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Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

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“The best things in history are accomplished by people who get tired of being shoved around.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit—Will Travel

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Robert A. Heinlein at the 1976 World Science Fiction Convention
Local History

Local History: St. Tammany Ice & Manufacturing Company

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

Back in the days when everyone had “ice boxes” instead of refrigerators, it meant you had to have a steady supply of ice delivered to your door. Since ice doesn’t keep well in the summer, it meant there had to be an ice house in every town, and to make ice, it helped to have electricity. So in the early days of electricity, the ice houses generally became the electric generating stations that eventually supplied the entire town not only with cool ice but also with hot electric current.

At least that was the case in Covington, and here are two photographs from the early 20th century to illustrate the point.

Here is the Covington Ice House and Electric plant building. The company had the first generator in Covington, and was awarded the contract to provide the town of Covington with electricity in 1910.

click to view larger

According to a close community source, St. Tammany Ice & Manufacturing Co., Ltd, was a powerful aggressive service business serving the Covington area. This business manufactured and  delivered ice to the businesses and residences in and about Covington and it also shipped ice in box cars to other communities in this area. 

The company also installed a waterworks system in the streets of Covington serving the businesses and residences with good water from deep wells.  Next came the  need for electricity in this area so the company  came forward and installed the equipment to generate electrical current and built  the lines and other service outlets to deliver electrical current to the businesses and residences in the Covington area. 

This service expanded to  cover Abita and Mandeville as well. According to Lawrence Frederick when the motor car trolley was liquidated in 1918 the St Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Company purchased the right of way and electric lines. He wrote “This line was maintained to supply electric current to Mandeville and Abita from the Covington plant.” 

But in addition to these services the company was instrumental in  establishing many other businesses in St. Tammany  Parish. The company was headed and managed and  mostly owned by Edward A. Frederick and Maurice P. Planche, both of Covington. These two men were active in the economic, social and political growth of Covington and the area of west St. Tammany Parish.

Here is an article about the company published in 1919.

click to view larger

Inside the building were a crew of men tending to the big electric generator, which had a big flywheel to keep it running smoothly. 

Above is an advertisement from a 1911 St. Tammany Farmer Newspaper

St. Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Company Ltd., Covington, La., began on Rutland Street between Florida street and North Lee Road. It outgrew this facility and built a new plant.

It housed the ice manufacturing machinery and tanks, and cold storage facility. The plant added the Production of Electric D.C. Current with steam driven generators. Current generated from these projects was transmitted over the lines to homes and to businesses in and about Covington. 

This facility was later expanded to include Abita Springs and Mandeville, as the industry progressed this plant was compelled to convert to alternating current and purchased diesel engines and alternating generators and installed them. This change also demanded the use of different transmission lines and the installation of transformers along the lines. 

Their personnel had to be trained in the use of this new machinery and material. The company had to secure a franchise with the several towns which it supplied electric current to. This company also served the Covington area with water supply and had to install and maintain the pipe lines and the pumps needed to pump the water and to maintain sufficient pressure for normal use and for fire protection. 

This was a stock company but was primarily owned and operated by E. J. Frederick and M.P. Planche. They furnished the inspiration and often the financial backing and promotional activity for many other businesses in the Covington area.

St. Tammany Ice & Manufacturing Company also had the largest flowing water well in the State of Louisiana.   The building was located at 500 N. Theard Street, where “The Market” now stands across the street from the southern end of the new parish courthouse.

The Deep Water Well Supplying Covington

This new well was the largest flowing water well in the state of Louisiana. It was drilled in excess of 2000 feet and flowed 400 gallons per minute. The water was used for the plant and to supply the town of Covington with water for its water system. The St. Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Co. installed the water mains, the property connections, water meters and operated the entire waterworks system. 

Also fire hydrants were placed along the mains. The pumping plant had special fire pumps to increase the water pressure into the mains at time of a fire. On two corners in the center of town large reservoirs were dug underground and stored thousands of gallons of water to support the fire pumps in these area.

1917

It was located on Theard between 25th Ave. and 26th Ave. (Ruby on the map)

Dr. John R. Vercellotti of Covington recalls that “Jules Vergez had a better feel for the technologically advanced components (of installing electric wiring). The Vergez family lived right across the street from the St. Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Co., which became the first electricity-producer in the area. The company needed the electricty to make ice, and nobody else in the area was making electricity, so Jules talked them into letting him run a wire from the plant over to their house where it powered a single light bulb hanging down from the ceiling of his mother’s kitchen.”  As a result, Mrs. Vergez had the first residential electric light in Covington. “That was really something, and they always laughed about that,” Vercellotti said. 

Read more local history: tammanyfamily.blogspot.com

Local History

Local History: Covington Street Photos – 1970’s

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

Here’s a collection of photos of streets in downtown Covington in the 1970’s, as well as a couple of Claiborne Hill photos.

Boston Street Southern Hotel

Above, Fair Parade October 5, 1979

Boston Street in Front of Old Courthouse

Boston Street across from Old Courthouse

Columbia Street, looking north from Rutland. Heritage Bank is where White’s Store was.

Columbia Street, looking northward towards Boston Street

Hebert Drugs, where del Porto Restaurant is today.

New Hampshire St., looking northward from Boston St.

New Hampshire St., looking northward from Gibson Street, showing Burns Furniture Company and Ben Franklin Variety Store. The Youth Service Bureau is where the Ben Franklin store was located. 

New Hampshire St., looking northward from Rutland St.

Corner Boston and New Hampshire Streets

Southern Hotel building

Claiborne Hill, looking east from the overpass

Southern Hotel Building

Boston Looking Eastward From New Hampshire

Badeaux’s Drive In, 21st Avenue at Tyler Street

Columbia St., looking north from Rutland St.

Columbia Street Washateria, where the St. Tammany Art Association is now.

Covington Motors Staff, across from train depot on N. New Hampshire

Boston St., Looking East from Columbia Street

Boston Street, looking towards bridge from overpass. Holden’s Gulf Service Station is at left

Holden’s Texaco

A & P Supermarket

Lee Lane at Boston, Chamber building

Two photos of Southern Hotel under renovation

Covington High (CJ Shoen) 1974

The Werhli House on New Hampshire Street, located in area now a parking lot for Citizens Bank

Read more local history at tammanyfamily.blogspot.com

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Local History

Local History: Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 4

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Covington History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet. View Ron’s blog Tammany Family here.
This article has been broken up into 4 parts for ease of reading.

Historical Markers

According to the Historical Marker Project website, there are 45 historical markers in St. Tammany Parish. They share a variety of historical highlights across the area, giving us an idea of the people and places that contributed to early St. Tammany. Here is their list.

Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 1
Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 2
Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 3

Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 4

Courthouse Square and Historic Oaks Historical

Courthouse Square and Historic Oaks These graceful oaks were planted hundreds of years ago, predating the street plan of 1813. The WWI monument seen in the image on the right is all that remains at this site following the demolition of the old courthouse in 1958.As the parish (county) seat since 1819, Covington was the center of commerce, industry and government on the north shore for many years. The first courthouse was built on the east side of the Bogue Falava River at what is now called Claiborne Hill. The location was later moved to this site where a more permanent brick courthouse was built in 1885. It served until it was replaced by the “modernized structure” which ws completed in 1960. The St. Tammany Parish Justice Center was constructed just up the street in 2003.

The Covington Bank and Trust Building Historical

Probably the most significant economic development, not only for Covington but for the parish as a whole, was the establishment of the bank. The Covington Bank & Trust was established in these original quarters. It is the oldest commercial building in Covington.Two fires destroyed most buildings built before 1880. Rebuilt shortly after the Great Fire of 1898, the downtown buildings provide a beautiful example of turn-of-the-century commercial architecture. In 1909, there was a fireman’s parade, which included several fire companies. These organizations united to form the Covington Fire Department.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge Historical

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Marker (Photo credit: Historical Marker Database

The original 23.86 mile-long structure, which now carries the Southbound traffic, was designed by the firm of Palmer & Baker. When opened in 1956, the structure was the longest bridge in the world by more than 15 miles. In building the bridge, which took just fourteen months, assembly-line, mass-production methods were utilized for the first time in the construction of a bridge. It was designed to employ hundreds of identical, hollow concrete pilings, concrete caps, and pre-stressed deck sections manufactured at an on-shore facility and barged into place. Engineering News-Record acclaimed the project to be “a bold venture requiring unusual foresight, ingenuity and resourcefulness.”
Opened: August 30, 1956
Dedicated: October 18, 2003

War of 1812 Memorial, a War Memorial

These six men of the 2nd Division 13th Regiment Louisiana Militia fought at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 and are buried in unmarked graves Auguste Badeaux, Samuel Ott, William Cooper , Charles Parent, Jr. James Johnson and Lawrence Sticker

Civil War Earthworks Historical

One of two lines of fortifications excavated from January to March 1864 by Union forces “on fatigue duty” soon after their capture of Madisonville. Intended to defend the town from Confederate attacks coming from the surrounding countryside. The earthworks originally consisted of a trench protected by an “abatis” or barrier of felled trees with sharpened ends laid pointing out along its edge. The line meandered from approximately Rene and Covington Streets in a westerly direction to about this point on Johnson Street. Property records for the lot adjacent to this site mention “breastworks” on the land from the 1870s forward. Madisonville was occupied to obtain war supplies in the form of timber, lumber, logs, turpentine, tar and bricks for the federal Department of the Gulf.

