Covington History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet. View Ron’s blog Tammany Family here.
Where did Theard Street in Covington get its name, especially considering almost every other street is either a number or the name of a President? Information from records researched by Jack Terry offered this possibility.
Arthur Theard Tract called Morgan Commerce and Virtue
Thomas Collins acquired a parcel of land in the town of Wharton designated as a square called Morgan Commerce and Virtue (C-1 415 21 Jan 1832) along with a number of other lots in the Division of St John as a result of a court judgement against the Gibson’s.
This specific tract was not specifically spelled out in the partition documents. It is most likely part of the 13 squares between Adams and Madison streets. Thomas Collins sold the parcel called Morgan Commerce and Virtue to Alexander Buchannon and John Lewis Theiling (F-1 15 10 Mar 1837).
This property was then acquired by Sarah Delano at a State of Louisiana tax sale from an unknown owner on 20 March 1875 who in turn sold the property to Arthur Theard on 11 June 1877 (I 258). The tract called Morgan Commerce and Virtue divides it from the Division of Winter and separates it from the Division of St John according to the property description in I 258.
Arthur Theard sold his interest in the Division of Morgan Commerce and Virtue. To insure clear title Theard obtained from the decedents of John Theilan a conveyance of their ½ interest in Morgan Commerce and Virtue. In addition Theard obtained a release of any claims to the property from John Buchannon in exchange for square 2 in the Division of Morgan Commerce and Virtue (I 351 27 Oct 1879)
Theard St., which at one time was on the edge of town, is now flanked by key government offices.
On Wednesday, November 11th, from 5:30-9:30pm, the 4th Annual event for Oxtoberfest, but the INAUGURAL Beer & Bites Crawl will take place at the Covington Trailhead and throughout downtown Covington. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at www.oxtoberfest.org. (*Rain date is Thur, Nov 12th).
Tickets include small plate tastings and beer pairings at local downtown restaurant sidewalks including: Lola, OxLot 9, Del Porto, Seiler Bar, Cured on Columbia & Beck N Call. The Shack, Hoo Doo Ice cream, and Campbell’s coffee will also be serving up some favorites at the Trailhead as well. The evening kicks off at the Covington Trailhead for check-in and the first course at 5:30pm, and patrons can sidewalk crawl in any order to the other 6+ participating restaurants throughout downtown until 7:45 pm, where the evening will continue back at the Covington Trailhead for the dessert course and final beer pairing. At this final stop, patrons will enjoy live music by Jeff Cryer’s Tribute to Motown, and a live auction beginning at 8pm. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club- Covington Unit and the event concludes at 9:30 pm.
While the Oxtoberfest Committee was disappointed to have to cancel their traditional beer fest in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions, they are excited for the opportunity to “pivot” and think outside the box, creating this exciting new event that supports both the local fine dining restaurants as well at the Covington Boys & Girls Club. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time and will be limited so that proper social distancing can take place. The outdoor, walkable concept allows for people to casually stroll and enjoy the fall weather and sights of downtown as they sample each participating restaurants “bites” and “beer pairings.”
Event chairs, Nick and Cody Ludwig, saw the opportunity to create something really fun for their community while also supporting restaurants in town who took a hit during the spring/summer by having to shut down or operate on to-go orders only saying, “There was no way we could lean on these restaurants for donations at this time, they have suffered enough. So instead of relying on traditional ways to put on an event, we figured we’d move the event to them and use sponsorship dollars to pay the restaurants while also earning funds for the Covington Boys & Girls Club (who also took a huge financial hit from Covid-19 by having to cancel 3 other fundraisers).”
“The Covington Boys & Girls Club changes futures of the youth in our community, it is incredibly important to Covington that they be able to keep their doors open and allow a safe place for kids to go after school, be able to attend summer camp, meet adult mentors and many other opportunities…Now more than ever, they need funding and we are more than happy to execute Oxtoberfest events that allow us to fundraise for them 4 years in a row and many more years to come,” Ludwig says. “We can’t wait to see everyone for this unique event!”
Sponsorships are still available, if you or your company have an auction item or room in your budget to support this great cause, please send info/inquiries to email@example.com
Covington History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet. View Ron’s blog Tammany Family here.
In the early years of the 20th century, the city scape of Covington underwent significant changes because of fires raging through the downtown area. Four fires between 1898 and 1911 changed the character of Covington’s central business district.
