Sunday, October 3, 2021

CHF Revisits History of New Hampshire's 200 Block

 The Covington Heritage Foundation offered a guided tour of the 200 block of North New Hampshire Street on Sunday, October 3, 2021, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The event was the latest in the group's "History and Mystery" events showcasing individual blocks in downtown Covington. 

The history of the buildings and businesses (and the individual personalities that made them a success) were featured, with several knowledgeable people on hand to share their memories. 

Click on the following images to make them larger. 

Louis Ross Jr. entertained the crowd with his stories of Citizens Bank and Trust Co., as well as other financial institutions  along New Hampshire Street, "Covington's Wall Street."

A picture of Citizen's Bank in the 1970's 
Mayor Mark Johnson detailed the history of the Majestic Theater building, now a church. 

 After the group heard the Majestic Theater talk, they were taken inside and shown a segment of the wall and ceiling artwork painted by C.S. A. Fuhrmann, the Covington theater showman who built and ran the Majestic as well as other theaters in the area.

Memories of the teen age club Harvey House were shared by Kay Morse, left, and Diane Kramer, right.

The story of the corner of New Hampshire and Boston Sts was told, from the time when it was a Ford dealership, a drug store, a florist and now a restaurant.  Councilman Mark Verrett served as the presenter.

The Del Porto Building  

The Wehrli House

 The Wehrli House was a prominent local landmark, owned by a prominent local businessman. At one time Rosemerry Fuhrmann was using it as a dance studio. Her sister Pat Clanton tells how she prepared the floors for the dance rehearsals, and installed mirrors on the walls.
Unfortunately, in 1974 Citizens Bank announced that it would give the Wehrli House, shown above, to any non-profit organization which would remove it from its location in-between Hebert's Drugs and the bank in the 200 block of North New Hampshire. If no one agreed to move it, then it would be dismantled.

The structure at that time was 110 years old, meaning it was built in 1864, according to local records. The bank wanted to use the location occupied by the house as a parking lot and drive through window facility.

Dr. Howard Nichols, president of the St. Tammany Parish Historical Society, reported that the society itself had considered moving the house which could then be used as a headquarters for the group, as well as a museum. The project was beyond the resources of the society, however, as determined by the board of directors. The group did pass a resolution to the City of Covington recommending that the city move the structure back onto the ox lot directly behind it so it could be stored until moved somewhere else.

Either that, or it could be set up permanently in the ox lot and used as a tourist attraction, the historical society suggested. It was hoped the project would capture the interest of the local committee planning a celebration of the American Bicentennial in 1976, Dr. Nichols stated.

No one stepped up to take advantage of the bank's offer, however, and the building was dismantled shortly afterwards.

A 1970's pen and ink sketch of the Wherli House by Artist Winky Chesnutt.  

Jan Gardner and Debbie Mendow

The Majestic Theater

This building later became a branch location of Commercial Bank,and then served as the land records office for the St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court's office 

A 1970's view of the street, looking northward

Kentzel Printers, one of Covington's oldest businesses

The old St. Tammany Homestead Association office

Now the home of Jeff Bratton Law Office and Kimsu Oil Co.

Now the location of Sarabeth T. Bradley Law Offices

Toad Hollow Cafe site in 1997 (when it was The Gourmet Beignet)


Toad Hollow Cafe Today
Toad Hollow was once the location of Hazel Ogden Photo Studio

Corner N. New Hampshire and Rutland St.

Jewel's Cigar and Briar Shop 

Jewel's Cigar and Briar Shop was once the location of the Martindale Home. 
The Rodrigue law office was at one time the location of the city's first telephone exchange. 

A remnant of the Harvey House decor
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