Christ Episcopal Church Historical

Built 1846 by Jonathan Arthur of London for descendants of English settlers in British West Florida. Consecrated by Bishop Leonidas Polk, April 11, 1847. Christ Church is the oldest public building being used in Covington.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Historical

At 23.87 miles long, the Causeway is the world’s longest bridge over water. The first span was completed in August 1956. Due to increased traffic, a second span opened in May 1969. The Causeway piloted major construction of prefabricated, prestressed concrete bridges in the United States. It is supported by more than 9,000 pilings. Construction of the Causeway expanded the Greater New Orleans area to include the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Columbia Street Landing Historical

An active harbor where schooners and steamers once docked. Established in the early 1800’s, providing a vital link to other river cities transporting cotton, lumber, bricks, whiskey and mail. Oyster luggers brought fresh oysters regularly through the late 1930’s. Many early settlers of the community arrived at this destination.

West Florida Republic and St. Tammany Parish Historical

St. Tammany Parish was among the Spanish-governed West Florida parishes and not included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Residents revolted against Spanish rule September 1810, creating the Republic of West Florida. The republic lasted 74 days, raising a new flag and electing a president, before being forcibly annexed by the U.S. in December 1810.

Madisonville Historical

Originally called “Cokie” (from Coquille) because of the abundance of shells in the area. Renamed for Pres. James Madison, c. 1811. Site of Navy Yard in early 1800’s. According to legend, Gen. Andrew Jackson, enroute to New Orleans in Nov. 1814, stopped here at the home of Gen. David B. Morgan.

Saint Peter Church Historical

L’Abbé Jouanneault built the predecessor of St. Peter Church on the Bouge Falaya in 1843. The first resident pastor was Fr. J.M. Giraud, appointed in 1863 to serve Covington, Madisonville, Bedico, and Abita Springs. In 1892 Fr. Joseph Koegerl, pastor, who was also Canon of St. Louis Cathedral, built a new church and rectory on Massachusetts St. The Jefferson Ave. church was erected in 1940 during the pastorate of Fr. Aemillian Egler, O.S.R. Two Benedictines have served the parish continuously since 1922.

Battle of Lake Pontchartrain Historical

On October 16, 1779, the British living between “Bayou La Combe and the River Tanchipaho,” surrendered to Captain William Pickles who had won a naval battle off this shore on September 10, 1779, and thereby ended the Revolutionary War in Louisiana.

Public “Ox Lot” Parking Historical

Unique to Covington’s downtown business district and a credit to our forefathers, our original town grid layout allowed for public squares in the middle of each block for the purpose of trade and commerce. Farmers would bring their oxen-laden carts to town loaded with wares and conduct business in these designated center block locations. Traditionally called “ox lots” and largely responsible for Covington’s designation as a national historic district, today’s use provides free public off-street parking for downtown visitors and employees.

Abita Springs Historical

Old Choctaw village which derived name from nearby medicinal springs. Last Choctaw burial and execution grounds, used until about 1880, located nearby.

Our Lady Of The Lake Church Historical

Early in the eighteenth century, Catholic missionaries evangelized Choctaw, Chinchuba and other Indian tribes and sub-tribes on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, among pioneer priests was Fr. Michael Baudouin, S.J., superior of the Jesuit Mission in Louisiana and Vicar General to the Bishop of Quebec, Canada. Fr. J. Outendrick was the first resident pastor when the Mandeville Congregation was organized in 1850. Fr. Adrien E. Rouquette, “Chahta-Ima,” also labored here and elsewhere in St. Tammany Civil Parish. The present church was dedicated in 1953 during the pastorate of Fr. Canisius Bluemel, O.S.B., one of several Benedictines serving here since 1890.

Walker Percy Historical

Covington resident, where he wrote, among others, Lancelot, The Second Coming, Love in the Ruins, The Thanatos Syndrome, The Last Gentleman, and The Moviegoer, which won the National Book Award for fiction, co-founder Fellowship of Southern Writers, graduate of the University of North Carolina, buried at St. Joseph Abbey, 3 miles north. Google Maps

This historical marker was placed in Bogue Falaya Park in Covington in August of 2018 to commemorate a new statue of Walker Percy .Also, several historical plaques were placed in front of the Madisonville library to spotlight Walker Percy’s many literary contribuitons. CLICK HERE to see those plaques, which accompany another statue of the famed Covington resident.  

CLICK HERE to go to webpage containing the above list. 

A new historical marker in Fontainebleau State Park

A new historical marker in Bogue Falaya Park, Covington

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Local History Local News

Covington Weekly Introduces New Historic Walking Tour

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Covington Weekly is excited to introduce the new Historic Walking Tour, a map and guide of historic locations in downtown Covington! Find the map in the latest edition of our Quarterly publication, out now at these fine locations: covingtonweekly.com/distribution-locations

Click here to find a complete walk-thru article, starting at the Columbia Street Landing and wrapping around Covington’s Historic St. John District – designated by the National Register of Historic Places.

Quote & Word of the Week Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

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“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass

From wikipedia.org: Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey; c. February 1818 – February 20, 1895)[3][4] was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, becoming famous for his oratory[5] and incisive antislavery writings. Accordingly, he was described by abolitionists in his time as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.[6][7] Likewise, Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave.[8]

Douglass wrote several autobiographies, notably describing his experiences as a slave in his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845), which became a bestseller, and was influential in promoting the cause of abolition, as was his second book, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). Following the Civil War, Douglass remained an active campaigner against slavery and wrote his last autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. First published in 1881 and revised in 1892, three years before his death, the book covers events both during and after the Civil War. Douglass also actively supported women’s suffrage, and held several public offices. Without his approval, Douglass became the first African-American nominated for Vice President of the United States as the running mate and Vice Presidential nominee of Victoria Woodhull, on the Equal Rights Party ticket.[9]

Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all peoples, be they white, black, female, Native American, or Chinese immigrants.[10] He was also a believer in dialogue and in making alliances across racial and ideological divides, as well as in the liberal values of the U.S. Constitution.[11] When radical abolitionists, under the motto “No Union with Slaveholders,” criticized Douglass’ willingness to engage in dialogue with slave owners, he replied: “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”[12]

Local History

Local History: 1st Avenue Park, Now Known As “Nose”

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Covington History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet. View Ron’s blog Tammany Family here. View more photos for this post here: tammanyfamily.blogspot.com

Down at the end of Jahncke Avenue in Covington, just before it turns into Old Landing Road, is a roadside park with some extra special features.

Click on the images to make them larger. 

It has a circular paved walking trail, a variety of playground equipment, picnic tables both in open sun and tree-shaded, plus a great covered pavilion overlooking the tranquil Tchefuncte River. Oh, and a giant nose.

It’s official name is “First Avenue Park,” and it was a project promoted by Covington City Councilman, Matt Faust in the mid-1990’s. After four years of site clean up and landscaping efforts, it opened officially with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 17, 1996, although it had already been open for public use and enjoyment for months before.

That five-acre park has become known as “Nose Park,”  because of the big nose that sticks out of the ground near the front of the park. It even has its own Google Maps label, and positive reviews as well. 

The Nose by Al Ormsby

The Riverside Covered Pavilion  

A river observation deck

A boardwalk goes down to the level of the river for a closer look.

The riverside pavilion was built by Randy Aultman

According to former Mayor Keith Villere the plans for the park included more docks and the clearing of the lower brush to make some nature trails. “We were designing a whole playground full of art components, swings, climbing things, etc.,” he said. 

The covered pavilion at the river is wheelchair accessible, giving everyone a chance to look at the water and enjoy the peaceful bend in the river. Birds and butterflies frequent the site.

Benches to sit and enjoy the outdoors

The park occupies the land which was once the city’s sewage processing plant. That meant it had large circular tanks filled with sewage. “It’s not everyday you turn a sewer plant into a park and greenery,” said Councilman Faust at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The sewage treatment plant was no longer used after a new sewerage system was put in, and the city first tried to demolish the old facility with their own work crews. When that wasn’t going fast enough, officials were able to get some grant money to hire a contractor to take on the job. It was not an easy task, given its solid reinforced concrete construction.

Some people used the site as a garbage dump for a while, and that caused a problem, not only for the nearby river, but because of all the broken glass mixed in with the garbage. Turning the area into a park required a great deal of effort to remove the layer upon layer of broken glass. 

City officials and workers prevailed, however, and after spending an initial $60,000 (half of which was paid by a federal Land & Conservation grant), the area was successfully cleaned up, transformed into a park, and is now regularly visited by children and parents for their recreational needs. “Making the old sewer plant into a park also helped property values in the area,” Faust said.

The Tchefuncte River at 1st Avenue Park (Nose Park)

The Nose at Nose Park

The sculpture was done by Al Ormsby. A nearby resident built a small garden next to the sculpture, and it was called “The Nose Garden.” 

More photos for this post at tammanyfamily.blogspot.com

See also: Sunset at Nose Park

Local Events Local News

City of Covington Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Rev. Peter Atkins Park

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Join the City of Covington on Monday, January 18th at Rev. Peter Atkins Park to celebrate MLK Day 2021! Festivities are from 12 – 4 pm and include MLK program and art display, games, light refreshments, poster and essay contest, and more!

Social distancing and masks are required as per Governor’s mandate.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

According to Wikipedia

Martin Luther King Jr Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr,[1] and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is a federal holiday in the United States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year. King’s birthday is January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21.

King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Local History

Local History: Theard Street & the Division of Morgan

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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).   

