Covington Weekly » July 2020

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Local History Local News

New Animated History of Covington at the Trailhead Museum

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Mayor Mark Johnson announces a new animated history video now playing daily at the Covington Trailhead Museum.

Oxlot’s Whimsical History of Covington, by Wally Faucheux and the Covington Heritage Foundation, is a journey through Covington’s history in a fun and lively animation. Entertaining for all ages, but a special treat for kids. Parents can check out Covington: Our Little Town, a historical film also featured at the museum.

from Mayor Mark’s email, sign up

The Covington Trailhead Museum, 419 N New Hampshire St., is open Monday through Saturday 10am to 2pm and Sundays noon to 4pm. Located on the St. Tammany Trace – make a bike trip of it! Brooks’ Bike Shop is just up the block. Mayor Mark reminds us that the mini water tower at the Trailhead has hidden fun – a spigot on the back left column releases water on (sometimes unaware) persons below. A great way to cool off with the kids or surprise unsuspecting friends!

Local News

Mayor Mark on the Budget Process

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The City Administration has now begun the budget process for 2021. Mayor Mark explains just what that means.

from Mayor Mark’s email, sign up

“The dollars available come directly from the citizens, mostly through sales tax, some through property taxes and some from utility services. The amount collected is decided on by the people (taxes) and by the Council with input from citizens (rates and fees).
Once the money is in the “Bank”, the Council decides how to budget it. They do this with input from the Mayor (that’s me) and from the people. I review last year’s budget department by department, line by line – with each department head. Producing a proposed budget is a protracted and tedious process.
In the Fall, the proposed budget will be presented to the Council. A public work meeting will be scheduled where Department heads and I are available to share our thoughts.
Once the Council approves the budget, the money becomes available to the Administration on January 1st. For construction projects, this is a six month process BEFORE we can go out to bid. Under State law, bidding with the accompanying advertising laws can take more months.”

Sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails at

Local News

STP Tourist Commission Announces ‘Tammany Taste of Summer’ Savings Pass

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MANDEVILLE, LA – Life’s a feast on the Northshore, so we’re celebrating with  Tammany Taste of Summer and a special Summer Savings Pass sponsored by the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission. Locals and visitors can save on overnight stays, restaurants, and attractions August 1- September 30 by accessing a free Tammany Taste of Summer Savings Pass at As they redeem offers, pass holders can enter to win a grand prize of a private wine dinner for four or a charter fishing excursion.

“The Tammany Taste of Summer program is expanding this year to incorporate more tourism-related small businesses, such as restaurants offering casual fare and attractions,” says Donna O’Daniels, President and CEO of the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission. “We thought it important to extend the benefits of this free campaign and bolster as many tourism-related businesses as possible. We’re also investing more resources and continuing the promotion through September 30 to have more positive impact.”

More participants are being added daily to the Summer Savings Pass on Browse discounted prix fixe menus from Annadele’s, Café Lynn, Ceasar’s Ristorante, Dakota, Gallagher’s (Grill, 527 and Front Street), Impastato Cellars, The Lakehouse, and Restaurant Côté. Samurai Dragon has BOGO hibachi dinners and The English Tea Room a Buy One Get One Half Off Windsor High Tea. NOLA Southern Grill and Pyre Provisions are offering BOGO appetizers; Giddy Up Folsom  and Zea have discounts on family meals; and Abita Brew Pub, Liz’s Where Y’at Diner, Bosco’s, Pyre, Abita Roasting Company, T-Rivers Bar and Grill and Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar are offering specialty drink deals. Dessert discounts can be found from Rieger’s on the Trace, S&H Good Eats Cafe and Bayou Boil n Geaux.

Northshore attractions offering great deals include Bayou Adventure, Brooks’ Bike Shop rentals, Cajun Encounters Honey Island Swamp tours, Canoe and Trail Adventures, Culinary Kids, Escapology Covington, Gold Coast Skydivers, Louisiana Tours and Adventures, and 30xNinety Theatre. 

Northshore hoteliers and bed and breakfast owners are offering cool daily rates for Tammany Taste of Summer visitors. Book directly from the website and receive room rates including 25% off Blue Heron B&B, 10% off the Southern Hotel or Abita Springs Hotel, and 35% off Wingate by Wyndam in Slidell, just to name a few.

To access Tammany Taste of Summer Savings Pass details or to book a room, visit, brought to you by the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission.

About the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission

The St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission works with its tourism partners to promote the Northshore community as an attractive travel destination and enhance St. Tammany Parish as a dynamic place to live and work. In 2019, visitors to St. Tammany Parish generated more than $771 million in spending (the 4th largest tourist economy in the state), which produced $78.3 million in state and local taxes. Visitor spending in St. Tammany Parish supported 10,030 direct jobs.  If it were not for the state and local taxes paid by tourists visiting St. Tammany Parish, each household would pay $851 MORE in taxes (UNO Hospitality Research Center). 

Learn more at

Local Events Non Profit Spotlight

Frank Levy’s The Barn: A Virtual Fundraiser for Playmakers Inc.

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Pop Up Productions presents Frank Levy’s The Barn: A Virtual Fundraiser for Playmakers Inc., a live production distributed via Zoom webinar, August 15, 2020.

The Barn, directed by Northshore theater veteran and Playmakers Theater alumnus Justin Lapeyrouse, is a love letter to 60+ years of Playmakers and the man who helped to keep that history alive— Frank Levy. This virtual fundraiser features a collection of musical numbers from past shows, stories of some of the greatest moments in Playmakers history, and a virtual choir assembled from past cast members.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased via EventBrite. Ticket holders will be granted access to a GoFundMe page, funds of which will benefit Playmakers Theater.

The Barn has a run time of 2 hours and will run from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. CST on August 15, 2020.

