Monday, May 27, 2024

Covington Remembers

 The Robert H. Burns American Legion Post No. 16 hosted a Memorial Day Ceremony in front of the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center on Monday, May 27, 2024.

Click on the images to make them larger. 

A number of dignitaries took part, with over 200 people in attendance. Past Commander Dennis Charlesworth served as master of ceremonies. 

Post Chaplain Dick Perl delivered the invocation and benediction. 

The St. Tammany Veterans Honor Guard advanced the colors and gave a three volley rifle salute followed by the playing of "Taps," and afterwards paid their respects with a salute to their Post's namesake Robert H. Burns, with a visit to his gravesite in Covington Cemetery No. 1 not far from the courthouse. 

Brewer Arnoult sang the National Anthem and "God Bless America" at the courthouse Memorial Day program, while the Pledge of Allegiance was led by "Miss Poppy" Madelyn Ogden and "Little Miss Poppy" Cecilia Ogden. The pledge was also "signed" by a group of American Heritage Girls. 

The program included the recognition of the POW/MIA Chair by Ken Diebold, comments by Pam Herty with the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 16, and recognition of Matt Cole with the Marine Justice League. 

Mike Cooper, president of St. Tammany Parish, (at left above) welcomed those present, and Chuck Rooney (second from left) gave a stirring speech about the meaning of Memorial Day, with specific instances of sudden tragic loss on the battlefield. Joe Bosch (at right) read two poems he had written about Memorial Day. 

Click on the "Play Triangle" Above to hear the speech given by Rooney

Several wreaths were placed on the memorial in the center of the Veterans Plaza.

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. Originally known as "Decoration Day," it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. 

The American Legion Post building, located on U.S. 190 Bypass, now features a room showcasing the history of the post. 

See also this link:

American Legion Rededicates Building

Reception Afterwards

Following the ceremony at the courthouse, all were invited to join Mayor Mark Johnson at the Covington City Hall for a Veterans Appreciation Reception. Over 100 enjoyed the chance to sit down, cool off from the earlier sunlit ceremony at the courthouse, and share a meal and musical entertainment. 

Friday, May 24, 2024

Fallen Heroes Memorial Is Unveiled

The official dedication of the Fallen Heroes Memorial took place Friday, May 24, at the  Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell.

Click on the images to make them larger. 

 The memorial honors all the Fallen Heroes from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan who lost their lives in the Global War On Terror (GWOT).

Well over 100 people attended the memorial dedication, including many officials with the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and Louisiana National Guard. 

The memorial was a project of the 
St. Tammany Veterans Foundation, Inc. (STVF). Lane Carson, President of the group, is shown at the podium.


Gold Star Parents Unveiling of the Monument

The Northshore Honor Guard and St. Tammany Veterans Honor Guard advanced the colors at the beginning of the program, and two members of the North Cross Methodist Church Choir sang the national anthem as well as "God Bless America."

Daniele Palen, Director of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, and Ted Krumm, the Cemetery Director of the Louisiana Dept. of Veterans Affairs, gave the welcome. Speakers included Matt Cole, Sharon and Danny McLeese, and Gina Guillory as well as other Gold Star/Blue Star Parents. Special guests included La. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Secretary Charlton Meginley and Col. Jesse Barth of the La. National Guard.

To view many more pictures of the ceremonies,


Monday, May 20, 2024

Soft Shell Crabs Explained

 Lennie Frosch, a native of Mandeville, spoke to the Northlake Mandeville Rotary Club 48 years ago about the intricacies of crabbing in Lake Pontchartrain. It was a detailed and comprehensive overview of the longtime area activity. Here is the article that appeared in the St. Tammany News Banner regarding that presentation. 

Click on the above image to make it larger. 

Below are excerpts from that article:

ST TAMMANY NEWS-BANNER, September 1, 1976

At the time Frosch served as Vice-President of the St. Tammany Parish Library Board and also as Chief of the Mandeville Fire Department. Frosch talked to the Rotarians about his hobby, Lake Pontchartrain crabs.