During his research projects with the Covington Heritage Foundation, Jack Terry has come across a great deal of information about these fires, using early Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, newspaper accounts of the time, and census records to document the damage these fires did to specific buildings and downtown Covington as a whole.
The first fire to destroy a significant portion of downtown Covington was on November 11,1898. This fire which started in the Town Hall which was in the middle of the block bounded by Columbia, Boston, Rutland and Florida. The New Orleans Daily States of Nov 11, 1898, provides details of the buildings that were destroyed on Columbia, Boston, Rutland and Florida streets as a result of the fire.
Click on the images and newspaper articles to see them in a larger size.
According to the St Tammany Farmer all of the buildings burned with the exception of a brick building owned by Hardy Smith were frame structures and represented little value.
Frame construction was the norm in Covington. It wasn’t until mid-1905 that the city passed an ordinance that required the approval of detailed plans for any building or repair that cost more than $50.00.
Nevertheless by 1909 the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company map of Columbia street between Boston and Rutland showed frame construction was still the norm. Only four of the buildings damaged in the 1898 fire were reconstructed with bricks by 1909.
The second serious fire that devastated portions of downtown Covington occurred August 23, 1906. According to newspaper accounts the fire started in the store of Mr. W. N. Patrick on Columbia street. The fire spread across the street and destroyed Preston Burns store, home and cottage located at the NW corner of Lockwood and Columbia as well as a number of other buildings on Columbia between Gibson and Kirkland.
Map of Buildings Damaged Along Columbia Street in 1906
According to the newspaper account of this fire, the City of Covington had no fire engine and citizens fought the fire with buckets and by dynamiting a number of smaller buildings to prevent the fire from spreading. Merchants resorted to a technique of having the citizens remove stock from their building to limit fire damage. The buildings on Columbia street at this time were still of wooden frame construction and the value of these commercial building were in many cases less than the merchandise held in the store for sale. For example, Bernard Barrere leased the two-story wooden frame building on Columbia Street in June, 1904 for $30 per month.
In October 1908, the citizens created the Covington Benevolent and Fire Protective Association for the protection of their properties from fire losses. Emile Beaucoudray was elected Chief of the fire department and J. L. Smith elected assistant chief. In early 1909 the fire company decided to procure a fire engine for the Bucket Brigade at a cost of $750. Covington’s new fire engine was guaranteed to force water through 1500 feet of hose a distance of 160 feet.
Nevertheless, the new fire department had serious problems fighting the third significant fire to strike Covington in less than 12 years. The Covington House hotel located on Rutland caught fire and spread rapidly because strong winds. The fire also consumed the Masonic hall, several cottages, and the warehouse of the Jones and Pickett Company.
According to an October 30th article in the St Tammany Farmer the fire department was hampered by an insufficient supply of water caused by the incompatibility of the two and one eight couplings on the fire plugs with the two-inch fire hoses and obstructions in a second line. Only a wind shift and the dedicated work of the volunteer fire fighters kept this fire from spreading to the entire business district.
The fourth and most disastrous fire to devastate Covington occurred on June 12, 1911. The photograph above shows Columbia street prior to start of the fire. According to newspaper accounts the fire started in the barn of Joseph Brocato’s by children playing with matches. The fire department attempted to contain the fire near Brocato’s store however it soon spread to the adjoining two story Frederick building. The combination of a brisk breeze, an inadequate supply of water, intense heat and fears that the Frederick building would collapse on the firefighters resulted in the fire spreading across Columbia street and destroying all the buildings on both sides Columbia between Boston and Rutland. In addition, the fire jumped Rutland street and destroyed the Masonic Temple recently rebuilt after the 1909 fire and a cottage owned by Frederick and Singletary.
The fire also jumped Boston street to the Wherli building directly across from the Frederick building. Firefighters however prevented this building from burning and spreading to the wood frame buildings on that side of Columbia by using water from a tank H J Smith constructed for protection of his store.
Local newspapers articles shown below provide more detail about of this devastating fire and the businesses impacted by the fire.
The map below shows the location of businesses and homes destroyed in the fire on the 1909 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map.
By 1915 the Frederick building, the Covington Bank and Trust bank, and a one-story H H Smith building were restored and are major attractions in present day historic Covington. From the records, it is unclear if the restoration used the burned-out shell of these buildings in their reconstruction.