For more information, please visit the Facebook event page here. For media photos, please email

Playmakers Go Fund Me – Save Our Stage

The Playmakers barn

Since 1955, Playmakers Theatre of Covington, Louisiana, has provided Southeast Louisiana and especially Covington with live theatre productions. The flood in March 2016 wiped out our resources and we have fought hard to continue. Now, with COVID-19 and the challenges it brings, we are reaching out to our beloved community to help us reach our goal. We want nothing more than to continue providing live theatre to our audience. But we need your help! Playmakers needs an income of about 3,000.00 per month to meet all basic needs. This does not include the cost of rights, scripts, costumes, sets and the many other expenses that come with producing a quality show. Because of the virus, we had to cancel two of our mainstage shows and shut our doors for the safety and well being of our audiences and volunteers.

2020 has been a year of many losses for us. We are striving to keep our doors open, as are many businesses in our nation. We hope that our community will help us keep going. A donation of any size will make a difference!

Click here to donate to Playmakers Theater!

Flora of Covington

Flora of Covington: the Southern Magnolia

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Our iconic image of the South would be incomplete without the inclusion of the Southern magnolia. Known scientifically as Magnolia grandiflora, it certainly lives up to its name with giant white blooms measuring up to a foot in diameter. Its flowers stand in stark contrast to large dark green glossy foliage, fuzzy brown underneath. Wonderfully fragrant blossoms begin opening in spring and may continue into early summer. For its unforgettable beauty, the Southern magnolia was designated the Louisiana state flower in 1990.

Magnolias are part of the most ancient families of flowering plants with fossil records that date back up to 95 million years. These plants predate bees and were originally only pollinated by beetles. The flower bud has not changed much from its original primitive structure. It has what is called “tepals,” a combination of sepals and petals similar to water lilies. Unlike most flowering plants they do not produce nectar but instead are heavy pollen producers. The beetles will collect this pollen for food and in turn help to pollinate the flowers. Now many common pollinators can be seen visiting the magnolia. Still, beetles are widely considered its primary pollinator.

The Southern magnolia is a large evergreen tree averaging 90 feet in height, although there have been some exceptional trees. A 30 meter (98.5 ft) tall tree was documented in Baton Rouge by the US Dept of Agriculture in 1970, along with an astonishing 37 meter (121 ft) tall tree in Smith County, Mississippi. The magnolia tree is a fast grower, averaging a lifespan of 80 – 120 years. The oldest documented Southern magnolia is in Roma, Italy, and is presumed to be over 320 years old.

There are more than 240 species of magnolias and thousands of cultivated varieties, according to the Magnolia Society International. Eight of these species are native to the US, the Southern magnolia being one of them. Dwarf cultivars are popular in local landscaping, like the Little Gem, selected by LSU AgCenter as a Louisiana Super Plant. It grows to half the size of the Southern magnolia at 20 – 40 feet and it a heavy producer, with flowers blooming late into summer.

Sweet bay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), also called swamp or laurel magnolia, is another native species commonly found in our area. An evergreen tree in our climate, its leaves have a blue-ish hue with a silvery underside. Strongly fragrant flowers are creamy-white, about 8-14 cm in diameter. The inner bark has a mild scent of bay spice.

Many species of magnolia are used for both culinary and medicinal purposes around the world. The bark, leaves, blossoms and fruit of this tree can be pickled, made into teas, or used to flavor certain rice dishes and miso soups. Popular in Asian countries and parts of Europe, these practices have not gained much notoriety here in the US.

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmers Market Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Veggies

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Did you know you can pickle your veggies with just salt water? For many health enthusiast this is the preferred method because it contains more probiotics and digestive enzymes. It’s easy too! Here is a quick how-to on fermenting almost any veggie.

You Will Need:

  • 1 sterilized 32 oz glass pickling jar with secure lid
  • 32 oz of distilled water (4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt (or sea salt)
  • Enough veggies to tightly pack your jar, shredded or cut in evenly sized pieces
  • Optional: pickling spices, fresh dill, peeled whole garlic cloves, hot peppers, mustard seeds (whole), loose black tea

child abuse case studies uk how to write good essays at university source here cheap cheap essay editing websites us enter site follow link thesis chapters or sections free essays of sports global warming issues essays academic freedom an essay in definitions i to do my homework when my mother came home get link source site does women viagra works viagra inventore legal thesis enter enter site in the heat of the night essay viagra gde kupiti essay fight against corruption click levitra u hrvatskoj go to link actos lawsuit in canada ielts academic writing test papers Step 1: Make sure everything is cleaned thoroughly. Jars should be sterilized, veggies scrubbed, knife and cutting board clean. You don’t want to introduce the wrong bacteria to your fermentation party!

Step 2: Tightly pack veggies into your jar. If you are adding fresh herbs, garlic or hot peppers mix them in now. The idea is to pack the veggies so tightly that when you add water they will not float to the top. This can be difficult for smaller cut veggies, but it is important that they are not exposed to air. Most feed stores sell glass weights that you can put on top the veggies to keep them submerged. This will also need to be sanitized first.

Step 3: Sprinkle your seasonings. Classic pickling spice blends include cinnamon, allspice, ginger, coriander and bay leaves. You can buy pre-mixed spices or make your own blend! One trick is to add a teaspoon of black tea, said to reduce the ‘murky’ appearance lacto-fermented veggies can take and to make them crispier. I used it in my pickles and it seems to have helped. Note: black tea may not be a good additive for those who have a caffeine sensitivity.

Step 4: Fully dissolve the salt into the water. The easiest way to do this is to mix into a sealable jar/bottle and shake thoroughly. If you plan to ferment more than a jar or two you can mix a whole gallon jug with the ratio 2 Tbs salt per 1 qt water, so 8 Tbs salt per 1 gallon water. Remember to use fresh, distilled water.