Frosch told the Rotarians that the conservation department and all its studies and surveys actually has very little information available about crabs. He noted that for some reason Lake Pontchartrain crabs seem to be superior to crabs caught along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi and crabs from Mandeville seem to have high priority in the seafood market.

Frosch noted these various statistics: the average life span of a crab is three years; crabs mate in Lake Pontchartrain, but the females spawn in the saltier waters toward the Gulf of Mexico; a bearer or sponge crab is usually the reference made to a female crab carrying eggs on her underside; a female crab carries as many as 700,000 to 2,000,000 eggs from two to nine months after mating. She then goes into the salt waters of the Gulf and spawns.

Commercial fishing for crabs, Frosch said, include catching crabs in nets, in crab pots, and in trawls. It is most profitable, however, to deal with soft or soft-shelled crabs. Frosch described in detail how a soft-shelled crab begins to shed its shell and the process involved in going from the soft stage to the hard crab stage. During the three years of the crab's life, it is likely to shed between 18 and 20 times, each time increasing his size from an inch to an inch and a half.

Shedding The Shell

The actual process of shedding a shell involves the back part of the crab shell actually separating and the crab backs out of the old shell. Frosch noted that every part of the crab's body, including the covering over his eyes, is completely new. He noted too that if a crab loses a portion of a claw, his new body will have replaced the missing part of the claw.

Frosch also told the Rotarians that during this period, a crab will absorb or take in water to the extent that he will get as much as 70 percent of his body weight in water taken in into the crab's system. As the water is taken in, the crab swells inside of the shell and causes the back portion of the shell to break open and the crab actually crawls out backward. It takes from one-half hour to forty-five minutes for the crab to back out of the shell, at which time the crab continues to take on water to expand to his new size. Frosch says he has seen this process numerous times, but he is still fascinated every time he witnesses the shedding process.

Within twenty-four hours after a crab sheds, its new shell becomes hardened.

Color Change

Fishermen who are familiar with the crab shedding process, know to look for a color change in the crab's shell in order to determine when the shedding process is to take place.

The commercial fishermen who deal in soft-shelled crabs have a variety of ways in which to cultivate soft-shelled crabs. use. He said also in Mandeville there are concrete tanks into which lake water is pumped in order to ultivate the soft-shelled crabs. A third method which Frosch says that he and his father have been experimenting with involves using water from the tap and artificially salting the water and filtering and recycling the water through a 4' x 8' plywood tank.

Frosch brought with him several exhibits showing the different stages of development in the Lake Pontchartrain crabs' growth. Following his remarks, Club President Jim Moore thanked Frosch for addressing the Rotarians, and closed the meeting.

Click on the following link for more info:

Frosch Barber Shop

Saturday, May 18, 2024

St. Tammany in the 1930's

In 1930, the St. Tammany chamber of commerce was sending out this map and area community information.  

Click on the image above to make it larger. 

Text from the above printed material:


(from a 1930 Chamber of Commerce information sheet)

St. Tammany Parish (County) is one of the larger of the Southeast Louisiana parishes, adjoining the State of Mississippi at the Gulf Coast. It is one of the oldest settled communities in the state and originally was a part of West Florida. It is comprised in the district known as the Florida Parishes.

St. Tammany Parish forms almost the entire upper or north shore of Lake Pontchartrain opposite New Orleans, which is about twenty miles distant. It is connected with that city by three railroads, highways and ferries. 

There is every opportunity in St. Tammany for the investor and homeseeker when its wonderful natural advantages and beauty are considered along with its proximity to New Orleans, the South's largest city.

St. Tammany Parish is the most healthful spot in America. It includes within its confines the world-famous Ozone Belt, and its water supply from springs and artesian wells is abundant and pure. Waters from some of its springs are bottled and widely distributed for their medicinal qualities. Many people are attracted to the Parish because of its general healthfulness. The death rate in St. Tammany is only 9.3 or 1,000, including nonresidents, compared with 14.5 for California; 14.6 for Florida; 11.8 for Mississippi; 18.2 for Louisiana as a whole; 14.67 for the United States as a whole.

