The Mandeville lakefront has always been a party place and in the early 20th century Duvalle's On the Beach was one of the central gathering places. It was a versatile venue for all kinds of goings-on, mainly dances and holiday events, but also for the bingo games and private parties.
Over the years its name changed a little, from Duvalle's on the Beach to Duvalle's Garden to Duvalle's Tropical Garden, and then Duvalle's Showboat.
Duvalle's On The Beach
It progressed from a bathhouse beach and swimming destination at the beginning to a full-service party and special occasion location. It advertised extensively and was appreciated by a number of non-profit community service organizations. The owners even held benefits for those groups, with everything from bingo games and beauty contests. Some of those fund-raising events were allowed to use the premises at no cost.
The chamber of commerce would meet there, special meetings of political and governmental importance would be held there, and teen age dances were also a popular ongoing event.
It was located on Lake Drive, between Coffee and Carroll Streets.
There were always private parties going on, baby showers, wedding receptions, and the like, and the New Orleans corporate world was always sending its employees by steamboat for the annual company picnics. Mandeville in general was a favorite weekend and summer spot for business-related get-aways.