One of the maps of downtown Covington by Ron Barthet.
Click the image to view more maps by Mr. Barthet.

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.

Visit tammanyfamily.blogspot.com to see more great local history!

Local History

Local History: Bogue Falaya Wayside Park

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

Bogue Falaya Park in Covington was a happening place in the beginning of the 20th Century. There were all kinds of dances, plays and general get-togethers in the park. Hundreds of people passed through the entrance gates of the community park on summer weekends to sit by the river, enjoy the shade of the large pavilion and listen to music or see a show of some sort. Click on the images to see a larger version.

It was first opened in July, 1909, as indicated by the following newspaper article from the St. Tammany Farmer. Click on the image to enlarge the type.

Here are some pictures of the entrance to Bogue Falaya Park. The first one is in the 1910’s.

A previous entrance to Bogue Falaya Park, according to the postcard caption.

A March 27, 1920, Editorial About the Park
Heading for the Park Pavilion
The large park pavilion that was repeatedly damaged by floods
A July 4, 1939, gathering at the park
The park pavilion in 2016

According to Pat Clanton, the original large pavilion in the park was destroyed around 1915 and replaced with the current day pavilion, which is much smaller.

The large brick entrance posts are also interesting.

The entrance gate built in 1920 served pedestrians, but was modified a few years later to accommodate cars. The two pillars on either side of that gate were retained. They were restored in 2007 along with the historical marker that was placed on them originally.

On January 24, 1920, W. L. Stevenson wrote a letter to the St. Tammany Farmer proposing that the above brick entrance pillars be built.

The sign above is a replica of an earlier sign that adorned the entrance to the park. The new sign was built in 1993 using funds generated by the sale of a song-filled cassette about St. Tammany Rivers. CLICK HERE for more information.

The Documentation for Placement on the National Registry of Historic Places

On August 17, 2017, Bogue Falaya Park was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The narrative description of the park listed on the NRHP application went as follows (with some editing):

The Bogue Falaya River was pivotal in the development of Covington. Covington was at one point one of the major ports for cotton coming from Mississippi and Florida. In addition to cotton shipments were brick, lumber, beef, and poultry. In the early and mid-19th century, Covington was a central axis for trading and the Bogue Falaya served to link the town with Lake Pontchartrain and finally New Orleans.

Not only were goods and people moving from Covington to New Orleans, the residents of New Orleans were flocking to the Bogue Falaya riverbanks. Covington and the other towns were designated to be the 2nd healthiest place in the United States after the Civil War due to the significantly lower levels of disease related deaths. People would come to the Bogue Falaya to swim and to enjoy the clean air. Covington and the Bogue Falaya became such a prominent tourist attraction that early versions of bed and breakfasts were developed along the river and in the town to accommodate for these visitors.

Bogue Falaya Park is located on the eastern side of the city of Covington, Louisiana on the banks of the Falaya River. A thirteen-acre park located at the end of N. New Hampshire Street with a natural boundary of the river to the east and the suburban neighborhood to the west.

Within the park are two significant structures, the main being the pavilion situated at the end of the turning circle/ parking lot area within the park. The dominant feature of the park, the current pavilion was constructed in 1915 and has acted continuously as an important community gathering center for the city of Covington.

The second are the gates to the park, donated in 1920 by a Dr. Lawrence Stevenson. The remaining features of the gate include brick and mortar posts with marble plaques and three cast iron cannon balls a top each post. Originally larger, they have been receded to allow for vehicle access to the park.

In addition to these primary features, there is also an original lifeguard chair dating to approximately the 1950s. A dilapidated concession stand and newer construction wooden playground are also on the site and are non-contributing elements to the park.

The park offers a variety of vegetation featuring several live oak and long leaf yellow pine trees throughout.

Bogue Falaya Park, located within the city limits of Covington, Louisiana, was opened on July 1, 1909, along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River. Already a popular recreation site because of the river, the park developed into a central gathering space for community members of Covington.

The area is mostly sand with the only paved areas being the driveway into the park and turnaround area directly in front of the pavilion. The turnaround area features a small sculpture, stone benches, and is the most manicured/planned area in terms of vegetation.

The park has many trees most of which are cypress, oak, or long leaf yellow pine, which are common to the area. The ground is primarily sand, with some small growth of grasses. As it was always meant to be a recreational space and not a designed landscape, the park still retains its integrity as a contributing site and is the only resource of the park itself that dates to the original opening in 1909.

The lifeguard chair is a contributing object. The wooden portions of the chair (seat and back) have rotted away, but one can still easily tell that this was a lifeguard chair. It stands on the banks of the Bogue Falaya River and helps to illustrate the recreational aspect that the park and river played. It is constructed of pipe metal and fits the typical design of a lifeguard chair, being taller so that that lifeguard could see over crowds and well into the water. It dates to the 1950s and is thus, within the period of significance for the park.

The Bogue Falaya Park is significant for recreation and entertainment as the park has provided a recreational space that was not only used by locals, but residents of New Orleans as well, for over 100 years. The historic resources within the park have been continually used by residents and visitors and retain a high degree of integrity.

The park itself provides a rural oasis within the city of Covington away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. The park continues to this day to be a significant recreational resource for the community

Due to the relative health of the city of Covington and the access to the river, recreation became a large part of the Bogue Falaya and its banks. The land for the park was bought from G.R Tolson in 1908 by the City of Covington to establish a 13-acre park. The park was officially opened on July 1st, 1909. The city maintained the park from that time until 1938 when it was gifted to the State of Louisiana who managed it until 1978 when it was given back to Covington.

The original pavilion was constructed in 1907 and was destroyed in a storm in 1915, which necessitated the building of the existing structure. Even prior to the formal designation of the park, this original pavilion and riverbank area was a popular destination and a source of pride for residents and a featured tourism spot.

Multiple post cards were developed in this time with renderings and photographs of the pavilion. One shows visitors walking to the pavilion with their buggies parked in the grass.

Up until the 1960s, the park was a popular swimming spot for the residents of Covington, and on the weekends, residents of New Orleans. The pavilion was used as a gathering space for visitors to the park. The pavilion offers an open space for people to gather under and, when the park was still open for swimming, it offered a counter where you could purchase a basket of swimming essentials.

Behind the counter were showers and changing areas for swimmers. In the front, to the left-hand side was a concession stand where visitors could buy an assortment of refreshments. A jukebox was also in the pavilion. During the period of significance, the pavilion and park were open all night and became a place for teenagers to dance.

Current residents of the town of Covington recall that on the weekends there was barely a section of beach left to lay your blanket and fondly spoke of their youth – swimming during the day and dancing with friends into the evening.

The river, as told above, was the heart and soul of both commerce and leisure in Covington for a significant amount of time and a main reason Covington became a destination spot. The river was the center of life in Covington – where people would relax, wash their clothes, and even baptize their young. This continued up to and past the development of Bogue Falaya Park.

The park was built to accommodate the recreation of the river. The evolution of this area into a park is a natural progression of the use of the space, as represented by the fact that the original pavilion predates the land being bought for the park by one year.

Clearly, the need was there for a structure to provide shade, the needed facilities for such a popular swimming spot, and a place to gather as a community. The vitality and popularity of the park and pavilion continued up until the late 1960s when the river became polluted and the park went into a state of disrepair. In the early 1980s, the park was reopened and in 1984, it underwent a renovation. New sand was brought in, debris was cleared away, and the pavilion was cleaned and repainted.

The Bogue Falaya Park is significant because of the popularity of the park among residents of Covington and the pivotal role the pavilion played in providing services, entertainment, and a break from the heat during a time when tourism and recreation on the Northshore was at an unsurpassed rate. This park provided the main recreational access to the river and was a true center of the community during the hot months. The park and pavilion were also used for private family parties and gatherings as well as public town events throughout the year.

The Pavilion

The original pavilion was built in 1907 and was destroyed in a storm in 1915. The existing pavilion was constructed that same year to replace the damaged original. The pavilion is a free-standing wood construction building located at the end of the parking lot turning circle and serves as the focal point in the park.

The pavilion is a one-story structure and is dominated by a large open air room. A set of five wooden stairs with a railing on both sides brings visitors up to a small inset doorway with wood trim painted the color tan. The interior space from the front entrance opens into a large square area with low wooden benches along the perimeter.

The back wall contains two sets of double doors, behind which is now storage/prepping area. This space was originally where visitors would rent swimming equipment and housed the changing areas for each sex. To the right and left of these doors are the current restrooms. A later addition, on the back-left section of the pavilion facing the back wall is a handicapped accessible restroom. To the left of the main structure is a low side addition, which used to serve as the concession area. The building retains a high degree of historic integrity for location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, feel and association. It has been continually used by the community for over 100 years and its historic features have been retained while also updating certain aspects of the building for modern uses. The pavilion is over 50 years old and retains much of its integrity from its construction in 1915, with some modifications and upgrades as stated above.

The gates are the next significant structure in the park and lie at the only vehicle access entrance to the park at the end of N. New Hampshire Street. Constructed in 1920 the gates were a gift to the park by Dr. Stevenson and were dedicated to his parents and the Rebel Ram Manassas, which was a submarine that served in the civil war to defend Louisiana.

Each of the two sides of the gate sit on a concrete footer. The focal points of the gate are two redbrick and mortar structures with a square concrete footer and a marble base. On the capstone are three cast iron cannon balls.

On the southern elevation of the eastern gate the plaque reads “Original Park Gates erected 1920, Restored 2007” and features a carving of the gates on the top of the plaque. The east and west elevations include a cement placeholder for the plaque.