Then, again in 1920, there was another major fire in downtown Covington, this one close to the Southern Hotel building. Read about it in the newspaper article below. Click on the image to enlarge the view.
As a result of fires, natural disasters and demolition very few late 19th century buildings remain in downtown Covington’s Historic District.
Live music is found downtown at Columbia Street Tap Room, Columbia St. Rock N Blues Cafe and The Green Room. Here’s a look at what’s happening this weekend:
Columbia Street Rock N Blues Cafe has Hot Boiled Crawfish w/Crazy Ray every Wednesday from 6 p.m. til they’re gone! It’s Steak Night and Comedy Night on Thursdays, and Ladies Night with Melo-D on Friday. Saturday night, the Chee-Weez return to Rock N Blues! Bobby Blaze hosts Karaoke at Rock N Blues every Sunday and Wednesday. rocknbluescafe.com
It’s the Covington Cabaret Friday at The Green Room! Saturday, see Todd Lemoine from 8–10 p.m. + Dr. Green & the Funk Machine w/Timothy Gates! Ladies Night Karaoke on Thursdays and Sunday Funday with live music early + Karaoke w/DJ Spicy Fox.
Reserve your place for Star Trek night at the English Tea Room & Eatery. It’s a little out of the box, and it’s generating much interest and excitement! Costumes are not required, but gift cards will be awarded to the best dressed! March 18, 2016, 7–9 p.m. $35/ person. 985-898-3988 www.englishtearoom.com
Spring is right around the corner, but now it’s Crawfish Season! “Crazy Ray’s” Hot Boiled Crawfish at Columbia Street Rock N Blues Cafe every Wednesday, 6 p.m. rocknbluescafe.com 985-892-9949
Covington, LA is serious about crawfish this time of year, and “Crazy Ray” will also be serving Hot Boiled Crawfish with all the fixins’ at Covington Brewhouse on Fridays from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. covingtonbrewhouse.com 985-893-2884
Join Liz Bragdon and the great folks at the Covington Brewhouse on Sunday, February 23 at 11 a.m. for Down Dogs & Drafts. Stretch the old week away and welcome the new surrounded by friends, kegs, and the subtle charm of Downtown Covington. Sweat, find your Warrior, rediscover your balance, embrace your Down Dog and drop into some delicious moments of inner peace – then have a few beers! Kombucha Girl Living Beverages water kefir is also on tap. Drink it up straight or mix with your favorite beer. Yoga Class is 11-12 , and beer-drinking is from 12 ’til close.
Down Dogs & Drafts is every 2nd and final Sunday of the month – if you can’t make this one, don’t worry – be happy, there will be plenty more.
Tickets are $12. This event is limited to 25 people, so pre-purchasing is strongly recommended. Pick your tickets up at the Tasting Room or call Erin: 985-893-2884.
SPRING FOR ART 2016 Save the Date | Saturday, April 9 | 6-9pm Sponsored by Painting with a Twist
Presented by the St. Tammany Art Association (STAA), Painting with A Twist, Champagne Beverage and Fat Tire along with the sponsorship and support of local businesses, galleries and restaurants, the Spring for Art and Fall for Art annual events draw some 4,000 visitors to the historic St. John district each season. New work by dozens of artists from around the Southeast Region are showcased. The free event includes live music at various outdoor and indoor locations, gallery openings, art demonstrations, first-rate boutique shopping, and fine dining throughout Downtown Covington.
Visitors enjoy live performances by local and nationally-renowned musicians, all over the downtown area. Covington’s many restaurants are also open for business. Be sure to keep a printed brochure on hand, available at any participating venue, or download the FREE app for Apple & Android devices available in the App Store and Google Play! Programs with locations and contact information for each participating shop are available at STAA, on the app and at your favorite locations around Covington. www.sttammanyartassociation.org
This week is Live Music Thursdays at the Covington Brewhouse, where you can enjoy local musicians playing great music while sipping delicious Brewhouse brews. This week, Chomper’s BBQ will provide mouth watering BBQ during the jam. Bring along your instrument and sit in on a set! covingtonbrewhouse.com
Columbia Street Rock N Blues Cafe hosts Steak Night and Comedy Night on Thursdays and Ladies Night on Fridays with Melo-D. Saturday night, it’s the Todd O’Neil Band. Bobby Blaze hosts Karaoke Wed. and Sun. rocknbluescafe.com
Femme Festivale returns to The Green Room Friday for “femme festivale II!” 1st Wave Saturday Night Dance Party from 11 p.m. to close! Karaoke on Thursdays and Sunday Funday with live music early + DJ Spicy Fox.