Lacto-fermented cucumbers

Step 5: Pour salt brine over your veggies in the jar. Pour slowly, a little over 3/4 full, and gently tilt jar around in small circles, working out any air bubbles. Continue slowly adding water up to ‘burp line’ on jar, usually where the mouth begins. Make sure all veggies are securely submerged in brine and that there are no air bubbles.

Step 6: Secure the lid, label and date, and store in a dry, cool place. In our climate, check in 2 days. ‘Burp’ the jar – just untwist the lid, slowly, to release any gases that may build up. Secure lid tightly or it WILL leak. Do this every other day – you are looking for a popped up lid with good gas build-up. The brine should begin to smell like vinegar. Veggies are soft but crisp, with a distinct pickled flavor. Generally, most veggies are done fermenting within 5 – 7 days. Move veggies to fridge to significantly slow down fermentation process. Generally speaking, again, veggies can be kept refrigerated for 2 months or more, although they will continue to age.

Bubble begin forming as veggies ferment

Fermentation, done PROPERLY, is completely safe. The salt brine creates a habitat in which harmful bacteria cannot survive and helpful bacteria can thrive. This helpful bacteria, called Lactobacillus, converts sugars to lactic acid, eventually creating an acidic enough environment to preserve the vegetables. Proper fermentation means using fresh, uncompromised vegetables, clean and sterile utensils and a proper salt-to-water ratio.

According to USDA microbiologist Fred Breidt, Jr., fermented vegetables can be safer than raw vegetables, thanks to the ability of lactic acid, which forms during fermentation, to hunt down and kill any harmful bacteria that might be present. This is a great article from Food Safety News that encourages home fermentation:

What to Ferment:

You can ferment pretty much anything, but some veggies are better suited for lacto-fermentation than others. Root vegetables like shredded beets, radish, or carrots are great for this fermentation process. So is cabbage (think sauerkraut or kimchi), cucumbers, peppers, eggplant or squash. Ferment mushrooms by blanching in boiling water first. Veggies like broccoli or brussels sprout produce a good bit of gas when fermenting and are best mixed with other veggies. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to okra after lacto-fermenting to cut back their ‘slime’. Ferment garlic cloves and small peppers whole. Fun Fact: garlic will often turn blue when fermenting!

Pet of the Week

Adoptable Pet of the Week

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Northshore Humane Society’s Adoptable Pet of the Week


For the first year of her life, Moo Moo lived the streets struggling for food and hiding when the bad weather came. Luckily for her, a kind individual rescued her and her newborn kittens and brought them to our rescue. Since that time, all of Moo Moo’s kittens have found forever homes, leaving mom still searching!

Moo Moo is a petite kitty weighing only 7 lbs. She has a gentle, motherly way about her and is an absolute sweetheart. Make her dreams come true and adopt Moo Moo today!

➡️ Apply:
➡️ Once approved, a counselor will set up a time for you to come by to meet her.

Northshore Humane Society is one of Louisiana’s largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal welfare organizations serving the neglected and abandoned animals of the Northshore region since 1953. NHS is an independent, non-governmental rescue that offers veterinary care, fostering, adoption, and more. Go to to learn more!

Wildlife Lookout

Wildlife Lookout: 3 Common Woodpeckers of Covington

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red-bellied woodpecker

If you’re a bird-watcher, or just a casual bird-observer, you have no doubt spotted woodpeckers around Covington. Not only are these birds very common in our area, they are also easily recognizable, whether it be for its bright red head, its odd perch hanging off the sides of trees, or the distinctive sounds of its jackhammer-like pecking.

Woodpeckers are part of the family Picidae and can be found over most of the world. There are three species of woodpeckers that can most often be found in south Louisiana; the red-bellied woodpecker, the red-headed woodpecker, and the pileated woodpecker.

red-bellied woodpecker

The red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) is probably the most common here in Covington, and can be spotted quite regularly on oak trees and telephone poles. A smaller bird, averaging about 10 inches and 2 ounces, it has black and white speckled back back and wings, similar to its cousin the ladder-backed woodpecker of the west. The re-bellied woodpecker has a pale chest with hints of red and yellow and a bright red cap. This woodpecker has adapted well to urban life and can often be seen at backyard feeders.

red-headed woodpecker

Slightly less common is the red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), similar in size and often confused for the fore-mentioned. Note the red covers its entire head, hence the name. It also lacks the speckled pattern of the red-bellied woodpecker, having a solid white body and mostly black back with white patches on lower wings. The red-headed woodpecker was at one time listed as near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, with a significant decline in population due to loss of habitat. It was downlisted to least concern in 2018. These birds fly-catch most of their prey and can often be spotted swooping erratically through the air.

pileated woodpecker

The pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is the 2nd largest, if not possibly largest* woodpecker in the US, measuring an average of 18 – 20 inches long with a wingspan of 26 – 30 inches. It bears similar markings to the red-headed woodpecker with the exception of an elongated red crest from which it gets its name, pileatus being Latin for “capped”.

The pileated woodpeckers’ favoring of mature woods and shy nature makes it rather hard to spot – however the loud drumming from its powerful beak in unmistakable. Most often to proclaim territory, the pileated woodpecker will seek hollow wood, utility poles and even metal or tin for loud, quick bursts of 11 to 30 taps in less than a second. They will chip out large, usually rectangular holes in the tops of old trees searching for insects. The pileated’s home is a large nest in the cavities of dead trees in which it will raise its young to maturity, and then abandon to create a new nest next season. It is considered to play an important role in ecology as many other species of birds and mammals depend on these abandoned nests for homes.

Listen to pileated woodpecker drumming:>XC71727.ogg

Ivory-billed pair photo taken in Singer Tract, Louisiana by Arthur A. Allen (April 1935)

*The largest woodpecker in the US and one of the largest in the world is the critically endangered and possibly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis). Averaging 19 – 21 inches with a typical wingspan of 30 inches, the last universally accepted sighting occurred in Louisiana in 1944. It is closely related to the slightly smaller Cuban ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus bairdii) and the Mexican imperial woodpecker (C. imperialis), the largest woodpecker in the world. The imperial woodpecker measures 22 – 23.5 inches long and is also on the critically endangered list.