The north elevation has a marble plaque with a carving of the Rebel Ram Manassas and reads “My Parents, Projectors of the Rebel Ram Manassas, Defender of Louisiana in The Civil War, Dr. Stevenson, 1920”. Dr. Stevenson donated the gates in 1920 in honor of his parents and the CSS Ram Manassas.

The CSS Ram Manassas was active during the Civil War as a part of the Confederate fleet. The Manassas has a unique history and was originally designed in Massachusetts as a towboat and used as a steam icebreaker. The ship was captured and purchased by Captain John Stevenson, who was the father of Dr. Stevenson. Captain Stevenson turned the icebreaker he had purchased into a ram – which is an entirely ironclad ship run by steam meant to (literally) ram other ships and to be impermeable to cannonballs.

The Ram Manassas was one of the first ironclad ships built for the Confederacy. Eventually, the ship was defeated, but its story offers a unique perspective into naval warfare during the Civil War. This history is especially relevant to the significance of this property due to its connection to the rivers.

Originally the gates had iron gates to enclose the park. These were removed with the increase in vehicle traffic to the park. Over the years, the gates were vandalized and fell into disrepair. The cannonballs were stolen and the plaques damaged. In 2007, the gates and plaques underwent restoration. The cannonballs were replaced with ones to match. The gates are contributing objects as, although they have been restored with the cannonballs replaced, they are over 50 years old and retain their historic integrity. The town appreciates and is aware of this history as was shown by the hard work that was put in to carefully restoring the gates in 2007.

Today, the park is used daily by locals and visitors alike. The pavilion is still available for private rental for celebrations and gatherings and is often booked. Town-organized events are also held in the structure, such as the philharmonic music event series and the Halloween Monster Mash.

The park is a source of joy and pride for all the residents of Covington and remains an important asset to the community. The gates to the park are also significant in and of themselves and offer a piece of history about some of the residents of the town.

The Bogue Falaya Park has served as a key recreational facility in Covington since it was first created in 1907-08.

See also:
Sign Dedication at the Park Entrance
Bogue Falaya Park Pavilion

Visit tammanyfamily.blogspot.com to see more great local history!

Local History

Local History: the Covington Heart Pine Knot House

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

Over the years, it has been the subject of many an artistic photograph, painting, and even postcards. Bridal photography has used it as a background. Motorists along U.S. 190 in Covington marvel at its roadside mystery every day.

It is the 100-year-old pine knot sanctuary-haven that sits just off the highway on the old Warner home property in west Covington. The shed, about 16 feet by 16 feet, features walls of intertwined heart pine knots, a tin roof, and a dirt floor, with gates leading out of the front and back. It is surrounded by vegetation, at times obscured from view, and backed by beautiful trees.

Click on the images to make them larger

According to Warner family members, the shed was made with fat pine knots from the Mackie Pine Products company sometime in the early 1920’s. Richard Warner explained that it was a walk in gate and was used by his dad’s wife to raise ferns. 

“This was back when 21st Avenue was a dirt road and a lot of people walked where they were going,” said Richard Warner on Facebook. “It used to have a wood shingle roof, but it finally rotted away and was replaced with tin.” 

Over the years people passing by have speculated why it was built, and there were a lot of false rumors regarding its original purpose, Warner noted. 

Many older Covington residents today have it indelibly etched in their memories because of their daily trips as students on their way to Covington High past the structure. 

Richard Warner went on to say that his father, J.H. Warner, Sr., used to say he graduated from the school of hard knocks. He learned bookkeeping/accounting while he was a representative of the American Paint Works and met Harry Mackie in the early 1900’s during which time they became friends. 

“Mr. Mackie was a chemist and had a small plant in Mississippi but decided to move it to our area early in the 1900’s because of all the longleaf pine stumpage in the area,” Richard explained. “My father bought some stock in the new Mackie Pine Products and was elected Secretary/Treasurer by the board of directors of the corporation. J. Harry Warner, Jr.(Harry), who was my half brother, worked in the plant and became plant superintendent.”

When the plant burned in 1945, Mr. Mackie decided to retire and Harry, Jr. bought him out and the plant was rebuilt and renamed Delta Pine Products. “My father continued on as Secretary/Treasurer of the company until his death at the age of 89 years and 10 months of age in 1958,” Richard went on to say. 

When the company found it hard to acquire enough stumps to process, it was decided to scrap the plant. Buddy Perreand was with Southern Scrap joined with Harry, and it became P&W Industries which, according to its webpage, was established in 1967.

The Pine Knot House Becomes Legendary 

Anne Sarphie of Re/Max Alliance real estate even has a description of it on her business webpage. “The Knot House: A well-known landmark in Covington is called “The Knot House” or “The Twig House”. It is located on private property, but it sits so close to the road that you see it as you drive by. Built nearly 100 years ago… it has withstood many hurricanes, high winds and falling tree limbs. It is constructed from the heart pine knots, the hardest and heartiest part of the pine tree. It makes me smile every time I pass it.”

Artists and photographers have found it enchanting, especially when the sun and shadows are just right. Being made of knots of heart pine, it’s a unique bit of Covington’s timber and pine oil history and has a special place in many people’s hearts.

Behind the pine knot house was the Warner family property. Here is a photo of the classic family home as found on a real estate website when it was for sale a few years ago.

This is the house where the people who built the heart pine knot haven lived
More photos in the link below

See more photos of the Heart Pine Knot House at tammanyfamily.blogspot.com!

Quote & Word of the Week Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu, also rendered as Laozi or Lao-Tze, commonly translated as “Old Master”, was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.A semi-legendary figure, Lao Tzu was usually portrayed as a 6th-century BC contemporary of Confucius, but some modern historians consider him to have lived during the Warring States period of the 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Laozi is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage. Laozi’s work has been embraced by both various anti-authoritarian movements and Chinese Legalism. — from www.wiki.org

Local History

Local History: a Tribute to Postcards

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

Many of the historical photographs from 100 or so years ago we have today only because they were printed on postcards. Through the wonder of that new-fangled gadget, the camera (and the fascination that came with it) people suddenly felt in love with photographs of just about anything and everything in day-to-day life. 

Many of those photographs became postcards, showing street scenes, buildings, landmarks, people standing around, people doing stuff. And those postcards were a quick way to dash a note off to a friend and actually show them an image of where you were. Easier than taking a photograph yourself, postcards were appreciated for their convenience and used extensively.

Then came the postcard collectors and postcard albums. Almost every family had one, an album filled with postcards from friends, relatives, and those purchased by the family itself while travelling. I remember Louis Wagner having an excellent postcard album, and Elmer E. Lyon had one that was quite interesting. John Preble and Annette Couch also have great collections of postcards.

In 1976 Polly Morris wrote an article about the importance of family postcard albums, not only for the memories they invoked while looking through them, but for the historical record they provided. Here is the article. Click on the image below to enlarge the view of it. 

So here’s a tribute to picture postcards: records of past family travels and keepers of community historical views. Technology may make them obsolete, but for a time they were part of every vacation and tourist souvenir shop. You knew you were on vacation when you started revolving those picture postcard racks in Stucky’s.

Today, with Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and the like, technology has obliterated the need for postcards. It’s not easy to even find a postcard rack in stores these days. But, no worry, historians of the future will have millions of digitized images to look through to find that picture of Boston Street in 2017.


Polly Morris joined the writing team at the Mandeville Banner in February of 1974.

Check out more great local history at Tammany Family.

Quote & Word of the Week Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

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“The Holy Land is everywhere.”
– Black Elk

From Wiki.org: Heȟáka Sápa, commonly known as Black Elk (December 1, 1863 – August 19, 1950[1]), was a wičháša wakȟáŋ (“medicine man, holy man”), heyoka of the Oglala Lakota people and educator about his culture. He was a second cousin of the war leader Crazy Horse and fought with him in the Battle of Little Bighorn. He survived the Wounded Knee Massacre and traveled in Europe as part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. He converted to Catholicism, becoming a catechist and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rapid City opened an official cause for his beatification within the Roman Catholic Church in 2016. However, it is said he renounced the religion for his traditional “pipe religion” on his death bed.

Black Elk is best known for the books he dictated to American ethnologists. He recorded the seven sacred rites of the Sioux to ethnologist Joseph Epes Brown which were published in 1947 in the book The Sacred Pipe. Near the end of his life, he worked with ethnologist John Neihardt to discuss his religious views, visions, and events from his life which Neihardt published in his book Black Elk Speaks in 1932. This book has since been published in numerous editions, most recently in 2008. There has been great interest in these works among members of the American Indian Movement since the 1970s and by others who have wanted to learn more about Native American religions.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Elk

Local History

Local History: Covington in the 1940s and 1950s by Phil Pfeffer

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

The memories of day-to-day life in Covington in the 1940’s and 1950’s were written down by Phil Pfeffer, a graduate of Covington High School in 1958. Here is what he shared about those times from 70 years ago. 

Covington in the 1940s and 1950s
By Phil Pfeffer

Everyone talks about the “Good Ole Days.” Let’s take a look.

About 70 years ago, Covington was a sleepy country town of about 5,000 people. It was two hours away from New Orleans to the south of Lake Pontchartrain and two hours east of Baton Rouge. The only industry was a turpentine factory of Delta Pine Products, known earlier as Mackie’s Pine Products. Pine oil as the name suggests was made from pine knots and the logs of pine trees, and the plant was subject to frequent fires.