The maximum of outdoor life may be enjoyed in St. Tammany in fishing, bathing and boating on its numerous fresh water streams and on Lake Pontchartrain (salt), golfing, automobiling over its two hundred miles of improved highways and hunting. Its streams and the lake offer a paradise for the fisherman and in the hunting season there is an abundance of game. Many of the streams are navigable far  in to the interior and offer beautiful scenic trips and harbors for the yachtsman. The map on the reverse of this page shows the streams.

St. Tammany Parish with its nearly two hundred miles of hard surfaced highways has the most complete system of good roads of any Parish in Louisiana. Practically every section of the Parish already is reached by a good road and recent bond elections have provided for the construction of several new highways that will complete the Parish system.

 In addition to the Parish highways there are trunk lines that connect with the principal State and National highways or form parts of them. The highway system is shown in red lines on the map. 

The principal towns of St Tammany are Covington, the Parish seat of government, business center and from which radiate highways to all sections of the Parish; Slidell, industrial center at which are located a number of large manufacturing enterprises and a ship building plant; Madisonville, center of the strawberry and rice industry of the Parish, deep water harbor and location of a ship building plant; Mandeville, on Lake Pontchartrain, one of the most popular all-year resorts in the Gulf section; and Abita Springs, noted throughout the country as a health resort because of the purity and curative quality of its waters. All of these places offer delightful surroundings for the homeseeker. Good hotel accommodations also are available.

Soils throughout the Parish are productive of a wide variety of farm products, vegetables and fruit. The drainage is excellent because of the numerous water courses that run through the Parish. The principal staple farm products include cotton, cern, sugar cane, rice and potatoes. There are approximately 570,000 acres of land in the Parish including about 150,000 acres of merchantable standing timber. The greater part of the remainder of this land is subject to agricultural development. The mean annual temperature of St. Tammany is 66.9 degrees and the average annual rainfall is 61 inches.

Truck farming in St. Tammany has proven very profitable and large quantities of beans, sweet peppers, canteloupes and water melons are shipped to outside markets annually, besides the supply for the local markets throughout the Parish.


Strawberries have become one of the most profitable crops raised in St. Tammany and last season were moved in car lots. One of the largest strawberry farms in the South is located in the Parish. Strawberries raised here command top price's.  Buyers are located in the Parish which insures immediate cash sales.

Satsuma oranges grow to perfection in St. Tammany and will be shipped during the coming season in car lots as several large orchards will come into full bearing this year. There are more than 50,000 grove trees in the Parish and more than 10 ,000 nursery stock trees awaiting replanting.

Pecans, pears, peaches,, several varieties of grapes and figs are grown successfully for commercial use.

The poultry industry is developing rapidly in St. Tammany and already there are several large farms. Most of these are devoted to the sale of baby chicks and breeding stock. The New Orleans market will take all the poultry and eggs raised here as much of the supply for that city comes from outside the State.

Except for local consumption the dairy industry is only partially developed. 

Forage crops, including alfalfa, grow to perfection in many portions of the Parish and ideal locations may be found for the establishment of large dairy enterprises. The New Orleans market will consume all the dairy products produced here.

There is ample range well stocked with grasses and the sheep and cattle industry is proving profitable.


One of the new industries in the Parish is bee culture. One enterprise alone will ship more than 50,000 queen bees and packages of bees during the coming season. Bee experts from government agencies declare conditions are ideal in this Parish for the propagation of bees.
Industrial opportunities include ideal locations for a large electric plant, extension of brick and tile manufacturing plants, extension of plants for the manufacture of turpentine and tar products from pine logs and stumps taken from cut over land, creamery, fruit and vegetable canning plants.

The Illinois Central Railroad, New Orleans Great Northern Railroad and the Southern Railway serve St. Tammany and give excellent service in moving its products to markets. In another year the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad will be operating its trains into and through the Parish.

Electric power already is available in all of the towns and many rural communities. The lines will be extended to cover other sections at an early date.