Unlike its close relatives, the pileated woodpecker is highly adaptable and has actually seen an increase in population from 1966 to 2015.

More Fun Facts About Woodpeckers

woodpecker tongue illustration by Denise Takahashi

Woodpeckers have exceptionally long tongues for foraging insects from deep inside trees. The tongue when retracted wraps around the bird’s skull. This and additional cushioning in the brain helps to protect the bird from any damages that might occur to the brain due to its aggressive pecking.

red-headed woodpecker in nest

Most woodpeckers exhibit what is called undulated flight – a few rapid wing beats followed by a glide where the wings are pulled into the body rather than spread out as most birds do. This gives the appearance of a sporadic up-and-down flight pattern.

The woodpecker does not have a distinctive song but rather communicates with chirps, chatters, calls and drumming. A woodpecker can drum up to 20 pecks per second and averages 8,000 to 12,000 pecks per day.


“Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus”. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. U.S. Geological Survey.

Non Profit Spotlight

24 New Badges Prepare Girl Scouts to Be Ambitious and Decisive Leaders

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Girl Scouts Louisiana East and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) today announced 24 new badges designed to help girls practice ambitious leadership in the crucial areas of automotive engineering, STEM career exploration, entrepreneurship, and civics, many of which remain male-dominated. In a year of unprecedented global change, our country’s need for strong, broad-minded, and decisive leadership has never been greater. Through new and existing programming, Girl Scouts equips the next generation of female change-makers with the breadth of knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to take charge and do good for the world, both now and in the future.

The new Girl Scout badges include:

STEM Career Exploration (grades 2–8). Girls explore their career interests and connect them to STEM fields—particularly computer science, nature/environmental science, engineering, design, health, and agriculture—that can help them address the pressing issues of our time and change the world. The IF/THEN® Collection, a free, downloadable digital asset library of real-life women in STEM, is an integral component of the badges. The dearth of women in STEM fields is well documented, but data shows that girls are more interested in a STEM career when they learn how they can use it to help people, demonstrating the value of Girl Scouts’ unique approach. Funded by IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies.

Automotive Engineering (grades K–5). Girls learn about designing, engineering, and manufacturing vehicles, as well as the future of mobility. They design their own vehicles, test prototypes, learn about design thinking, create their own assembly line manufacturing process, and more. Only 13% of engineers are women, underscoring the need for these badges which will introduce more girls to the field. Funded by General Motors.

Civics (grades K–12). Girls gain an in-depth understanding of how local, state, and federal government works, preparing them to be voters, activists, and even political leaders. They research laws and how they’re created, voting, and the electoral college, the representation of women in government, and more. They also research their own government officials and are encouraged to meet them. Just 24% of eighth-graders are proficient in civics, and only two in five American adults can name the three branches of U.S. government, highlighting the need for these badges. Funded by the Citi Foundation.

Steady leadership is essential during a crisis such as COVID-19, from fostering trust and showing compassion, to managing challenges with agility, to evaluating outcomes of decisions. The Girl Scout program is proven to develop strong and effective leaders—among many positive outcomes, Girl Scouts are much likelier than non-Girl Scouts to take an active role in decision making (80% vs. 51%), which is a critical aspect of leadership.

“As soon as Girl Scouts in southeastern Louisiana heard the news of the pandemic, they took action collecting food for food banks, donating cookies to healthcare workers, and sewing masks for first responders,” says Rebecca Pennington, CEO of Girl Scouts Louisiana East, “Girl Scouts equips girls with the leadership skills, entrepreneurial minds, and self-confidence to tackle any challenge they are faced with, including a national pandemic.”

“Now more than ever, it’s critical that we have strong leaders who can make informed decisions that make the world a better, safer place,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “During our current health crisis, the world leaders who have been among the most decisive and effective in addressing the pandemic have been women. With these new badge experiences in STEM, entrepreneurship, and the critically important subject of civics, Girl Scouts is continuing to build the transformational female leaders of today and the future and showing girls the power they have to truly change the world.”

Girl Scouts has made free self-guided activities from select new and existing programming available digitally to the public through Girl Scouts at Home™, keeping families engaged and connected to their communities. Girls can further engage with the badges and topics through online videos, activities, or special live virtual events. Members can access a suite of Girl Scouts’ programming digitally through the Volunteer Toolkit, including troop meeting plans and other resources to help girls earn badges and awards.

In addition, beginning this summer, all councils will also have the opportunity to host their own Girl Scout Cyber Challenge sponsored by Raytheon Technologies, enabling middle and high school girls to learn crucial cybersecurity skills as they compete in challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes. The Cyber Challenge prepares girls to pursue careers in computer science and cybersecurity.

To join or volunteer, visit

Girl Scouts Louisiana East is the an organization for leadership development of girls, grades K to 12, in 23 parishes of southeast Louisiana. Chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA, GSLE serves more than 10,200 girls, with 3,400 adult members. Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit

Local History

Covington History: Cemetery No. 1

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Covington History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet. View his blog Tammany Family here.

CW photo by C. Cochrane 2016

The Covington Cemetery No. 1 has been a maintenance challenge over the years, and it was in pretty bad shape in the early 1990’s, that is until a group of community preservationists got involved. Here’s the story.

Click to enlarge

The History of Covington Cemetery No. 1 was published in 1988 by the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce Auxiliary. Entitled “The Legends of Covington Cemetery No. 1: Covington, LA, 175th Anniversary 1813-1988” the 166-page book contains volumes of information about the cemetery and who is buried within. Click on the image below for several paragraphs from the beginning of the book:

click to enlarge

(From “Legends of Covington Cemetery No. 1” Published 1988)

In May of 1813, John Wharton Collins bought from Jacques Dreux, the Spanish land grant that DREUX had received in 1803. It was 40 arpents by 40 arpents and on the West side of the Bogue Falaya and included the new town of St. Jacques.