In those days, the crime rate in Covington was at a minimum. People would get out of their car, without locking it, and leave the keys in the ignition, on a seat or on the dashboard. On a warm, dry day, they would leave the windows rolled down (very few cars had air conditioning). 

The houses were not locked a night or even when the resident was away during the day. On a warm night, the doors and windows were left open for circulation (very few houses had air conditioning). A woman or young girl could walk home after a movie at night without fear of being assaulted. In the 1940s a call to the police may take a while for a response because the police had to call a taxi before they could go to the site.

The Fire Department

The fire department was a completely volunteer unit except for the fire chief. The fire chief and his family lived above the fire station. When a fire broke out, a siren on the city’s water tower alerted the volunteers as to the location of the fire for the volunteers to assemble. For example, if the fire was on 19th avenue, the siren would sound one long blast, followed by nine short ones.

The telephone exchange was located on the northeast corner of New Hampshire street and Independence street. When you picked up your telephone a female voice asked, “Number, Please.” Note that all of the telephone operators were women. You would give the operator the number that you wanted to call, and she would connect you. If you did not know the number of your party, you would ask for “Information.” 

The phone numbers were two, three or four digits. Some numbers had a letter suffix. These were party lines. You might remember that Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies wanted a party line installed in the mansion so that she could eavesdrop on other conversations. Phones with rotary dial systems did not come to Covington until around 1951.

The Coming of Television

Television was in its embryo stage. Not many families had a television and if they did it consisted of a small, round cathode ray tube. The picture was in black and white and tended to roll, skew vertically or was often comprise of “snow.” Replacing the picture tube periodically cost about $90. 

There was only one television station, Channel 6 (WDSU), and it came out of New Orleans. WDSU was later joined by WWL and if you had a high enough antenna and aimed it correctly, you could pick up WBRZ from Baton Rouge. None of these stations operated 24 hours a day. Shows consisted of such classics as “Howdy Doody” and “Morgus the Magnificent.”

Sports on television was minimal. Sometimes there was a professional baseball game shown on Saturday afternoon or a football game on Thanksgiving Day, but the teams were whatever the network wanted to show. Baseball was often on the radio (Mutual Broadcasting System). College games were not on the tube. L.S.U. and Tulane could usually be heard on the radio.

The Local Movie Show

Entertainment was primarily the movie house. The Star Theatre had movies every night. On Sunday and Monday was the main feature for the week. On Saturday night was the weekly cowboy show. Boys would bring their cap pistols and sit on the front row and shoot the bad guys. The cost of admission was nine cents if you were below 12 years old. Otherwise the price was 36 cents. Children would try to lie about their age for the first year after turning twelve. 

The Majestic Theatre was also in Covington, but it was only open on the weekends. The Majestic also had branches in Madisonville and in Mandeville.

On the Mandeville highway were the drive-in theatre and the bowling alley. The drive in was open on the week ends and the teenager would do whatever they had to do to avoid the price of admission. If a girl had a long, full skirt, someone would lie on the floor under the skirt. Boys would get in the trunk of the car and get out once they were inside the fence. Some boys would climb the fence and meet the car and driver inside the fence. Typically, when a couple went to the drive in, they didn’t watch the movie.

The Music Scene

Teenagers were introduced to Rock and Roll. Beginning with “Rock around the Clock,” the airwaves were suddenly filled with Fats Domino, Little Richard, the Platters and soon to be with Elvis. It all drove the parents crazy.

The local hangouts were primarily on Claiborne Hill. The younger crowd would congregate at the Dairy King where a milk shake costs twenty cents and a hamburger cost twenty-five cents. As the crowd grew a little older, Claiborne Inn became the preferred location. There, there were car hops for service. Cokes cost a dime and a beer was twenty-five or thirty cents, depending on the brand. 

 A special was “Chicken in the Basket” consisting of three pieces of chicken, French fries and toast. The cost of the basket was eighty-five cents. Also, on “the Hill” was Village Inn which had a band on Saturday nights, Jim’s which was a more upper-class establishment and the Circle Tavern, better known as “The Bloody Bucket.”

Another popular hangout for the younger set was Harvey’s House. Here there was an ice cream and soda fountain, comic books, pinball machines and on weekends, roller skating in the back at night.

The two Boy Scout troops were Troop 116 and Troop 325. Troop 116 met at St. Peters school. Troop 325 met at the Presbyterian Church on Friday nights and would occasionally go camping. One favorite spot was a boy scout facility, just east of Mandeville near the lake. There were several cub scouts packs around town and one girl scout troop.

With the arrival of summer, it was time to go swimming. The most popular spot was Bogue Falaya State Park at the end of New Hampshire street. Other popular spots were Red Bluff up toward Folsom and Fontainebleau State Park just east of Mandeville. The lake at Fontainebleau was shallow near shore and you had to go out quite a way before the water was waist deep. It was also the location of the annual barbeque held by the Covington Lions Club.

The Covington Country Club opened in 1954. The main activities were the swimming pool and the nine-hole golf course. The back nine was added a few years later. There was food and a bar and people where often seen sun bathing by the pool or playing cards inside. One had to own a share of stock in the country club as prerequisite for membership. A share of stock cost $200.

To travel to New Orleans, you had to go around the lake via Slidell. Besides being a longer journey, you had towns of Mandeville, Lacombe and Slidell with their traffic lights. If you got behind a slow car, you had to wait for your chance to pass because it was only a two-lane highway. Travel time was about two hours. The causeway wasn’t opened until the late 1950s. Students at Covington High made temporary and permanent friends with students whose dads came over to work on the causeway construction. It was also about two hours to Baton Rouge with even more town and traffic lights. Here again, Interstate-12 was still on the drawing board.

The Greyhound Bus Connection

One way to go to New Orleans was by the Greyhound bus. The bus originated in Abita Springs, then to the parking lot of the Southern Hotel and made stops in Mandeville, Lacombe and Slidell (remember the White Kitchen) before arriving at the terminal on Canal street. It would also stop along the way if someone on the roadside flagged them down. Once in the City, you would shop primarily at Holmes or Maison Blanche. New Orleans had a good transportation system. The bus or streetcar cost seven cents to ride and you could get free transfers to change from streetcar to bus or change buses at intersections to continue your journey.

The newspapers that were published in New Orleans were sent to Covington via the bus. The paper cost a nickel. Boys would distribute the afternoon paper to the subscribed customers while riding on their bikes (rain or shine). They often had trouble collecting the monthly subscription fee from their customers. The Baton Rouge newspaper was seldom available.

Doctors Made House Calls

Home delivery was not uncommon. The milk man brought fresh milk and/or cream to your back door. The daily morning newspaper would be thrown to your front steps. Laundry could be picked up at your back door and taken to St. Joseph’s Abbey where the nuns would wash and iron it and return it in a few days. Even soft drinks and watermelon would be sold door to door. Occasionally, men would be standing on the side of the road selling strawberries or soft-shell crabs. If you were very sick, the doctors made house calls.

There were several automobiles in Covington that no longer exist today. Packard was a luxury car to compete with Cadillac and Lincoln. Studebaker had a car that looked very similar from its front or back. Then there was the Kaiser and the Henry-J. The Edsel made a brief appearance. The price of a Cadillac back then was about five thousand dollars.

Gasoline costs about twenty cents a gallon, sometimes as low as 18-cents or as high as 24-cents. Cigarettes were about 25 to 30-cents a pack. If the price in a vending machine was 27 or 28-cents, the package would have two or three pennies included in the cellophane wrapper as change for your quarter and nickel. Coke and other soft drinks cost only a nickel. Coke later introduced a 10-ounce bottle in addition to their six-ounce size and it cost six-cents.

Passenger trains had not run in Covington for several years, but a daily train still came through. It traveled from Bogalusa through Abita Springs, then through Covington in route to collect logs for the paper mill. It returned in the afternoon fully loaded. Occasionally a freight car would be dropped off on a spur south of Lockwood street. When the train was abolished, the track and land was sold, and it became Tammany Trace.

There were three primary high schools, CHS, St. Paul’s and St. Scholastica’s. It was in the 1950s that St. Paul’s built their “new” basketball gym. Non-students of St. Paul’s would sneak into the school grounds because they had a swimming pool and a couple of pool tables. CHS, located on Jefferson Avenue had several “out buildings.” Agriculture classes were held in a building near the football field. The band hall was a separate building across from the gym. Boys kept their bicycles in the band hall yard (and did not have to lock their bikes). St. Paul’s and CHS had a natural cross-town rivalry in football and basketball. Covington High has since been burned down; fire origin unknown.

The CHS band uniforms provided by the school consisted of a jacket and a hat. Band members had to supply their own white pants and sew a blue strip down each side plus provide their own blue tie. The band performed at half-time of the high school football games, had an annual concert and marched in several New Orleans Mardi Gras parades.

The gym served several purposes. Besides being home court for the school basketball team, Covington hosted an invitation tournament of sixteen local area high school basketball teams each February. The home team won this tourney several years in a row in the 1950s. It was the venue of the high school dances following home football games. After the CHS-St. Paul’s game was the Sadie Hawkins dance. The name taken from Dogpatch and Lil’ Abner whereby the girls asked the boys for a date. It was also used for school assemblies, a site for talent and magic shows, the annual senior class play, and it even served as the location for the performance of the New Orleans symphony.