One of the best public school systems in Louisiana is maintained for the full term of nine months. Modern school buildings have been provided and there is every facility to give children educational advantages through high school. High schools are conveniently located in the Parish as well as grammar schools. There are also private and denominational schools at several points.

Churches of the leading denominations are located at the principal points in the Parish and in several rural sections.

Banking houses with resources exceeding $3,000,000.00 are available at five points in the Parish, and there are building and loan associations with ample funds to assist home builders.

For any further information, write
Covington, Louisiana.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Parish Fair Events Back in 2012

 Here is a video that shows the St. Tammany Parish Fair parade and opening ceremonies in Covington back in 2012, some 12 years ago. Special guests included Mike Cooper, Pat Brister, Trey Folse, Roy Burns and Mike Dirmann.

Click on the "Play Triangle" below to view the video. 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

SLU Alumni Meeting at TCC

 Several dozen St. Tammany Parish alumni of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond gathered for an informal meeting at Tchefuncta Country Club Wednesday night. Alumni re-connected with friends and classmates and reminisced about their time at the college years before. Here are some photographs from the occasion.

Alumni were able to meet the new president of Southeastern, William S. Wainwright 

See also this link:

Wainwright Southeastern's 15th president

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Emile Navarre

Emile Navarre was an award-winning photographer, served on the Mandeville City Council, and worked on the Mandeville Banner newspaper before he opened his own photography studio in Mandeville in 1976. 

I worked with him on the Mandeville Banner newspaper, and after I left to become editor of the St. Tammany Farmer, he was named editor of the News Banner.  He was pleased when a picture he took of an accident on the causeway was printed on the front page of the New York Times. 

He went on to bigger and better things, however, as his photography skills prompted him to open his own studio and get into advertising and promotions. He also became very active in local and regional professional photography organizations. 

In 1991 Navarre was president of the Mandeville Chamber of Commerce, the  grand marshal of the Krewe of Orpheus, and President of the Professional Photographers of Louisiana association. 

Click on the above article to make it larger. 

In 1993 he won a national award from the Professional Photographers of Louisiana (PPA). He also earned the designation of "Master Photographer" and "Photographic Craftsman" from the organization. In 2003 he won the PPA Directors Award. 

Emile Navarre's portraits showed his studio lighting and darkroom skills 

Emile Navarre
Emile died on Thursday, October 10, 2002 at Ochsner Foundation Hospital. He was a native of New Orleans, LA and a resident of Mandeville, LA for 26 years. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Abita Springs School Ceremony 2004

 Twenty years ago next week, May 25, the students and faculty at Abita Springs Middle School celebrated their Sixth Grade Promotion Ceremony. 

Here's some video from that occasion back in 2004. Click on the "Play Triangle" to view the video. 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

ChefSoiree Early Promotionals

 In March of 1989, some thirty-five years ago, photographer Harriet Blum took these promotional pictures for the new event called the Chef Soiree to be held in Bogue Falaya Park, Covington. Click on the images to make them larger. 

Friday, May 10, 2024

Nichols Shares History with Book Club

 In 1972 Historian C. Howard Nichols shared the history of New Orleans with the local Lydia Frotscher Book Club in Covington. Here is the article that tells of his presentation. Click on the images below to make them larger. 

Dr. C. Howard Nichols

See also these links:

Dr. Nichols and his book about Covington
"Stories of a River Town"

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Covington Community Center

 The Covington Community Center was built between 1957 and 1959, constructed in stages as the money became available. Donations came in from a wide variety of local civic organizations, and the building started off with a roof covering with a dirt floor. A few months later a concrete floor was poured, and a few months after that, side walls were put in place. 

The finished building in 1959

Click on the images to make them larger. 

An aerial view in 1975

The roof was first erected in 1957.

The concrete floor being poured in 1957

The community center hosted a multitude of events, everything from baby contests and beauty pageants to graduation parties, weddings, dances, and acrobatic fund-raising events. 

It had basketball goals, a ping pong table and a pool table, with two tennis courts in the back.

It hosted many community events and seminars