Collins paid $2300.00 for the Dreux tract which included the entire 40 arpents by 40 arpents except for four small lots 60 x 120 both that Dreux had sold to Mr. Tate, Mr Edwards, Mr. McGehee and Mr. Brooks. All lots were in the vicinity of the present day Bogue Falaya Park.

CW photo by C. Cochrane 2016

On July 4, 1813, John Wharton Collins dedicated “A plan of a portion of land, laid out under the title of the Division of St. John of Wharton”. In 1816 a bill was introduced in the State Legislature “To change the name of the Town of Wharton to that of Covington.* This was done against the wishes of its founder, John Wharton Collins .

In 1817 Collins became ill and by December it was necessary to move him to New Orleans where he died two days after Christmas. “His remains were brought back to Covington, sealed in a lead coffin, by the little mail boat.

CW photo by C. Cochrane 2016

“He was buried in the ground of his choice at the corner of Columbia and Kirkland Street. John Wharton Collins was twenty-nine years old at the time of his death.” He left a widow, Marie Elizabeth Tabiteau,and one son, five year old Thomas Wharton Collins .

His widow within six months married his nephew John GIBSON.1

On November 11, 1822, John Gibson and Marie Elizabeth Gibson sold to the Town of Covington for $35.00, two lots of ground in Square 25 (now Square 27) “both now used and to be used as a Public Burying ground”.2

On December 10, 1822, John Gibson and Marie Elizabeth Gibson sold two more lots in Square 25 (now Square 27) for $35.00, “the said Lots shall be exclusively used and appropriated as a burying ground for said Town.”3

CW photo by C. Cochrane 2016

In the same year, 1822, “Timothy Flint, that roving Presbyterian preacher …, remarked in his ‘Recollections’ that this cemetery was one of the neatest and best kept he had found in his travels throughout this section of the State.”4

Ninety-one years later in 1913 sadly this was no longer the case “the present unkempt and rundown appearance of the cemetery is a reflection upon our town and its people.” The Womens Progressive Union decided to “undertake an improvement in the Covington Cemetery.”5

click to enlarge

They found that “this is a big, weighty matter and fraught with many difficulties…”.6 By April of 1913 The W.P.0. had a cemetery committee which was composed of the following women; Mrs. Preston Burns, Chairman; Mrs. Clifton Burns, Mrs. J.B. Worthan, Mrs. H.T.G. Weaver, Mrs. B.B. Warren, Miss Carrie Frederick, Mrs. J. Millaley, Mrs. J.B. Lancaster, Mrs. Wallace Poole, Mrs. Albert Smith, Mrs. H.H. Smith, Mrs. V. Planche, Mrs. W.A. White, Mrs. L.M. Bourgeois and Mrs. Wm. Bodebender, ex-officio.”7

By May of that year The Farmer was able to report “Through the efforts of E. J. Frederick the town council donated $50 to the fund and made provisions for a monthly payment of $15.00 and the Union is pledged to $50. A committee was appointed to obtain subscriptions and to write to non-residents who are lot owners.”8

CW photo by C. Cochrane 2016

In June of the same year articles continued to appear in The Farmer about the cemetery and the work being done there by the women of W.P.U. “Mrs. Clifton BURNS and Mrs. Preston BURNS are active in the work of the Womens’ Progressive Union in connection with cleaning up and beautifying of the Covington cemetery.

CW photo by C. Cochrane 2016

“They live but a short distance from the cemetery and can be seen coming from the grounds any evening after six o’clock, not on dress parade either, but in a garb meeting the requirements of those who use ‘elbow grease’ as well as persuasive language. The cemetery is already wonderfully changed, and the removal of rubbish has brought to light dilapidated tombs and piles of brick which once were tombs, but which have put an appearance of crumbling foundations of ancient and desecrated structures of generations ago. In fact, some of them are known to be over a century and a quarter old.”9


  1. Schwartz, Adrian D. Sesquicentennial in St. Tammany, 1963,
    Reprinted 1973 by Carols’ Corner. Covington, La. p. 12,
    20, 21.
  2. St. Tammany Clerk of Court, Covington, La., COB A/640
  3. Ibid, COB A/654
  4. Schwartz, p. 20
  5. St. Tammany Farmer, Covington, La. January 18, 1913
  6. Ibid, February 15, 1913
  7. Ibid, April 19, 1913
  8. Ibid, May 3, 1913
  9. Ibid, June 7, 1913

See also:

Check out Ron Barthet’s blog Tammany Family for more great local history! More photos related to this post here.

Local Events Non Profit Spotlight

Playmakers Theater “A Chorus Line” This Weekend Only

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Playmakers Theater hosts “A Chorus Line” this weekend with Friday, Saturday and Sunday seatings. The production will also be available for live streaming on Friday and Saturday nights, provided by Pop Up Productions.

THE STORY: A CHORUS LINE is a stunning concept musical capturing the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition. Exploring the inner lives and poignant ambitions of professional Broadway gypsies, the show features one powerhouse number after another. Memorable musical numbers include “What I Did for Love, “One,” “I Can Do That,” “At the Ballet,” “The Music and the Mirror,” and “I Hope I Get It.” A brilliantly complex fusion of song, dance, and compellingly authentic drama, A CHORUS LINE was instantly recognized as a classic. Learn more about A Chorus Line here.

In order to keep patrons, volunteers and cast members safe, Playmakers will be implementing the following procedures during the production of A Chorus Line:

  • Seating is limited.
  • There will be no-contact temperature checks at the door.
  • Masks are required.
  • All of our volunteers will wear masks.
  • There will be no reserved seating. Patrons will be escorted to their seats with social distancing practices in mind.
  • The theater will be cleaned and sanitized after each performance.
  • Concessions will not be available.
  • Hand sanitizer will be accessible.