Across from the high school was the softball field (now the location of the gym). It was a lighted field with bleachers, and in the evenings, softball was played, with the two dominate teams, Shell Oil and WASS (Western Auto Supply Store). In later years, this area was designated for high school boys to smoke, if they had written parental permission.

Driving to Madisonville

To drive to Madisonville, you would go down 19th avenue to Tyler street then to 16th avenue to Filmore (Tyler street was not open between 21st avenue and 19th avenue). At the end of Filmore was a “rickety” old bridge across the Tchefuncte River. The bridge at the south east end of Tyler street was not built until the mid-50s.

To go to Hammond, one would go northwest on 21st avenue to the end and then turn west toward Goodbee. There was no easy way. Traveling from Texas to Florida, the truckers used U.S. Highway 190. That main route came right through Covington down Boston street. It made the double 90-degree turn at Jefferson avenue before going down 21st avenue toward Hammond.

In the Spring of 1957, Covington undertook to renumber every house and building in a more organized way. The intersection of Jefferson avenue and 21st avenue was ground zero. From there, buildings were numbered on the streets every 50 feet. If there was no house or building in a certain span, a gap occurred in the numbers so that there was room for a future building to be numbered. 

The street names were changed or modified to reflect north, south, east and west of ground zero. The numbers were assigned using a simple system first originated by Napoleon in France with odd numbers on the left and even numbers on the right as you left ground zero. For instance, a house that was originally 1104 21st avenue, became 406 West 21st avenue.

Parish Courthouse

The parish courthouse was on Boston street. It was torn down in the late 1950s to make room for a new, more modern facility. The gymnasium of the grammar school was the temporary courthouse. It was during this construction period that Governor Earl Long was transported from the mental hospital near Mandeville to the Covington Grammar school gym for a sanity hearing. Rumor was that he told the state trooper that drove the car, that as soon as he let him out at the school, to find another job because he was fired!

Read more local history at tammanyfamily.blogspot.com!

Wildlife Lookout

Wildlife Lookout: Weird Facts About the Wild Turkey

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by Chelsea Cochrane

Turkeys have long been associated with a traditional Thanksgiving feast, but how much else do we know about them? Here are some interesting and little-known facts about turkeys.

Turkeys are large birds native to the Americas in the genus Meleagris. This genus is split into two species: the wild turkey of northern, central, and eastern North America with six sub-species, and the ocellated turkey of the Yucatan Peninsula. The turkey species can be traced back over 20 million years on the North American continent.

Aztecs first domesticated a subspecies of wild turkey, the south Mexican wild turkey, sometime in the early Classic Period (c. AD 200–1000). Spaniards brought these tamed birds back with them in the mid 16th century, where they quickly gained popularity throughout Europe. The original pilgrims actually brought these domesticated birds back to North America, unaware that their larger cousins were already here.

From America, not Constantinople

Historians are unsure how this American bird ended up being called turkey. One theory is that at the time this fowl was being popularized in international trade, shipments to Britain were coming through the Levant and the bird became associated with Turkey. Another theory suggested the wild turkey was confused for a similar guinea fowl that was introduced to Britain by Turkish merchants.

The turkey is the heaviest member in the order Galliformes, which includes domesticated and wild landfowl. Wild turkey males will range from 10 – 25 pounds, with some reaching 30 pounds or more. This gives them the second heaviest maximum weight of birds native to North America, after the trumpeter swan. Still, these large birds are excellent fliers, unlike their domesticated cousins. Wild turkeys can run up to 25 mph and can fly as fast as 55 mph.

Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarrenWild Turkey

All the Weird Names

Anatomical structures on the head and throat of a domestic turkey. 1. Caruncles, 2. Snood, 3. Wattle (dewlap), 4. Major caruncle, 5. Beard
DrChrissy –  P041111 12.08.jpg

Male turkeys are called “gobblers” for their unique call, used to defend territories and call to females (called “hens”). The head of a turkey is very complex, made up of loose, elastic bare skin. The four distinct parts of its head and neck are: the “caruncles” on top its head and neck, the “snood” hanging off its beak, its “wattle” or dewlap hanging from the neck and the major caruncle along the lower neck. The plumes on the males’ chest are called a beard. Male turkeys are also called “toms”, and male juveniles are sometimes called “jakes”. The male mating ritual, which includes gobbling, fanning feathers, drumming and spitting, is often called “strutting”.

The male turkeys’ head changes color based on its mood. When he is excited, his head turns blue or even white. When he is aggressive it turns red. The loose skin around his head and neck will fill with blood and expand when he is alarmed. Body feathers of both males and females begin black and gray with a copper and brown sheen. The color of the male turkey becomes more complex as it ages, picking up metallic green and blue hues.

Gobble Gobble!

Gobblers gobble mostly to attract females, and to alert other males of their presence. These birds can produce a drumming sound by the movement of air sacks in its chest. Similarly, a spitting sound can be made by a sharp expulsion of air from these sacks. Females also gobble, but sparingly. The gobble of a wild turkey can be heard up to a mile away.

Ben Franklin Weighs In – Turkey Vs Bald Eagle

A common mythos surrounding the wild turkey is that Benjamin Franklin had suggested it for the national bird, over the bald eagle. Although he never publicly denounced the symbolic use of the bald eagle, a strongly voice letter to his daughter Sarah Bache dated January 26, 1784 had this to say on the matter:

“Others object to the Bald Eagle, as looking too much like a Dindon, or Turkey. For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk [osprey]; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country…
I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

Learn more about turkeys:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/14-fun-facts-about-turkeys-665520/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_(bird)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_turkey
https://www.nwtf.org/hunt/wild-turkey-basics

Art Event

St. Tammany Art Association Announces Degas Pastel Society National Exhibition Opening Dec 5th

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St. Tammany Art Association presents a new exhibition on display
December 5, 2020 – January 30, 2021:
Degas Pastel Society 18th Biennial National Exhibition

Covington, LA – St. Tammany Art Association (STAA) presents a new exhibition, “Degas Pastel Society 18th Biennial National Exhibition,” on display December 5 through January 30, 2021 in the Miriam Barranger Gallery of the Arthouse. The exhibit will kick off with an opening reception on Saturday, December 5, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, guests to the reception are required to register in advance for timed tickets to ensure limited attendance and adequate space for social distancing. These free tickets can be obtained by visiting www.sttammany.art

From its inception in 1984, the Degas Pastel Society has played an important role in the Renaissance of pastel painting worldwide. Their exhibitions showcase some of the best pastels that are being painted throughout the United States and abroad.

The Degas Pastel Society remains dedicated to the promotion of pastel painting by presenting exhibitions of outstanding work. The hope is that all who view this exhibition will gain a greater appreciation of the beauty and brilliance of pastel painting.

History of The Degas Pastel Society

During the summer of 1983, seven artists gathered to plan the first pastel-only exhibition to be held in New Orleans. The purpose of the exhibit was to present to the public, a show of artistic excellence utilizing the pastel medium which until recently has suffered from public misunderstanding and neglect.

Encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the Premier Pastel Show held at the International Trade Mart (now the World Trade Center) in November 1983, they decided to organize formally and did so on April 23, 1984.

The Society is aptly named in honor of Edgar Degas (1834-1917), the artist most widely recognized for transforming pastel from a sketching tool into a major artistic medium. Pastel painting blossomed with his touch and his works have inspired countless artists.

A juried exhibit
The exhibition was juried by Lyn Asselta, who has exhibited her landscape paintings throughout the U.S. and has been included in invitational exhibitions in France and China. She taught workshops in Canada, Curacao and across the U.S. Lyn recently achieved Eminent Pastelist status with the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS). She is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, a member of the Salmagundi Club, a Member of Excellence in the Southeastern Pastel Society, a member of the Eastern League of Professional Artists, and is the founder and past president of the First Coast Pastel Society based in northeast Florida. In 2009, Lyn was selected as an Artist in Residence at Acadia National Park in Maine. Her work has been featured in several magazines including Pastel Journal, Pratique des Arts, and Plein Air Magazine. In 2018, she published her first book, Seeing the Landscape, a compilation of her prose and paintings.

The exhibit will be judged by Don Marshall, a native of New Orleans who began his professional career in the arts as the first Director of the Contemporary Arts Center in 1977. Under his leadership the center grew into one of the largest multi-disciplinary Alternative Arts Centers in the country, curating over 30 exhibitions. As Director of Le Petite Theatre, Marshall founded the Tennessee Williams Festival in conjunction with a group that was organizing a New Orleans Literary Festival. As an educator, he has served as the Director of the Cultural Resource Management Program at Southeastern Louisiana University and Director of the Arts Administration Program at the University of New Orleans.

In 2004 Marshall became the Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation. Since then, he has worked to expand programming that fulfills the mission of the organization to promote, perpetuate and support the music, arts and culture of Louisiana. 

Free demo
In conjunction with the exhibit, a pastel demo will be led by Degas Pastel Society Board member, Alan Flattmann, on Saturday, December 12 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. The demo is free, but advance registration is required at www.sttammany.art. More demos are from Degas Pastel Society members are scheduled for January. Visit our website for more information.

The St. Tammany Art Association is located at 320 N. Columbia Street in downtown Covington. Current gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 11am – 4pm. All exhibitions are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

St. Tammany Art Association is supported by the generosity of members, volunteers, sponsors and by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs, St. Tammany Parish Government. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.

Quote & Word of the Week Word of the Week

Word of the Week

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Word of the Week: fortuitous

adjective
for·​tu·​itous | \ fȯr-ˈtü-ə-təs, -ˈtyü-, fər- \

1 : occurring by chance
2 a : fortunate, lucky b : coming or happening by a lucky chance

Did You Know?