Snappy happy Tuesday, friends! What a day! Now, don’t you worry about tomorrow. I’ve ordered sunshine and blue skies but I think I’ll be overruled on my request for temperatures in the 70s. No matter; we’ll still be at the Covington Trailhead with lots of great food and music. Nanette says she’s preparing her creamy wild rice and mushroom chowder that is so wonderful when the temps are a wee bit chilled. Kandy will not be there, but Chomper’s will offer a choice of smoked sausage po-boys or pulled pork. Frankie’s peach cobbler is on the menu again. Not sure whether or not we’ll have strawberries tomorrow with the weather I’m seeing outside the window at this moment. I know I’d have a hard time surviving out in all this rain and I’m not a sweet li’l berry.
Olga Wilhelmine will be at the Covington Farmer’s Market this Saturday
We’ve got a great Saturday planned as well with Olga Wilhelmine and her jaunty melodies in the gazebo and our faithful Ed Whiteman serving coffee and tea from the pavilion. (Thanks, Ed!) New truck on the block, Old School Eats, will pull up to the curb on Columbia St. and delight us with their deliciosity. They’ll be in the big red school bus; you can’t miss ‘em! Saturday couldn’t be more wonderful – at least until next week!
It’s sad to see not to see Theresa’s Italian cookies at the market but Vincent and Mauricio still have those cute kiddie cookies and balloons available. Hot Tamale Mama is still there, though, with amazing hot tamales, stuffed shells, spinach artichoke dip.… and Johnadelle’s has returned to the market loaded down with fresh strawberries. Slice up a few of those strawberries and add them to your Mauthe’s yogurt or as a topping on one of their divinely luxurious cheesecakes. And then, get another (‘cause you know you’ll have to share.) Probably should get a pound of Coast Roast gourmet coffee (what’s cheesecake without coffee?) Last week, Kevin had a very exotic Yellow Bourbon bean. Not sure how he’s going to top that!
I know the “ladies” have been a little slack on their laying duties but they seem to be back on track and we have plenty of eggs at the market again. Ishmael of Mt. Herman Pork is back with fresh yard eggs and Duroc pork – chops, tenderloin, ribs. Try some ribs on the grill with a glaze of Robin’s Apple Bacon or Blackberry Cabernet pepper jelly.
Tabasco, the Covington Farmers Market mascot Roux-ster
I stocked up on a few bottles of Samantha’s elderberry syrup because I’m beginning to see pollen on the trees (and in the cracks of the sidewalks). Then, I spent a few minutes over at Aunt Bee’s soaps sniffing and chatting and sniffing. What lovely bouquets of fragrance Bridgett has created. Get lost in her Vervain & Olive Blossom, a wonderfully clean scent, or the floral Wild Fig and Cassis, and, for the gentlemen, a manly Beau Brummel. Wait. Wait. Just one more whiff.
Just 19 more hours till Wednesday and 4 whole days to Saturday. Set your countdown clocks, your alarm clocks, your biological clocks, whatever clocks you have to. You really don’t want to miss out!
Lots of love,
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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org
The English Tea Room & Eatery is Sold Out for both of the Downton Abbey Dinner events, but there are more on the way – Don’t miss the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration, and Star Trek night is later in March!
The Tea Room Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day
The Parade begins on Columbia Street and will pass the English Tea Room & Eatery with a celebration to follow! All are welcome, enjoy a hot plate of corned beef and cabbage for St. Paddy’s! Mar. 12, 2016 12–6 p.m.
Star Trek Dinner at The English Tea Room
It’s a little out of the box, but the event is already generating a lot of interest and excitement! Costumes are not required, but they are encouraged. Gift cards will be awarded to the best dressed! March 18th, 2016 from 7 – 9 pm. Reservations are $35 /person in advance.
The English Tea Room & Eatery
Live Music Lunches at The English Tea Room
Now offering a variety of Live Music during lunch (12 p.m. – 2p.m.) Mon – Fri. at the English Tea Room & Eatery. Reservations are required for special events and suggested for Saturdays. Reserve your place now by calling 985-898-3988 or visit the Tea Room online: englishtearoom.com
Jewel’s Cigar & Briar hosts a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration after the parade on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Enjoy Live Music, Green Beer, Kilts, Bagpipes, food, and much more. The parade begins at 12 p.m. and the celebration continues until 6 p.m. Jewel’s Cigar & Briar is located at 201 N. New Hampshire Street in Historic Downtown Covington. Enjoy your cigar or pipe in the sitting area, and browse the extensive cigar and pipe collection. New and Estate pipes available, loose pipe tobacco & local blends. For more information, call 985-892-5746.
Think of Moor mud as a plant extract not from just one plant, but hundreds that reflect the environment of earth 10,000 years ago, without present day pollution. Its uncanny ability to heal, nourish and detoxify has been observed by people for millennia and used scientifically in European Spas for well over a century. This service includes moor mud treatment, as well as light scalp massage with lavender and post-treatment oil application. Call 985-875-1182 for details/to book your appointment.
Cupping was developed thousands of years ago and though the techniques have modernized, the original philosophy remains the same. Cupping involves placing glass, bamboo or plastic jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air. The underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove “heat” and pull out the toxins that linger in your body’s tissues. This treatment includes 30 minutes of cupping massage for the back and 30 minutes of foot reflexology with peppermint essential oil. opcovington.com 985-875-1182
Columbia Street Rock N Blues Cafe hosts Steak Night and Comedy Night on Thursdays and Ladies Night on Fridays with DJ Dizzy and Melo-D. Saturday night, rock out with Supercharger. Bobby Blaze hosts Karaoke Wednesdays & Sundays. rocknbluescafe.com
The Covington Cabaret returns to The Green Room Friday for “The Vice Is Right!” Amedee Frederick performs Saturday night from 9 p.m. – 11 p.m. Dance Party from 11 p.m. to close! Karaoke on Thursdays and Sundays with DJ Spicy Fox. Late Night Food Fri. & Sat.
This Saturday is the second Saturday of the month, when galleries and businesses open for an evening of downtown strolling, enjoying Covington’s Historic St. John Cultural Arts District. Join the St. Tammany Art Association for the opening reception of the Members’ Gallery during 2nd Saturday art walk this Saturday January 9, 2016, 6-8pm.
Presentation of new board members: Members of the St. Tammany Art Association are invited to meet the new 2016 Board Members! Join STAA for light refreshments on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 6:30p.m.
On Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 6:30pm, the St. Tammany Art Association hosts a gallery talk with Suzanne King. Suzanne will discuss her new show entitled “String Theory: The Art of Manipulation” and how her pieces, through the use of androgynous figures, reflect how we are affected by forces within ourselves, outside influences, and those pressures and energies that we cannot control.
Suzanne has been drawing since she was five years old and graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University as an art major. Suzanne continued her studies at Tulane University, where she participated in group shows and won awards in local and regional events. For twenty-four years, Suzanne worked for Shell Oil Company, as its first female draftsman, where she did house publications, television and print media and created graphics for the New Orleans cultural community. Later, she taught art at the expatriate school in Shekou, China, for nearly three years and traveled around the area exploring other art forms. Suzanne returned to Covington in 1994. String Theory will be an exhibition of new work and on display from December 5, 2015 – February 6, 2016.
The St. Tammany Art Association is located at 320 N. Columbia Street, Covington, LA 70433. The exhibition and gallery talk are free and open to the public.
Visit Rosemary’s Closet at 410 N. New Hampshire (on the trace) in historic downtown Covington for vintage clothes, records and more. You might be looking for that perfect Christmas album, or maybe you need a holiday themed tie or scarf. You might even be looking for that just-right “ugly” sweater! Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. or by appointment: 985-264-5085
The English Tea Room and Eatery is a destination point for travelers from across the globe as well as the loyal regular crowd. Both enjoy the large variety of loose teas, simple and hearty meals, and sweet treats to munch on. The Tea Room also offers the opportunity to take the experience home with tea sets, cups and plates, standard tea pots, non conventional tea pots, the Northshore’s largest selection of loose teas, accessories and more! www.englishtearoom.com
History Antiques & Interiors hosts a Holiday Open House on Thursday, December 10, 2015 and Friday December 11, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Enjoy the festive décor with a historic twist: every piece tells a story! From linens to glass ware and candles to wreaths, not to mention hand selected furniture, desks, cupboards, local and regional art, wedding gifts, accessories and much more. Take advantage of 10% off store-wide, plus specials and holiday surprises. Light refreshments will be served.