Playmakers Go Fund Me – Save Our Stage

Since 1955, Playmakers Theatre of Covington, Louisiana, has provided Southeast Louisiana and especially Covington with live theatre productions. The flood in March 2016 wiped out our resources and we have fought hard to continue. Now, with COVID-19 and the challenges it brings, we are reaching out to our beloved community to help us reach our goal. We want nothing more than to continue providing live theatre to our audience. But we need your help! Playmakers needs an income of about $3,000.00 per month to meet all basic needs. This does not include the cost of rights, scripts, costumes, sets and the many other expenses that come with producing a quality show. Because of the virus, we had to cancel two of our mainstage shows and shut our doors for the safety and well being of our audiences and volunteers.

2020 has been a year of many losses for us. We are striving to keep our doors open, as are many businesses in our nation. We hope that our community will help us keep going. A donation of any size will make a difference!

Click here to donate to Playmakers Theater!

This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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The following is the Covington Farmer’s Market weekly newsletter by Charlene LeJeune.

Wowzer, friends! Have you been able to see the Comet Swan for the last few evenings? Last night, it had the longest tail we’ve seen yet—a real treat! Well, we have more treats in store and you don’t have to wait for dark to enjoy but you do have to wait till Wednesday. Treat yourself to a stupendous lunch of smokey ribs, German potato salad and smoked Gouda mac N cheese. Where? Driskell’s BBQ, of course! Want something lighter, then Kandy’s fabulous lemongrass chicken salad is the treat for you. Just think…slices of chicken, infused with lemongrass atop rice noodles and crisp lettuce with cucumber and cilantro and mint… that’s surely a treat! Jerry has his hot pepper honey again and, yes, definitely, blueberry jam. Lots of eggs and figs at Double K Farms. Kristen will even have some garden gold just in case you are starting to think about a fall garden.

Golden Light at the Covington Farmers Market

Ross has added duck broth and also duck fat to his wealth of duck products and is promising something special for Saturday. Jerome has more of his awesome Quiche Lorraine this week…so creamy…so delicious. Mr. Houston will have lots of peppers; what a tremendously flavorful veggie to add to most dishes! Henderson’s Hearth will be there with fabulous soup and baking mixes. Don’t forget to check out Golden Light. Mignon’s coffee substitute is truly delicious. I won’t say that you can’t tell the difference but it’s a full bodied flavor that you will enjoy and, with all the nutritional benefits of the roots and mushrooms she uses, so will your body. Dive into a delightful “burger” from Bhakti Farms. John uses beets and black beans to create this masterpiece which he tops with avocado, sprouts (from Sam no less), and a spicy sauce. YUM!

Aaahhh, Saturday at the market! Is there anything better? Vinyl Highway will drive tunes from the gazebo so grab a coffee from the pavilion, a veggie pancake from Meme’s and you are good to shop!

Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm at the Covington Farmers Market

Naturally, we have gorgeous veggies all through the market… eggplant here, okra there, peppers everywhere! Nick will have bunches of zinnias and purslane for the next few weeks. Purslane? you ask. Yes, this tasty little “weed” is a nutrition powerhouse, offering 7 times the beta-carotene of carrots, 6 times more vitamin E than spinach and tons of Omega 3 fatty acids. Combine that a nutrition blast from Aminta’s microgreens and Sam’s sprouts and you should be fit as a fiddle and ready to dosey-do.

Still have plenty of peaches and tomatoes from Cleckler Farms and definitely, figs galore. Greg may have a few melons this week, but the rains have really done a number on that crop. Remember to pick up your elderberry syrup from Naturally Well. Not saying it’s a cure, but between the weather and the virus, it’s good to have something that can add a nutritional boost your immune system.

Huckleberry Fred’s goat products at the Covington Farmers Market

Our artisan bakers have been busy. Happy Flour is using figs very creatively in all their treats. Their sourdough and sandwich breads are amazing and they have something to fit all tastes. Bear Creek Road is quickly becoming famous for her fantastic pizzas. Customers flip between Jennifer’s Margherita Pizza and the Zucchini & Herb pizza. She also has her butter blends again — Brown Sugar Honey, Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Parmesan. How lovely would that Garlic Parmesan taste over roasted spaghetti squash? No? Well then, you’ll just have to try her special pasta sauces.

Duck fat, duck broth and now duck prosciutto — yes, Ross says he will have duck prosciutto this Saturday. Think of the possibilities with the abundance of figs at the market and the goat cheeses from Huckleberry Fred’s!

So don’t forget to set your clock for stupendous! Fight the urge to sleep in…Saturday afternoon naps are really wonderful. The tastes are fantastic; the flavors abundant and the smiles are everywhere. How many more reasons do you need to be at the market each week?

Lots of love
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit

Check out our Facebook page –
On Instagram — @covingtonlafarmersmarket

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmer’s Market Recipes: Summertime Grilled Corn Fiesta Kebab

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Time to break out the grill for these fresh and flavorful kebabs! Try add ons like shrimp, steak bits or portabella mushrooms – the possibilities are endless!

Inspired by fresh local ingredients in season at the Covington Farmer’s Market

grilled corn 2   4 ears of corn, shucked & cut into 2 – 3 inch chunks
   1 large bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
   1 large onion, cut into 1 inch squares
   2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil
   Coarse sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
   Fresh juice from 1 lime
   ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
   About 15  8-inch wooden grilling skewers

Soak skewers in water while you prepared the grill – heat to medium high.

Put your veggies on the skewers with the corn on the cob in the middle, alternate the bell peppers and onions on either side. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes until tender, turning occasionally. Squeeze a little bit of the fresh lime juice on just towards the end.