For some 250 years, until the early part of the 20th century, “fortuitous” meant one thing only: “happening by chance.” This was no accident; its Latin forebear, fortuitus, derives from the same ancient root as the Latin word for “chance,” which is “fors.” But the fact that “fortuitous” sounds like a blend of “fortunate” and “felicitous” (meaning “happily suited to an occasion”) may have been what ultimately led to a second meaning: “fortunate.” That use has been disparaged by critics, but it is now well established. Perhaps the seeds of the newer sense were planted by earlier writers applying overtones of good fortune to something that is a chance occurrence. In fact, today we quite often apply “fortuitous” to something that is a chance occurrence but has a favorable result. – Merriam-Webster.com

Local History

Local History: Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 3

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Local History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet. This article has been broken up into 4 parts for ease of reading.
View his blog Tammany Family here.

Historical Markers

According to the Historical Marker Project website, there are 45 historical markers in St. Tammany Parish. They share a variety of historical highlights across the area, giving us an idea of the people and places that contributed to early St. Tammany. Here is their list.

Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 1
Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 2

Local History: Historical Markers of St. Tammany –
Part 3:

The Southern Hotel

At the turn of the 20th century, Covington was famous for its healthful, healing environment. Excursionists came by schooner and by rail to breathe the pine-scented air and drink the pure waters. To accommodate the many guests, Covington, like other towns on the north shore, offered a selection of hotels and home-like resorts. The Southern Hotel opened its doors on June 1, 1907. The hotel, designed in the shape of the letter “H,” was constructed at a cost of $100,000. The chef and his assistants were formally in the employ of first class hotels and restaurants in New Orleans. There were 200 feet of galleries overlooking New Hampshire Street, a formal garden and a tennis court. Tame and exotic animals resided in cages in the central lobby surrounding an artesian fountain. The building houses government offices from the 1980’s until a few years before its restoration began in 2012.

John Slidell

John Slidell was an American politician and diplomat. Born in New York City in 1793, he later moved to New Orleans, where he practiced law from 1819 to 1835. He married Mathilde Deslonde, a member of a respected family. A member of the state House of Representatives, John Slidell unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1828, but held the office of U.S. District Attorney from 1829-1833.

He was then elected as States Rights Democrat to the 28th and 29th U.S> Congress and served from March 4, 1843 until his resignation on November 10, 1845. In 1850, Slidell was elected to the U.S. Senate. He was reelected in 1853 and became a major influence in the administration of President James Buchanan.

At one point, he was known as “the most powerful man in the United States”Upon Louisiana’s secession from the Union, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Slidell as a special envoy to France with a mission of seeking diplomatic assistance and procuring war resources. While on his mission, Slidell was taken from the RMS Trent, which was seized by the U.S. After his release, he arrived in Paris in January 1862.

Through the banking house of Baron Emile Erlanger, Slidell arranged a major bond issue for the Confederacy. He remained in Europe after the Civil WAr. He died on July 29, 1871, in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England.

In the course of Slidell’s diplomatic and banking transactions, his daughter Mathilde met and married Baron Emile Erlanger’s son, Frederick. Frederick Erlanger succeeded his father as Baron and participated in building the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad. He named the first settlement in honor of his father-in-law, John Slidell.

Slidell: An Overview

Slidell, Louisiana was founded in 1883 during construction of a major new railroad from New Orleans to Meridian, Mississippi. The New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad established a building camp at first high ground north of Lake Pontchartrain which eventually grew into the city. Slidell was chartered as a town in 1888 by the Louisiana Legislature.

The town was named after John Slidell, a prominent state, U.S. and Confederate political figure. Sometime prior to Slidell’s formal incorporation in 1888, its first streets were laid out in a grid pattern. The north-south streets were Bayou (now Front), First, Second, Third and Fourth. The east-west streets were Fremaux, Erlanger, Bouscaren and Cousin.Erlanger, slightly wider than the others and designated as an avenue, was named after Baron Frederick Erlanger, John Slidell’s son-in-law and head of the banking syndicate which financed the railway.

Col. Leon J. Fremaux, a prominent Louisiana engineer and planter, drew the original plans for Slidell and named Fremaux Avenue for himself. Bouscaren Street was named for G. Bouscaren, the chief engineering officer of the railroad. Cousin Street took its name from the locally prominent Cousin family.

In the thirty or so years after its founding, Slidell developed a creosote plant, one of the country’s largest brick manufacturing facilities, a large lumber mill, and a shipyard. The Slidell Shipyard contributed significantly to the nation’s effort in both World Wars. Slidell residents worked in a local ship, tank and airplane construction during World War II.

In the 1960’s Slidell began to assume its modern profile as one of the major sites for NASA’s lunar landing program. In the 1980’s and 1990’s Slidell became a regional retail center.Slidell is located at the southeastern tip of St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana’s famous “Ozone Belt.” It is about three miles from the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and is surrounded by rivers and bayous.

The largest municipality in the Parish, Slidell has grown from a population of 364 in 1890 to 24,142 in 1990. Slidell’s 1999 population is estimated to be 32,000. Today, Slidell continues to deal with urban growth while preserving a sense of its history.

Flags Over Slidell. The United States of America 1810-1860:1865-PresentII. The State of Louisiana 1812 – PresentIII. The City of Slidell 1888-Present1. The Kingdom of France 1682-17632. The United Kingdom (Great Britain) 1763-17833. The Kingdom of Spain 1783-18104. The Republic of West Florida 18105. The The Republic of Louisiana 18616. The Confederate States of America 1861-1865.

1st United Methodist Church

Oldest Methodist Assembly in Slidell. Founded in a brush arbor on Sept. 26, 1887, as Methodist Episcopal Church South. Joined the Louisiana Conference in 1894. Present site dedicated July 16, 1961.

John Slidell

In 1883, Baron Erlanger named our city in honor of his father-in-law, John Slidell. Slidell had been a confidant of two American Presidents and a powerful member of the U.S. Senate from which he resigned in 1861, when Louisiana seceded from the Union. Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed him commissioner to France. Slidell nearly succeeded in bringing France and England to the assistance of the Confederate States of America. Had he been successful, the war between the States would have taken a different course. After the collapse of the C.S.A., Slidell never returned to Louisiana. He and his family are buried in Villijuif, France.

City of Slidell Centennial

Named for diplomat and U.S. Senator John Slidell of Louisiana by son-in-law Baron Frederic Erlanger, one of the financiers of New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad. Incorporated Nov. 13, 1888.

Slidell Town Hall and Jail

Built in 1907, this building replaced the original wooden Jail and Mayor’s Office. It was Town Hall until 1954 and the Jail until 1963. The town’s fire engine was located in the addition from 1928 until 1954.

Fontainebleau Plantation Sugar Mill

These ruins are all that remain of Fountainebleau Plantation, once the summer home and plantation of Bernard de Marigny. Born in 1785 to a family closely tied to the earliest colonial efforts in Louisiana, Marigny accumulated and lost a fortune in his lifetime. The grounds that make up Fountainebleau State Park are just a part of the vast land holdings he acquired on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. He operated Fountainebleau Plantation, brick kilns and a sugar mill between 1828 and 1852.

Although his major residence was in New Orleans, he chose to spend much of his time at his summer residence, cooled by the breezes of the lake and free to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. During his ownership of the plantation he participated in the early development of sugar cane and the refinement of sugar. The nearby town of Mandeville was owned and developed by Marigny as part of his extensive real estate interests. An unsuccessful candidate for governor three times, he remained active in politics until his death in 1868.

Read more great local history articles at TammanyFamily.com!

Local History

Local History: The Talley Family Story as Told by Mayor Mark Johnson

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

On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, Mayor Mark Johnson, then president of the Covington Heritage Foundation (CHF), presented a detailed account of the history of the Talley’s Feed & Seed Store, complete with family history and photographs.

Johnson’s speech entertained more than 100 members of the group in attendance, including three members of the Talley family who were surprised and appreciative when they found out that their parents were the subject of the 30 minute presentation. 

Here is the text and photos from Johnson’s presentation at the recent CHF Membership Gala held at the Southern Hotel, reprinted with his permission. Ted Talley Jr. has made some additional remarks in the text. Click on the images to make them larger.

The title of the talk was “Good People: A Family Tale of the 20th Century”

The following picture shows the Covington Coca Cola bottling company about 1918. Notice the low-pitched roof. The two-story building was located on North Columbia Street.

This current day photograph shows the O’Keefe Feed and Seed in Covington.
It’s the same building.

That building plays an important part in this story. 

Our story actually begins in 1918 in war-torn France, the war to end all wars. It brought death and injury to thousands of American soldiers. One of the injured was Claudis Simpson of New Orleans, who suffered severe leg injuries. He was brought to the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort McPherson, GA, where, over time, he gradually recovered.  

He can be seen in the photograph above, lying down in the background with the sling around his leg. In the next photograph he is seen on the hospital grounds. 

After he recovered, he went back to New Orleans and started a service station. At that time, operating a service station was a big deal and since it was located near a large hospital, it was very successful.

The service station featured classic gas pumps, displayed a Standard Motor Oil sign, and, as we can see by the fire hydrant in front, had running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity.

He got married and in 1924 had a daughter named Evelyn.
Doctors eventually told him that if he stayed in New Orleans, the pollution would kill him. So he traded the service station for 60 acres in Bush. He and his wife and his daughter moved to Bush and lived in a house where there was no electricity and no indoor plumbing.

