," she said. "The room was large and there were many tables set with white cloths. Some were set for two, some for 4 and there were two round tables, perhaps for 6 or 8 dinners. Alphonse. the Chef, was famous in the Community for his Seafood Gumbo which was on the menu frequently. One was always able to order a cup or bowl vegetable soup was served in the dining room every day"

The Rotary Club

Every Tuesday at noon, the Rotary Club met in the dining room for their meeting. There was a piano in the room Mrs. Jessie Helms played the piano and accompanied the Rotary members as they sang various patriotic songs.

"There was also a small Lunch Counter area to the far west of the building which was adjacent to the more formal dinning room," Mrs. Clanton stated. People could order hamburgers, soup, or a sandwich etc. The entrance to the lunch Counter was from the parking area where the Greyhound Bus parked for boarding and for bringing the commuters back home. "Many people commuted to New Orleans every week day to their work in the city." she recalled.

The Slot Machines.

There were several slot machines against the wall in the Lunch Counter area, Mrs. Clanton said. "Maybe as many as 4 or 5 and, oh boy, they were in use. Someone was always playing the slot machines."

See also:

The Saga of the Southern Hotel

The 1984 Southern Hotel Renovation 

Southern Hotel Photos

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Sesquicentennial Treasure Chest

 This picture certainly got our attention. Click on the image to make it larger. 

Taken in 1963, this picture shows the opening of a treasure chest full of Covington Sesquicentennial Souvenir Medallions.  

Buried treasure? Not quite, but something almost as good if those gleams in those eyes mean anything. This was the scene when the chest containing the Sesquicentennial medallions was opened. Kneeling by the chest are Mayor Emile Menetre and Councilman Giles Pennington. Standing, front row, left to right, are Jack Brown, Mrs. Winnie Booth, Mrs. Jessie Brown, Maurice Blache, Harold Cooper, and Oliver Hebert. Back row, Clarence Kohnke, Edward Dutsch, Senator B. B. Rayburn, Henry Champagne, Philip Burns Jr., Felton Jenkins, Councilman Leo LeBlanc and Bill Yergen.

See also:

Covington Sesquicentennial 

Covington Sesquicentennial Program - 1963  

Monday, May 3, 2021

Photoshoot In Downtown Covington

 I decided to take a walk around downtown Covington and shoot a few pictures this morning. It was a bright and windy day, so it looked promising.

Here are the pictures that resulted. Click on the images to increase the size.

The Mackie House 



The recent high water had left a large amount of sand on the riverbank.

A riveside retreat


The Columbia Landing Arch Column and front porches
At Columbia Landing, I met a couple from Nashville, TN, who were visiting Covington to attend a local high school graduation. They were quite impressed with Covington, and we talked about other interesting towns, particulary Laurel, Miss., now with its own TV show on HGTV. 
I gave them a little history of Columbia Landing and the Southern Hotel. I hope they enjoy their stay and appreciated the breezy day in downtown Covington.