When done, roll the kebabs in the rest of the fresh lime juice and cilantro. Enjoy!

Flora of Covington

Wildlife Lookout: Common Oaks of St. Tammany

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Oak is a name ascribed to trees and shrubs in the genus Quercus, a part of the beech family, Fagaceae. The genus, native to the Northern Hemisphere, includes approximately 600 species. North America has the most variation of species, with about 90 in the US alone. Covington, Louisiana, is home to many of them.

Oak species found in Louisiana include post oak, Shumard oak, Nuttall oak, water oak, swamp chestnut oak, blackjack oak, overcup oak, laurel oak, bluejack oak, southern red oak, white oak and live oak. Other varieties in the region are the willow oak, sawtooth oak, cherrybark oak and turkey oak.

Today we’ll talk about 5 species that can be found right here in Covington – the swamp laurel oak, southern red oak, Nuttall oak, water oak and southern live oak.

The swamp laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia) is a medium to large semi-evergreen tree growing 60 – 100 feet tall. Leaves are long, pointed, lending to its other name “diamond-leaf oak”. Smooth, usually lobe-less leaves make this tree easily confused for a live oak – however, the laurel’s leaves are longer and more pointed. The laurel oak is also a taller tree once mature and lacks the live oak’s long, drooping branches.

The southern red oak (Quercus falcata), often called Spanish oak, has long leaves with 1 distinct end lobe and often 1 – 3 lobes on each side. Its leaves are shiny green on top, with rust-colored or gray soft hairs beneath, turning reddish-brown in fall. The bark is dark gray with broad ridges and plates. Height ranges from 50 to 100 feet, although some wild specimens are noted to have grown even taller. The cherrybark oak is a variety of the southern red oak with smooth, cherrylike bark.

Nuttall oak (Quercus texana) is a large tree native to the Mississippi River valley with an average height of 60 to 100 feet. Also erroneously referred to as a pin oak because of its similar foliage, it was not distinguished as a separate species until 1927 by Thomas Nuttall. Leaves are deeply divided into 5-7 narrow long-pointed lobes, dark green above and lighter, fuzzy underside. Nuttall oak is known for its showy red leaves in fall. Acorns are oblong with dark stripes.

water oak leaves and acorns
water oak bark

Which brings us to the two most common oaks here in Covington – the water oak and the southern live oak. The water oak (Quercus nigra) stands at 50 to 100 feet, and as its name suggests, loves to grow along rivers and wetlands. Leaves are long, wedge-shaped, with a rounded slightly 3-lobed tip, dull blueish-green above, turning yellow in late fall and shedding in winter. The water oak is also called the spotted oak, named for the white splotches on its dark gray bark.

Southern Live Oak at Covington Cemetery #1

The southern live oak may be the most recognized or revered of the oaks – its large, drooping branches, usually moss and fern covered, have become a symbol of the quintessential southern tree. A shorter species only growing to about 60 feet, it tends to be wider than it is tall, with limbs stretching out to an 80 foot average canopy.

The name live oak comes from it being an ‘evergreen’ tree – for that reason other evergreen oaks are often called live oak as well. Most commonly it refers to the southern live oak, Quercus virginiana, also called Virginia Live Oak. Defining the species of live oaks can be tricky – with ongoing controversy surrounding classifying varieties and hybidizations as distinct subspecies. While the southern live oak will retain its leaves nearly year-round, it is not a true evergreen, dropping leaves immediately before new growth in spring.

Seven Sisters Oak in Lewisberg, LA, Live Oak Society President

The southern live oak is also celebrated for its longevity. Many live oaks in St. Tammany Parish are cited to be between 100 – 500 years old. Locally well known for keeping records of old Live 0aks is the Live Oak Society (LOS). The membership of this society is made up of Live Oak trees – a tree must have a circumference of 8 feet to become a member. Those with a circumference of 16 feet or more are known as “Centenarians” with an estimated age of 100 years or more. LOS boasts a membership of 9,153 trees in 14 states and is under the auspices of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation, Inc. Currently the largest tree in its membership and honored as the Society’s President, the Seven Sisters Oak in Mandeville is estimated by foresters to be 1200 years old, with a girth of over 38 feet. This oak is also the National Champion on the National Register of Big Trees.

References for this article:

Local News

COVID Update by Zip Code – 70433 & 70435

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The following is an update from Covington Mayor Mark Johnson. Sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails at

The Post Office in Covington serves the 70433 and 70435 zip codes. This covers an area of 150 square miles and a population of about 60,000.

The City of Covington only accounts for about 11,000 of that 60,000. This often leads to confusion among residents that “have a Covington address” but do not actually live in Covington. These residents live in “unincorporated St. Tammany” just as those in Metairie live in unincorporated Jefferson Parish.

Infections in 70433 and 70435 on the Rise

Throughout most of June Covington zip codes averaged 3 – 4 new Covid infections each day (think 100 per month). The hospital occupancy rate declined from a high of 42 to a low of 2. Few of us personally knew anyone infected.

As of the first 15 days of July, we are now experiencing an average of 14 – 15 new cases per day (think 400 per month). The symptoms range from minor (loss of taste) to severe illness to death. St. Tammany Health System’s hospitalizations increased to 22, then to 28. I now know of 11 people infected (including one hospitalized and one dead).

St. Tammany Health System (STHS) continues to be ready and active in this fight. Early innovations and altered operations have served our community well. They continue to be stocked up and prepared for surge capacity, and continue to innovate as needed.

Please wear a mask, wash your hands, keep a social distance of six feet from others, contain coughs and sneezes and stay home when you feel ill. Infection prevention comes down to individual personal responsibility. It is on each of us to bear the responsibility of containing this disease and slowing its spread.

While this escalation is cause for heightened awareness, it is no cause for alarm. The Hospital has expanded bed capacity and arranged isolation units to best prepare for a balance between caring for COVID and non-COVID patients. They have implemented safe waiting spaces in all locations and have plans for more.

Thanks to Fire Chief Gary Blocker and to Melissa Hodgson of STHS for their assistance in compiling this information.

City Hall, Public Works

We have one infection each at City Hall and Public Works. All individuals with direct contact have been tested and are working from home. If positive, they will continue their quarantine. City Hall business should be conducted by phone or e-mail whenever or wherever possible. Public Works is working “on call” for emergencies only till more testing results are available.

Utility Bill Pay: C’mon man, it’s 2020

For those with checking accounts and solid account balances, please consider auto-check withdrawal. Much of the work in our utility billing department is opening thousands of pieces of mail, endorsing thousands of checks, depositing them and then data entry into accounts receivable. Twentieth century processes in the 21st century – very inefficient.

If you opt for auto-draft, always be certain to check your bill against the withdrawal. Regarding “bills,” I hope for us to offer paperless billing soon.

Automatic Bank Draft Authorization Form

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Pet of the Week

Adoptable Pet of the Week

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Northshore Humane Society’s Adoptable Pet of the Week


Harley is a five-month-old puppy currently in a foster home with the Fortner family. Here is what they had to say about Miss. Harley:

“She really is the sweetest girl. She loves playing with other puppies. She is one of those special girls that will play hard and then lounge in the house with you. She loves peanut butter Kong’s and squeaky balls. She is a perfect car rider and is great on a leash. She is going to make a great addition to any family!”

Come see Harley today:
➡️ Apply:
➡️ Once approved, a counselor will set up a time for you to come by to meet her!

Northshore Humane Society is one of Louisiana’s largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal welfare organizations serving the neglected and abandoned animals of the Northshore region since 1953. NHS is an independent, non-governmental rescue that offers veterinary care, fostering, adoption, and more. Go to to learn more!

Quote & Word of the Week

Quote & Word of the Week

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Quote of the Week

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Word of the Week

mul·ti·va·lent /ˌməltēˈvālənt,ˌməlˌtīˈvālənt/
having or susceptible of many applications, interpretations, meanings, or values.
“visually complex and multivalent work”
having several differing opinions; disagreeing

Local News

Mayor Mark Talks Tax Millage Rollback/Rollup

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The following is an update from Covington Mayor Mark Johnson. Sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails at

Exactly what does the millage rollback and / or millage roll up mean to Covington?

Quite Frankly, Not Much

By State law, each Assessor’s office in Louisiana must reassess the appraised value of every property in their jurisdiction every 4 years.

2020 is our year.

For the most part, we in St. Tammany enjoy a wonderful quality of life: safety, security, recreation, natural beauty, good education and lovely cultural arts and events. Demand for housing in our area continues to increase. Hence, our property values continue to increase.

Increased values could mean increased tax revenue for governmental entities. To prevent an automatic windfall, State law requires that millages be “rolled back” to an amount that remains revenue neutral. Subsequently, the taxing body may then “roll up” the millage back to its earlier amount. Since the higher millage was originally approved by the voters the first time, it does not require a second vote of the people.


The City of Covington has the lowest property taxes in all of St.Tammany Parish. There are a few reasons for this:

1) No dedicated millage for recreation. The voters of Rec District #1 (Mandeville, Pelican Park), Rec District #14 (Madisonville area, Coquille) and Rec District # 12 (Folsom, Magnolia Park) have all approved a tax dedicated specifically to their recreation. The voters in the Rec District # 10 (Covington area) have voted “No” three times. Hence, residents of the other districts pay a tax we do not pay.

2) Fire Departments are expensive. Most areas of the Parish have a tax dedicated to their Fire Department. The voters of Covington also have a dedicated tax, albeit with a shortfall of $1,000,000 annually. Hence, though we pay taxes for Fire, it does not cover the cost of the department. The balance comes from the general fund. Other areas of the Parish pay for Fire.

3) Personal observation: Many City employees are underpaid. Not only is this true within our Police Department, but I see it throughout Public Works, Admin and Fire. Often this results in loss of experienced personnel.

Covington Millages

We have two millages affected by the rollback: General Millage (i.e. general fund) and Fire Millage.

The General Millage is 7.5 mills. In 2019, it generated $934,000 in revenue. As mentioned, by State law, that rate is being reduced to 7.08 mills – so the amount collected will remain at $934,000. Should the Council choose to return the rate to 7.5 mills, the City would then collect $990,000 … an increase of $56,000 per year.

The Fire Millage is 10 mills. In 2019 it generated $1,245,000. By law, it will be reduced to 9.43 mills. Should the Council choose to return the rate to 10 mills, the City would collect an additional $74,000.

The combined increase is $130,000. There are 6,967 property tax payers in Covington. $130,000 / 6,967 = $18.66 additional per year.


In the paper or on social media you may see warnings of elected officials “raising your taxes.” Important to note is the order of magnitude. If the City Council chooses not to roll up the millages, citizens in Covington will nary feel it. We will continue to enjoy our current quality of life.

If the Council does raise the millage, I doubt you will notice the increase costs nor will you notice an improvement in our standard of living.

Around the office I refer to the $130,000 in question as “sidewalk money.” It will not make a difference in employee pay, in widening Collins Blvd. or in replacing broken sewer lines. With it, we could fix some sidewalks.

The Council will address the issue this Tuesday, July 21st, 5:30pm at the Council Chambers.

No Need to Peek through a Window

To see what Samantha and Darrin were up to, Mrs. Kravitz would hide behind her blinds and peek through the window.

To know what your tax bill is (or your neighbor’s tax bill!), you can use the St. Tammany Parish Assessor’s website. No need to hide behind the blinds.

You can search by name, address or by map (GIS parcel viewer) … also very handy for looking up mailing addresses. If you remember Mrs. Kravitz, then you remember mailing addresses. St. Tammany Parish Assessor’s Office

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