The photograph here shows his daughter Evelyn in her Mardi Gras costume. She would tell about going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, leaving Bush early in the morning, going to Slidell and then to New Orleans, seeing the parades, then coming back through Slidell to Bush, all to return home in time to milk the cows.

She also recalled the story of when a new highway came through Bush, and since her father wanted the house to face the highway, he got together some of his friends, jacked up the house, put some logs under it and rotated it 90 degrees. Since there wasn’t any plumbing or electricity, it was a pretty easy thing to do.

 As she grew up in Bush, Evelyn studied by kerosene lantern, learned to play piano, went to high school in Covington, and joined the marching band.

 The Lyon High School Marching Band in 1940

Evelyn Simpson played trumpet, and she was so good at it the instructor Phillip Pfeffer would often leave her in charge of the group when he had to leave the room. She even helped conduct the band.  Pfeffer, a future Covington attorney, was the husband of Rosemary Pfeffer (long-time teacher of English and Latin at Covington High) and father of Elizabeth Pfeffer Williams and Susan Pfeffer Latham.

Evelyn Simpson Talley is far right, seated on the end with trumpet. On the far left front row is Clare Cooper Drinkard (elder Mayor Cooper’s sister, current Mayor Cooper’s aunt) and to her left is future husband Everett Drinkard.  In center left, in front of the cymbals, is junior high student  Ralph Menetre.

Menetre would walk from the junior high down Jefferson Avenue, past the St. Peter’s Catholic Church under construction to the high school to take part in rehearsals. After high school he went to LSU, and became a running back for the LSU football team.

Evelyn’s teachers all knew that she was a smart student and encouraged her to go to college. She graduated in 1940, but instead of going to college, she married Theodore Broughton “Red” Talley. Here’s a photo of the young couple. 

Shortly after they married, Red joined the army and went through basic training in Durham, NC. While he was away, Evelyn earned $10 a week as secretary and lived in a rooming house for $10 a week. Times were difficult, but as she recalled, she had a roof overhead, food, indoor plumbing and electricity. “Life was good,” she said, recalling the hardships of her childhood home.

Theodore “Red” Talley in Europe

Red Talley was soon deployed to Europe, and Evelyn got the news that she was pregnant.

Red Talley became a member of Patton’s 4th Armored Division, and was a part of Operation Bodyguard. He went on to France where he took a number of pictures.

Thirty-three months in Europe’s mud and snow

He served on a howitzer team.

The photograph above shows him on his way home after the war.

Here is Red and Evelyn Talley on November 4, 1945, with him seeing his daughter Carolyn Talley for the first time.
Red Talley then went to work for the Great Southern Paper Mill in Bogalusa.

He hated working there. Evelyn stayed on the farm in Bush. She hated farming. But then Red bought a truck and modified it to deliver seeds to farmers to plant in their fields. He also delivered chicken feed. The name of the business was Talley’s Feed in Bush, which operated between 1949 and 1951.

In 1951 Talley’s Feed moved into an old building at the corner of Gibson and Vermont Sts. in Covington. It was there for three years. Today that location is occupied by a parking lot west of Marsolan’s Feed and Seed which is pictured below.

“Retail was much better than farm life,” Evelyn said.

In 1953 the business moved to old Coca Cola bottling plant on North Columbia Street.

The caption to the above photograph included the following: The old Coca Cola Bottling Co. building is still standing, but has been converted into Talley’s Feed & Seed Co. on North Columbia Street. The two old trucks shown are Model T Fords. Standing in the door, left to right, are Bennie Aouielle and his father J. M. Aouielle. Standing by the trucks are Willie Bickham and Sonny Brown. The elder Aouielle owned the building and the son managed the plant.

The grand opening picture below shows the newly-repainted Talley’s Feed and Seed building, complete with loading dock and people attending the opening ceremonies.

In the 1954 photo above, the tall man in front of “Dairy Supplies” lettering was Red’s father, Theodore Talley of Bush.  The two ladies to the far right, making their way to the side of the building are probably Red’s mother Rosa Corkern Talley (Theodore’ wife) being led by her daughter Lydia Talley Mitchell.

Shown below in this interior grand opening picture are the Grand Ole Opry singers providing the music for the festive occasion. Notice the milk cans lining the wall on the right, a sign of the active dairy industry in the area. 

St. Tammany Parish was still quite rural in nature at this time with many poultry operations, cattle ranches and dairy farms. In fact, the area now occupied by River Forest Subdivision in Covington was at one time the location of two dairies.

Claire Cooper Drinkard wound up working at Talley’s Feed and Seed, and her husband Everett Drinkard is shown above with his Zetz-7up truck, with Troy Jackson and his son Troy Jr., at left, who grew up to become a principal of a Covington area elementary school.
In 1955 Talley’s started mixing their own feed after constructing a two ton feed mixer and elevated storage tank. 

The man to the far left is Oscar Franklin, long-time Talley’s employee.  To the right is Sydney Thompson of Bush, Red’s nephew. 

In 1955 a feed mill was added to the business, with the equipment to include two 2 ton feed mixers, a hammer mill for grinding and a molasses mixer.

The elevator storage tanks. 
In 1959 the Talley mill was expanded to include a 250 ton capacity grain storage elevator and a 100,000 pound capacity truck scale.

In the photograph below, from left to right, is Branker Talley (Red’s brother from Bush who was then a partner in Talley Bros.),  Red Talley, his son Ted Talley and Evelyn Talley. 

The large nail and fence staple lazy-Susan bin in the foreground was one of the first non-feed purchases made by the feed store.  It was at the old store location on Gibson Street and stayed on Columbia Street until the feed store was sold and became Spencer’s.

The picture above shows Oscar Franklin and the young Ted Talley, at left. Franklin was an important part of their operation for many years.

The picture below shows the Talley Brothers truck parked on the scales in front of the store, heading out to fill chicken feed tanks at poultry farms. 

 The truck could pump feed from the storage area on the truck directly to a hatch in the chicken house feed storage area.

In 1960, Talley’s became the authorized dealer for Ralston-Purina livestock and specialty feeds and animal health care products, switching from Ful-o-Pep Feeds.

In 1965 Mr. and Mrs. T. B. Talley were recognized by the Ralston-Purina Chairman’s Honor Council. It was one of four times that Talley’s was recognized as an outstanding Purina dealer.

Not long after, another building addition made room for a clothing section and western wear store. 

When the courts ordered the de-segregation of area schools, Red Talley, as a member of the school board, worked for the peaceful integration of the two separate school systems. As a result, those who vehemently disagreed with his efforts repeatedly smashed the windows of his store, roofing tacks were spread over the gravel of his parking lot, and his phone would ring all hours of the night, with no one on the line when it was answered. 

The photo above was taken in December of 1974, the year that the Farnam Horse Care Center was added to the many expanding areas of the Talley retail business department.
The picture below shows the Talleys celebrating the store’s 25th anniversary.

Theodore “Red” Talley died on February 1, 2012.
Mark Johnson ended his presentation by reading a newspaper column written by Ted Talley Jr. detailing his final Father’s Day visit with his dad Red Talley.
“They were our parents, the greatest generation, they were good people,” Johnson concluded.

Following the Covington Heritage Foundation presentation, Carolyn Talley Pearce thanked Johnson for doing the research and telling the story of her parents. She went on to tell the audience: “This has been really special for our family. My mother and dad, they were not in the old Covington family group, but we were part of St. Tammany Parish for eight generations. That’s pretty incredible.  We enjoyed being a really big part of this community, and I think our parents taught us to contribute and to be a part of everything that was going on around us. I’m so glad Ted and Susan are here tonight. The presentation surprised us. He (Mark Johnson) and mother had some great visits, and mother was so happy when she got to go ring the bell at the Bell Tower dedication ceremony. I took her out to Covington High, and they looked at her and asked can she ring this bell? CHS was such an important part of her life. Thank you all for being here and sharing all these memories with all of us tonight.”

Ted Talley Jr. said, “There’s been a lot of new things going on in Covington in the last couple of decades. You see art galleries and music events going on Boston and Columbia Streets and at the Trailhead. The photo showed this couple standing in front of feed sacks on a dusty floor in the old feed and seed store, but in 1955 (when the store was just three or four years old), they became part of a community effort to bring cultural arts to Covington.  The year 1955 was a significant year in the birth of the Arts in Covington.  The little theater Playmakers began that year, the St. Tammany Art Association was getting underway, and my dad helped support the Covington Symphony Society in its attempts to hold concerts for the students and adults of the area.

Talley’s Feed and Seed was one of the first guarantors of the efforts to fund the New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra when it came to Covington for annual concerts. He and other businesses made sure that the orchestra would have the money to make the trip in the event ticket sales were not quite enough. Mother and father were both a part of symphony arts appreciation and development.”

Three Lyon High classmates and pillars of Covington community. All celebrating 90 years of age in 2014. From left to right are Clare Drinkard, Evelyn Talley, and Audrey Oalmann.

Evelyn Talley showed off her Class Ring from Lyon High’s Class of 1940

In October of 2013 Covington High School celebrated its Centennial, 100 years of serving the community. Special guest was Evelyn Talley, and she was given the opportunity to “ring the bell” that had been saved from the 1984 fire that burned down the school building on Jefferson Ave.

She passed away on July 19, 2017, at the age of 93.

See more great photos from this article here.

Read about the original presentation here: