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Quote & Word of the Week Quote of the Week

Quotes About New Orleans

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On this strange and chilly Mardi Gras day, many of us do “know what it means to miss New Orleans”. Here’s a selection of some of the best famous quotes about the city we love.

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“New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” — Mark Twain

“In New Orleans, culture doesn’t come down from on high, it bubbles up from the streets.” — Ellis Marsalis

“There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better.” — Bob Dylan

“Don’t you just love those long afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour–but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands–and who knows what to do with it?” — Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire)

“New Orleans makes it possible to go to Europe without ever leaving the United States.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“There is no place on Earth even remotely like New Orleans. Don’t even try to compare it to anywhere else.” — Anthony Bourdain

“An American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” — Mark Twain

“New Orleans is a place that actually resembles no other city on the face of the Earth, yet it recalls vague memories of a hundred cities.” – Lafcadio Hearn

“You can live in any city in America, but New Orleans is the only city that lives in you.” – Chris Rose

“I’ve been all over the world. I love New York, I love Paris, San Francisco, so many places. But there’s no place like New Orleans. It’s got the best food. It’s got the best music. It’s got the best people. It’s got the most fun stuff to do.” — Harry Connick Jr.

“In New Orleans, we celebrate everything. It’s probably the only place you’ll see people dancing in a funeral home.” — Trombone Shorty

“The trap of growing up in New Orleans: you’re often preoccupied with what’s been lost while clinging to a grand, cobbled present.” – Anne Gisleson

“A man who forgets his past and allows the flame of the things he loves to be extinguished has no future.” ― T.J. Fisher, Orleans Embrace with The Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré

Local Events

Mardi Paws Tries a New Trick – Virtual Events, Doghouse Floats & More

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Canine Krewe Promotes Dog House Float Contest in Lieu of Usual Carnival Traditions

photo credit @by.drake

From Mardi Paws: In a year when the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to take a bite out of all the usual fun of Mardi Gras, the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws, a beloved dog parade that has been taking place in St. Tammany Parish for 27 years, refuses to take the news of parade cancellations lying down. In response to those who are begging for a safe way to celebrate this unusual Carnival season, Mardi Paws is hosting its first-ever Dog House Float contest.

Inspired by the pup-ularity of the “House Floats” that are all the rage in neighboring New Orleans and beyond, where businesses and homeowners have hired professional float decorators to transform buildings into Mardi Gras masterpieces, Mardi Paws is encouraging pooches and their people to unleash their creativity and transform dog houses into works of art. Modern-day revelers can then drive around – or go for a walk — to see this new breed of “float” in safe and socially distant ways.

The goal of “Dog House Floats” is to spread good cheer while drawing attention to the plight of the homeless pups at the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services in Lacombe, the only open-admission animal shelter in the parish.

photo credit @by.drake

Businesses and residents are encouraged to decorate a Mardi Gras-themed dog house display on their property. Those who truly want to explore all the paws-ibilities can instead decorate their residence, office building or business as a giant dog house. And those dog families already signed up for a “House Float” krewe in New Orleans or elsewhere become eligible for the Dog House Float contest by simply adding a dog house to their existing display.

To ensure that nobody feels like an underdog, the rules are very flexible. Decorate an existing dog house, build a new one, add a dog theme to a house float display, or even make a dog house-shaped mailbox. There’s no cost to enter, and top contenders can fetch prizes in either the “residential” or “business” category.

Displays should be ready as early as January 23 and must remain in place until Sunday, February 21, which is when the traditional Mardi Paws parade would have ordinarily occurred. (Mardi Paws always happens at the tail end of Carnival season, on the Sunday after Fat Tuesday.)

Participants can register at www.doghousefloats.com. As they complete their entries, contestants should let Mardi Paws know if they’d like their display listed on the official website – so celebrants can include it on their drive-by tours of floats — or if they prefer to remain unpublicized. Either way, contestants must email a photo of their display by 4 p.m. Central time on Saturday, February 20.

When it comes to free and socially distanced fun for the canine Carnival season, Mardi Paws leads the pack. The organization is also hosting this litter of virtual events:

Enter into a Poop Bedazzling Contest!
  • Costume Contest: Dogs should be dressed in a Louisiana-themed costume – honoring the Saints, a favorite college team, alligators or anything else everyone loves about the state – and hound their person to share a photo with Mardi Paws.
  • Selfie Contest, Quarantine Edition: Dogs can pose for a picture showing how they’re celebrating Carnival season in this most unusual of years.
  • Poop Throw Decorating Contest: One of the most fun parts of the actual Mardi Paws parade is the tossing of bedazzled “poops.” Now anyone can decorate the poop-shaped foam throws.
  • Flagship Float: Mardi Paws will have a special float on display at Baldwin Subaru, a local car dealer that’s committed to bettering the lives of all pets. (As a corporation, Subaru has long supported animal-related causes.) Visitors can easily view the float from their cars or jump out to get photos of this one-of-a-kind, a-dog-able float.
  • Social Media Contests and Giveaways: Everyone should keep an eye on Mardi Paws’ social media pages to participate in a variety of games and contests that offer incredible prizes (like lots of dog toys!).

For more information about all aspects of this year’s Mutty Gras season and all the virtual fun that’s planned, please visit www.DogHouseFloats.com.

Though 2021 will surely go down in history as a ruff year for those who look forward to the usual Mardi Gras traditions, Mardi Paws has decided to focus on what really mutt-ers as it doggedly pursues programs that will allow people and pets to have some fun in a safe and socially distanced way. (And remember, six feet translates to “about three Labrador Retrievers apart.”)

About the Krewe of Mardi Paws

The “Super Krewe for K9s” benefits Scott’s Wish, which has been helping people and pets since 2008, and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which was established by actor and hometown hero Ian Somerhalder to support animals, youth and the community at large. www.MardiPaws.com

photo credit @by.drake
Local Events

Benny Grunch & the Bunch with Candlelight Caroling at the Covington Trailhead

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Come join in the holiday spirit with candlelight caroling at the Covington Trailhead on Wednesday, December 9th, 2020. Featuring Benny Grunch and the Bunch performing our favorite festive tunes, this event is free and open to the public.

From the Benny Grunch & the Bunch website: “Not since Mr. Bingle has the Crescent City known the likes of such a Christmas icon! Benny’s musicianship underlines all of his endeavors. Forty years in show business has afforded Benny the distinction of being New Orleans’ “King of Christmas.” “

The Covington Trailhead is located at 419 N. New Hampshire Street in downtown Covington. The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating at the open-air pavilion, and a picnic, too, as food and drinks will not be available for purchase due to Covid-19 restrictions. Likewise, masking and social distancing is expected, and hand sanitizing stations will be available.

For more information, visit www.covla.com.

Local News

Mayor Mark Storm Update – Hurricane Zeta

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Hurricane Zeta Prep Update from City of Covington Mayor Mark Johnson. Sign up for email updates at www.covla.com

Covington’s own meteorologist Michael Efferson offers a very concise and most useful update on this week’s hurricane:

Hurricane Zeta: – The forecast track remains similar to pretty much every previous one. Climatology favors a more easterly one if any changes do occur.

Timing: Wednesday afternoon-midnight for peak conditions for southeast LA. It’s short because Zeta will be moving fast.

Here’s what I’d be most concerned with in southeast LA:
1. Flash flooding: rain will be heavy, even today(Tuesday). We’ve seen heavy rainfall events the day before landfall many times before. I’m talking parish sized flood events. Be careful driving and watch out for flooded roads
2. Winds: For those east of I-55, we saw some trees down and relatively short-term power outages with Delta. I’d expect similar, if not slightly worse conditions with Zeta.
3. River Flooding: Probably the lowest threat but non-zero. We can handle roughly 5-7″ of rain without more than moderate river flooding. More than that would be problematic.

City Impacts from most to least:

New Orleans/Slidell: 50-75mph winds. Expect scattered trees down and power outages lasting from a few hours to a day or 2. Localized street flooding likely. Covington: 40-65mph winds. Expect isolated to scattered trees down, no power loss to a day or 2 at most. Think similar to slightly worse than Delta impacts. Hammond: 30-50 mph winds. Isolated trees down and maybe powerloss for less than a day.

Baton Rouge: 25-35 mph. No real-world wind impacts. BUT, localized street flooding possible today and tomorrow.

**UPDATE 10-28-2020** from Covington’s own meteorologist Michael Efferson:

Winds look as bad or worse than I mentioned yesterday across New Orleans and Slidell. Covington, Hammond and Baton Rouge should be about the same.

Bottom Line:

  • Take this storm seriously. It WILL be worse than hurricane Delta was for those east of I-55 (Covington, Slidell, New Orleans metro)
  • Get your errands finished by noon.
  • 4 to 6 hour window of intense rain and dangerous winds
  • It will not be safe to be on the roads late this afternoon.
  • Winds should rapidly relax after around 9-10pm.

City Impacts from most to least:

New Orleans/Slidell: 60-90mph winds. Expect scattered trees down and power outages lasting from a few hours to a few days. Localized street flooding likely.

Covington: 40-70mph winds. Expect isolated to scattered trees down. Many will lose power for short period to a day or 2. Localized street flooding likely.

Hammond: 30-50 mph winds. Isolated trees down and maybe powerloss for less than a day.

Garbage / Recycling Pickup

Garbage will be picked up tomorrow morning (Wednesday) — But not per usual. Trucks will be running early to beat the storm.
Customers are advised to place bins out this evening, then secure bins tomorrow after pick up, prior to storm.
Assuming storm path and timing does not change, recycling will remain on Thursday.
After the storm: Leaves and clippings should be bagged and placed curbside on garbage day. Small piles of branches should be consolidated amongst neighbors (making the boom-trucks more efficient).
Changes in pick up schedule will be posted by Coastal Environmental Services on Facebook and on their website:
Coastal Environmental Services

Covington is a No Wake Zone

Covington Public Works is pre-positioning barricades for frequent flood hot-spots as well as cleaning culverts / catch basins. Big thanks to those residents who adopt a ditch or catch basin to check and clean prior to storms ( RivF : ).
Reminder: Covington streets are a NO WAKE ZONE. Though you may drive through safely, your wake rolls up into businesses and homes that otherwise would not flood. Avoid flooded streets when possible … go slow when unavoidable. Be kind.


Covington Fire Department will be checking on our most vulnerable, home-bound residents prior to the storm.
Covington Police Department will be on stand-by.

Sewer Lift Station – Generators are fully fueled.

CLECO order of re-energizing outages: 1) Hospitals 2) Nursing Homes 3) Sewer Lift Station / Treatment Plant 4) Traffic Signals 5 ) Residential Neighborhoods.
Repair crews are being pre-positioned today. To monitor outages & repair times, use CLECO’s app or Outage Map.

City Hall will be closed on Wednesday, October 27th

Visit www.covla.com for more information or to sign up for Mayor Mark’s email updates.

Read about St. Tammany Parish Government Emergency Operations for Hurricane Zeta, including self-serve sandbag locations:

Flora of Covington

Flora of Covington: the Pecan Tree, a Southern Tradition

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by Chelsea Cochrane

Pecan tree orchard with autumn leaves

The pecan tree (Carya illinoinensis) is a species of hickory native to the Mississippi River region and into northern Mexico. These majestic trees can grow 100 – 140 feet tall and can live as long as 300 years. Many old and young trees can be spotted in the Covington area, some remnants of the vast pecan groves and orchards that once speckled the South.

Its not an event without mini pecan pies!

Pecans are certainly a staple of southern living, a necessity in several baking recipes and an all-around healthy snack. Texas named the pecan the state’s official “health nut”, as well as the state tree, and pecan pie the state’s official pie. They’re a little nuts about pecans, but they’re not the only ones – the pecan is also the state nut of Arkansas and Alabama, and one of California’s four state nuts (don’t even talk to them about nuts). There’s a reason everyone loves pecans – besides being delicious, they’re good for you too, benefiting blood cholesterol levels, rich in vitamins, and containing high levels of antioxidants.

To see what all the hype is about, you’ll have to understand that pecans once played a large role in southern economics, and are still a major trade today. The only edible major tree nut native to North America, its use can be traced back to 16th century Native American cultivation and trade. The name “pecan” comes from the Algonquin word “pacane” meaning “nuts requiring a stone to crack”. Pecans became a large part of Native culture and were even used as a form of currency for a time.

Pecans are among the most recently domesticated major crops, first cultivated commercially in the 1840’s here in Louisiana. A black slave by the name of Antoine at the Oak Alley Plantation was the first to successfully graft a wild cultivar, creating an improved variety for propagation and thus budding the pecan industry. Pecans quickly grew in popularity and spread across the nation, from coast to coast and as far east as New York. To this day the US is still the largest producer of pecans, boasting 300 million pounds per year.

From the USDA: “Almonds and pecans are the major tree nut crops produced in the United States, followed by pistachios and walnuts. More than 98 percent of the acreage in almonds, pistachios, and walnuts is found in California. Seventy-four percent of the pecan tree acreage is in three states — Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia. The pecan acreage includes both native and improved tree varieties. The 2007 Census of Agriculture shows there are 1.86 million acres of tree nuts in the United States.”

from the USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture

Pecans aren’t actually nuts

Still green “fruit” of the pecan tree

Not to burst anyone’s bubble (especially Texas) but the pecan is not actually a nut. Often classified in the somewhat indistinct realm of “edible nuts”, pecans join pistachios, cashews, almonds and walnuts in the also hazy “drupe” or stone fruit classification. This distinction is made because unlike true nuts that contain both the fruit and the seed of the plant, drupes are fruit containing a hard-shelled seed within. Apricots, peaches, plums and cherries are also examples of drupes, just ones where we eat the fruit rather than the seed! The lines between classifying drupes and berries gets a little fuzzier, and has caused some arguments and long-standing grudges in the scientific community. Isn’t botany fun?

Pecans in Covington

Pecans can adapt to a variety of environments but thrive in full sun, warmer climates and sandy well-drained soil, making the Mississippi and adjoining rivers an ideal habitat. The Port of New Orleans became the main exporter of these southern-loving trees, whose soft wood also gained popularity in fine furniture making and in cooking, as a flavor enhancer for smoked meats like other types of hickory. Pecan orchards and maintained groves began popping up everywhere in the south.

Many older Covington natives can remember large groves of pecans along the river and around Claiborne Hill. The Alexius family owned a track of land on Three Rivers Road dubbed “Alexiusville” that was home to vast pecan groves as well. If you look around downtown you will find some magnificent older trees that are still producing. You may even have one in your backyard!

Caring for your Pecan Tree

If you are lucky enough to have one of these big beauties then you know one tree can provide an incredible amount of fruit. Pecans are slow to produce, often taking 10 – 15 years to mature from seedling. A single pecan tree in its 10th growing season can produce 50 lbs, while a more mature tree into its 15th season or more can drop over 100 lbs of pecans! Most of these will be eaten by squirrels however, if you aren’t quick.

Many variety are alternate-bearing, meaning that they will produce heavily one year and then very little the next year, or in some cases next several years. This can be helped sometimes with extra fertilizing. Trees will deplete much more nutrients on heavy-bearing years and need time to catch back up. Zinc is a common additive to help pecans produce a strong harvest.

photo by Carol M Highsmith of Texas pecan farmer

Learn more about pecans at the National Pecan Shellers Association’s website ilovepecans.org!

Local History

Covington History: the Train Depot

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

Covington’s first train depot was located on N. New Hampshire St. on the northeast corner of its intersection with Gibson St.

A timeline of important dates in the development of the railroad in St. Tammany Parish is detailed in the book “The Early History of Bonfouca and Lake Pontchartrain” by Carl Fedrowisch. On Dan Ellis’ website the following information is provided:

The Mandeville to Sulphur Springs Railroad Co. was organized in 1868, aiming to build a railroad from Mandeville northward towards Abita Springs.

A 22 mile long railroad trestle between New Orleans and Mandeville was deemed “possible” by engineers in 1880, but a year later the proposed bridge location was moved to the east end of the lake following the completion of the preliminary survey.

On October 15, 1883, the railroad bridge across Lake Pontchartrain south of Slidell was completed. The first train arrived in New Orleans from Meridian, MS, and Slidell became an important railroad stop, especially with the coming of the creosoting process and Roberts Landing creosote plant providing trestle building timbers and cross-ties that lasted much longer in service.

Train Depot 1910’s

In June of 1887, the East Louisiana Railroad was completed between Pearl River and Abita Springs, and on May 16, 1888, the East Louisiana Railroad was completed into Covington.

In 1904, the New Orleans and Great Northern Railroad was organized and plans were made to build a track from New Orleans to Bogalusa, then northward up the west side of the Pearl River to Jackson, MS. The same year the Salmen brothers of Slidell started building a railroad track from Slidell to Mandeville.

The original railroad depot in Covington was built in mid-1888, and when the East Louisiana Railroad reached Covington, it heralded an economic boom. The original depot faced New Hampshire Street with a passenger and freight terminal facing east. The track split in front of what is now Hebert’s Cleaners, with one track curving northward towards New Hampshire St. and the other track continuing on Gibson heading west.

Eventually the increase in the volume of train traffic convinced town officials and business people that a bigger, better train depot was needed, and the push for a new train station began.

click to enlarge see more at www.tammanyfamily.blogspot.com
click to enlarge see more at www.tammanyfamily.blogspot.com

And the new depot, a large brick structure, was built in 1921.

The north end of the train depot building is occupied by Lola Restaurant.

Covington Trail Depot 1982

Over on Facebook, Patrick Moore shared with us some of his grandmother’s memories of the Covington Train depot.

“My grandmother, who was 96 when she died in 2003, talked about taking the train from Abbeville to Covington in about 1935. She came to visit her mother-in-law/my great grandmother.

“My grandmother remembered arriving at “the new station” and walking to my great-grandmother’s house. When she’d asked for directions to the house, she was told “it’s an easy walk.” Today I’m not sure anyone would say that, as the distance is about a mile!

“When I was in high school I worked at The Covington Depot as a waiter, and when my grandmother would come in for dinner she’d show me where the depot waiting room had been, where she’d sat, etc.

“My grandmother was born in 1907 and she was raised in Abbeville, where her father was mayor, but she spent several years as a young girl residing in New Orleans because her father’s work brought him there. While she was living in New Orleans, my grandmother befriended a girl whose last name was Delahoussaye. The girl’s family owned a weekend home here in Covington and my grandmother stayed there on several weekends as a guest of her friend’s parents.

“My grandmother told me about her first visit to Covington, which was via the Delahoussayes, and that it occurred in the late teens. She and her friend traveled here from New Orleans by streetcar and they were met at the station in Helenburg by the Delahoussaye’s chauffeur and limousine. Mrs. Delahoussaye received them at home and proposed that they embark soon thereafter into Covington to pick up groceries for dinner.

“My grandmother was impressed when Mrs. Delahoussaye, who was described as “very formal,” prepared for the short trip into Covington by donning a hat, veil and gloves. My grandmother, who was rather formal herself, shook her head when telling that story and said: “Imagine! Wearing a hat and veil and gloves(!) in the country!” Apparently the fashion conventions to which Mrs. Delahoussaye so staunchly adhered, in my grandmother’s way of thinking, were better reserved for town events.

“The story continued with Mrs. Delahoussaye making her grocery selections and departing the store immediately thereafter, unburdened by her purchases. The groceries were delivered to the house later that day and received by the cook.

“Ever since hearing that story I’ve imagined the c. 1919 scene of the Delahoussaye’s black limousine as it rumbled across the Bogue Falaya River bridge (which would have been a plank bridge in those days, I assume) onto Boston Street.

“The story also reminds me of the culture that my grandmother and others always associated with Covington: that it was a country town where one employed country manners in all things, such as clothing. We think of Covington today as a rather fashionable and sophisticated address, but it was certainly a country town in 1919!”

Local History

Covington History: Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 1

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

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. You can view the full list and individual markers here: www.historicalmarkerproject.com

Indian Village

In 1699 Bienville visited the Colapissa Indians who lived in this area. The Indians called the Pearl River “Taleatcha” (“rock river”) because of pearls found in shells from its waters. The French found the river water good to drink.

Greater Mandeville Veterans Memorial, a War Memorial

Dedicated To The Memory Of Those Who The Defense Of Our Country And All Who Served In The Cause Of Freedom

Bicentennial Covington #1

In 1907, Guido Alexius and his sons Alfred, Cintio and John, founded Alexius Brothers and Company; and later his son Horace joined in the business. In 1915, this landmark establishment, originally a gym, was purchased. Later in the 20th century, Guido’s grandsons G.C. and Haller Alexius operated the hardware store at this location until 1985. In addition, portions of the land were donated by the Alexius family for the construction of the Covington Trailhead.

The Old Railroad Depot

The original depot faced New Hampshire Street with a passenger and freight terminal facing east. During the mid-1900s, the depot was moved one block to the present site (now a restaurant). The St. Tammany Special line left New Orleans at 4:30 p.m. and arrived in Covington at 6:15 p.m. It would leave Covington at 6:45 a.m. and arrive in New Orleans at 8:30 a.m. daily. This train was composed of elegant coaches and contained parlor buffet cars.

Abbé Adrien E. Rouquette

English side- Abbé Rouquette (1813-1887), poet and priest, lived as missionary among Choctaw Indians in region of Bayou Lacombe from 1859 till his death. The Choctaw called him “Chata Ima,” meaning “Like a Choctaw.”

French side”Abbé Rouquette (1813-1887), poéte et prêtre, vécut comme un missionair entre les Indiens Choctaws de la région Bayou Lacombe de 1859 jusqua’à sa mort. Les Choctaws l’appelérent “Chata Ima” qui est “comme un Choctaw.”

Public “Ox Lot” Parking

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.

H.J. Smith and Sons Hardware and Museum

Founded July 4, 1876, H.J. Smith and Sons Hardware and Museum is the oldest hardware and general store in the parish, housing unique artifacts pertaining to the history of Covington. Of note are the dugout cypress canoe and lead coffin. It is a regular stop for school field trips. Cotton was brought in from north of town and Mississippi plantations to be shipped to New Orleans. As many as 40,000-50,000 bales went through Covington in a year. The wagons pulled by teams of oxen regularly lined Columbia Street from the cemetery to the landing.

St. Tammany Fishing Pier

The St. Tammany Fishing Pier was built from sections of the original I-10 Twin Span Bridges which opened December 21, 1965. Tens of thousands of cars used these bridges to cross Lake Pontchartrain between Slidell and New Orleans until the morning of August 29, 2005 when Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall. A storm surge in excess of 16 feet, combined with that water’s return to the Gulf of Mexico destroyed the twin bridges. This destruction became one of the storm’s most iconic images. St. Tammany Parish Government, partnering with LA DOTD and the LA Dept. of Wildlife Fisheries, chose to create a fishing pier as a new public use for the remnants of the bridges and as a testament to the strength and resiliency of the citizens who call southeastern Louisiana their home.

Reconstruction Period

During the Reconstruction Period, trade was still slow as the main source of land transportation was still the ox and the wagon. From the mid-1800s, the railroads were primarily used access the area’s vast timber reserves, but once built, they were quickly put to use by the burgeoning tourism and resort industry. On May 16, 1888, the East Louisiana Railroad reached Covington, heralding an economic boom. The flow of people and commerce that first came by river exploded with the arrival of the railroad.

Bicentennial Covington

Three rivers and several Indian trails converged in the area where Covington was founded. These major trade routes are what placed Covington at the center of commerce. They became the lifeline of trade and transport between points north of Lake Pontchartrain and the markets in New Orleans and beyond. When the bridges periodically washed out from logs floating down the river, the community would rally to restore these vital links.

Original Homestead of Walker Percy

Homestead owned by Walker Percy, who was an American author and philosopher. He is best known for his philosophical novels set in and around New Orleans, the first of which, The Moviegoer, won the U.S. National Book award for fiction. Walker Percy along with 21 other noted authors created the fellowship of Southern Writers.

St. Tammany Parish World War I Memorial, a War Memorial

Erected and Dedicated To The Soldiers Of World War I
1920; Restored 2010 By St. Tammany Parish Kevin Davis, Parish President.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Historical Markers of St. Tammany!

Check out Ron Barthet’s blog Tammany Family for more great local history!

Local History

Covington History: Highlights of History by H.A. Mackie

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

H. A. Mackie of Covington wrote an interesting overview of the Historical Highlights of St. Tammany Parish, and it was published in the June 26, 1953, edition of the St. Tammany Farmer. It was also reprinted on a handout for the Covington Sesquicentennial.

Here is the text as written by H.A. Mackie.

Highlights of History of Covington and St, Tammany Parish, La.

The SETTLEMENT that was to be called Covington was originally named Wharton, located on the east bank of the Bogue Falaya river, where Claiborne now stands. The old courthouse is still there, re-modeled, as a residence. It was used only a short time as a courthouse.

The development of the settlement was rapid, especially after it was moved to the west bank of the river and the name changed from Wharton to Covington, by an act of the State Legislature, passed March 16, 1816. On April 2, 1832, a charter was granted by the State Legislature to the City of Covington.

Covington was named after a prominent citizen of the time, General Leonard Covington. One story goes that a large amount of whiskey was shipped to New Orleans from Covington, Ky., through Wharton which suggested the name. That is probably, only a fable.

High Land

Columbia Street Landing postcard

St. Tammany parish was the nearest high land to New Orleans and became the gateway to the north and a source of much needed material for building New Orleans, and other products for the city’s development.

New Orleans, being surrounded by water and marshland, the only contact with the rest of the country was by transportation on the Mississippi river and Lake Pontchartrain.

The navigable rivers in St. Tammany parish, offered a desirable means of trading merchandise for raw materials. The Little Tchefuncta, Bogue Falaya and Abita rivers, formed the Big Tchefuncta river about 20 miles from Lake Pontchartrain. The route was directly across the lake to the mouth of the Tchefuncta. Deep water at Covington, made the highland country, with its resources, accessible to New Orleans as far north as the Great Lakes.

The route into New Orleans from the lake was by the new and old canals. Both reached into the heart of the city where the produce, cotton, cattle, hides, wool, timber, charcoal, fuel, wood, naval stores, sand, brick and gravel, supplied the needs of the coming great city, New Orleans.

Tammany Materials Built New Orleans

All of the buildings in New Orleans were made from St. Tammany parish materials. To get some idea of how old Covington is, in 1803 the Louisiana Purchase took place in the Cabildo at Jackson Square. The Cabildo buildings, the St. Louis Cathedral and all surrounding structures had been built of material from St. Tammany parish, years before. The trade and traffic of which, had been handled in and around this location.

Before the saw mills were operated here, the logs from the hills of St. Tammany parish were rolled or dragged to the nearest water courses leading to the rivers, made into huge rafts and floated to the mills on the new and old canals in New Orleans, where they were cut into lumber.

The writer remembers well, the rafts of logs that filled the new canal born Claiborne to Broad street and Martin’s large saw mill at Galvez street. Sand, gravel, wood, charcoal and gravel were hauled in schooners and barges.

At first, mule teams towed the boats to the head of the canals, but later this chore was done by steam tugs. Much cotton found its way to New Orleans from St. Tammany parish.

Brickyards and Charcoal

Old-timers will remember the charcoal schooners at the head of the canals. St. Tammany charcoal and pine wood was the fuel used most in New Orleans in those days. Brick and sand made up much of the tonnage for the boats. The remains of many brick kilns may be found on the rivers in St. Tammany parish today.

After the settlement was moved to its present location, the river front at Columbia Street became the focal point of land and river traffic. Passenger and freight boats made regular trips to New Orleans, some of which were steam driven.

The country north of Covington for 100 miles was covered with virgin yellow pine, some of the finest in the world. It was government owned, but acquired by settlers through homestead rights. A settler could get title to 180 acres by cultivating and living on ten acres for a period of ten years.

Military Road

A main road was established due north through Mississippi into Tennessee, and was used by Gen. Jackson on his way from Tennessee to fight the Battle of New Orleans. He took a boat at Covington and crossed Lake Pontchartrain to get to New Orleans. The road to Covington was called Military Road, because a military post was established on the river north of Covington. It became the artery of traffic to the north, serving the settlers. from St. Tammany parish to Tennessee.

The settlers would take days, sometimes weeks, to drive their ox teams to town to trade their produce with the merchants and buy provisions to last them for months. Many farms were started along the way. Sheep and cattle business developed, lumber and naval stores operations became extensive and large mercantile houses handled a large volume of business.

A branch of the Union Bank of New Orleans was located on Rutland and New Hampshire streets, the old brick foundations are still on the spot. The manager of the bank lived in the then famous Rosedale Mansion on Portsmouth (now Wharton) and New Hampshire streets. This old mansion was burned about 1899, and the present frame structure was built about 1901.

Bank Buries Money

When the Yankee gunboats came up the river to take Covington, the banks money was hidden in a tank buried in the yard of the owner of the bank. The tank was removed in 1915 by the present owner of the property, but no money was found. If there had been any money in the tank, it would have been Confederate and worthless.

The early activities of the settlement started at Columbia street and the river and radiated out into the forests. Foot paths became wagon roads, then highways and now ribbons of concrete to all parts of the country.

The land on the river front was owned by a man named John W. Collins. On March 19, 1814, he dedicated it to the town and laid out the squares, streets and lots. The record reads, “It is humbly dedicated to the late President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, giving use of all streets, alleys, water courses, with timber thereon, as shown by plat, referred to in the body of this dedication.” After the execution of the dedication, Mr. Collins proceeded to sell the lots to interested citizens.

Ox Lots

In the squares, a 20-foot alley was cut through, with an ox lot 120 by 120 feet, in the middle to accommodate the farmers’ teams at night, to keep the oxen off the streets. This dedication by Mr. Collins, was a part of the Division of St. John.

As an illustration of how the town started to develop, the writer has titles and descriptions of property on Portsmouth street (later Independence, now Wharton), between Columbia and New Hampshire, which Includes lots 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. The following names are recorded, as purchasers of the lots:

Alice Wilson, 1815; Samuel Murphy, 1818; Peter Quinn, 1817; James and Thomas Tate, 1817; John G. Greeves and Laurent Millandon, 1823; James McCoy and Samuel Mallory, 1825; Henry Quinn, 1835; Samuel Davis, 1835; Mrs. Mary Merritt and William Bagley, 1844; William Bagley, 1846; Rev. Victor Jouncourt, 1845 G. Price Durance, 1849; William Bagley, 1850; Mary Ann Dunnica, 1857; Archbishop A. Blanc, 1858; John Ruddock, 1867; Charles R. Bailey, 1868; Rev. Joachim Maneritta, 1870; George Ingram, 1875; Adam Thompson, 1877; Thomas Collins, 1883; James Taylor, 1884; Henry Smith, 1890; St. Peters Church, 1896; Hypolite Laroussini, 1891, H. A. Mackie, 1915.

After the Civil War the railroads came from the north to New Orleans, and commerce and river traffic to and from St. Tammany parish faded. Mercantile houses became country stores, the deep water at the foot of Columbia street filled with sand and only small boats can be accommodated now.

Boll Weevil Obliterates Cotton

The boll weevil took its toll of cotton, the timber played out, the W. P. A. ruined the farmers and with the discontinuance of passenger train service, Covington almost became a ghost town. But with its good climate, timber re-growth, pure artesian water, good drainage, beautiful trees, white sand bathing beaches, Covington has become the place of recreation and health for the people of New Orleans and other parts of the state and nation.

Money Hill Tung Oil Plantation

As business people of New Orleans retired, many established homes and beautiful estates in St. Tammany parish, creating a substantial income for the community. A network of good highways have helped the situation greatly.

Covington and surrounding area have large educational institutions, drawing students from other states and foreign countries.

The new $365,000 parish hospital will add much to the desirability of Covington as a residential city. The tung oil industry and cattle raising, have been developed on a large scale in this area.

Businesses of Covington

A naval stores plant was established in Covington in 1911 and has operated continuously since, with a considerable payroll and benefit in land clearing, pine stumps being the raw material used.

Covington Bank & Trust

There are many very old business places and residences in and around Covington, which would make good reading, if their histories were told. Few cities in America are more interesting and beautiful than Covington.

The parish has other interesting places. Slidell has large and important industries; Madisonville has its shipyards; Abita Springs and Mandeville are famous recreation and health resorts.

St. Tammany parish is a pleasant and healthful place to live in and has a most promising future. It is 68 miles by road and 35 miles by air from New Orleans.

When the Greater New Orleans Expressway is built, St. Tammany parish will be the front yard of the big southern metropolis and its most beautiful residential district.

End of Mackie article

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Check out Ron Barthet’s blog Tammany Family for more great local history!

Non Profit Spotlight

Non-Profit Spotlight: Boys & Girls Club Continues Community Aid Programs

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Since 1965, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana has been a leading provider of both after-school and summer enrichment programs focused on serving disadvantaged youth ages 6 – 18. We are a local 501(c)3 nonprofit and rely on the generosity of local donors, partners, and supporters. Annually we serve over 4,000 youth across Southeast Louisiana ranging from New Orleans to the Westbank, Slidell, and of course our local Club in Covington! Over 70% of the youth we serve are ages 12 and under and over 70% of our youth come from single-parent households. We not only provide education and educational resources, we provide mentorship via our Club Staff and volunteers, nutritious meals, life-enhancing programs, preparation into early-adulthood, and more.

Our Mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. If anyone would like more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana or want info on how to get involved whether that’s through a donation or volunteering, you can find our website at: www.bgcsela.org.

Here are the updates and changes that we’ve implemented in response to COVID-19:

Like many nonprofit organizations in the greater New Orleans area, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana and the youth we serve have been dramatically impacted by COVID-19. Our community continues to face unprecedented times, but your support can help kids that need critical support. Our Mission remains the same, the only thing that has changed is our delivery. Here’s what we’ve been doing:

• COVID-19 Financial Relief: To date, and with the help of various donors, we have been able to provide $29,300 in COVID-19 relief to our families in need. This has been distributed in the form of Rouses Gift Cards, Chevron Gas Cards, and direct rent / mortgage relief.

• Direct Family Contact and well-being checks: We contacted every single one of our youth and families that we serve to check in on them and to offer assistance through this challenging time. We continue to provide links to emergency EBT benefits for children, locations of food banks and online learning modules to assist parents who are now being tasked to operate as full-time teachers while their kids are home. We continue to call our families weekly.

• Grab & Go Meals: We have partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank and are providing Grab & Go Meals at two of our Club locations, Slidell and Westbank. In Covington we serve meals through Solutions of Folsom, distributed from 9 – 12 at Faith Bible Church on Columbia Street. We are staffed on-site distributing both lunch and dinner to those in need. Individuals who show up do not need to be members of BGCSELA or have their children enrolled in our programs to qualify for a free meal.

• Virtual Programming and Online Learning: Beginning the first week of June, we launched our virtual programming and education curriculum available to all our youth. Club Directors are creating great video content to engage our youth, we even have at home workouts and DIY STEM labs from home. Additionally, every week our Club Directors are jumping on Zoom with our Youth to further engage them in discussion around the week’s topics as well as encourage them to interact with other youth from the safety of their home. This is in large-part due to our partnership with Chevron who has been an outstanding community partner in our efforts to switch to virtual.

Love Boys & Girls Club? Learn more, get involved or donate at www.bgcsela.org or follow on Facebook.

Local News

Alliance For Good Government Rescinds Drucker Endorsement

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NEW ORLEANS- In a letter sent to Sharon Lo Drucker this week, the Alliance for Good Government announces the endorsement given to Drucker for the November 6 (2018) election has been rescinded. Drucker has been informed she will not be allowed to use the organization’s logo or to utilize her prior endorsement from the organization during her current term in office.
In the letter, board officials stated: “The Alliance for Good Government’s position is to honor their endorsement process and in public awareness of candidates running or in office.”
Excerpt from Letter to Drucker:
As you are aware, we had the forum for the School Board District 9 on August 8, 2018 in which you handed in The Candidate Questionnaire to us on the night of the forum and answered “No” to question #15 which states: “is there anything in your background that may be of an issue to the Alliance for Good Government, and if you have been arrested, indicted, convicted, been under criminal investigation or sanctioned, please state: where and when and give a brief explanation.”
The shoplifting incident at Walmart on July 7, 2018 was not disclosed on the Candidate Questionnaire which was signed and dated by you on July 29, 2018. At the time of the forum and endorsement we had no knowledge of this incident occurring.
We are truly sorry for our rescinding our endorsement; however, the Alliance for Good Government’s position is to honor their endorsement process and in public awareness of candidates running or in office.
About the Alliance for Good Government
The Alliance for Good Government is a non-partisan, 501 (c) (3) designated organization comprised of dues paying members in four chapters: Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and St. Tammany parishes.
Founded in 1967, the Alliance for Good Government was formed to foster, protect and promote the welfare and interest of Louisiana citizens by bringing together the community into an organization to promote public policies which benefit the New Orleans Metropolitan area, the State of Louisiana and the United States of America. The Alliance also researches and informs the public on any issue which relates to taxes, bonds, amendments, and other policies.

General Local News

Waste Management Ready For 2018 Hurricane Season

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Company Provides Valuable Tips for Louisiana Residents to Include in Annual Planning 
Baton Rouge, LA – May 25, 2018 – It’s the type of service you rarely think about until it’s truly needed. Much like electricity for your home or gasoline in your vehicle, most residents may take their garbage and trash collection for granted under ordinary daily circumstances.
“Following a natural disaster, one of the most essential needs for a community to begin recovery is the reliable return of its most vital services,” said Rene’ Faucheux, manager of government and community affairs, Waste Management Gulf Coast Area. “That is why Waste Management spends a lot of time in the weeks and months prior to each hurricane season focusing on preparation and recovery planning.

Storm Tips (Before the Storm):
Secure garbage and recycling containers. Place empty containers in a secure location away from open spaces.
 Stop all yard maintenance and tree trimming activities when there is a named storm with a predicted landfall.
 Bundle and tie down all loose trash such as tree limbs, wood planks or building and roof tiles. Place these materials in a location where debris cannot become hazardous to homes and automobiles in high winds.
 Waste Management will continue to collect household garbage and recycling materials in the neighborhoods it serves according to designated schedules until a hurricane warning is issued. 
Storm Tips (After the Storm):
After the storm passes, separate normal household garbage such as food refuse, diapers and regular household waste from storm debris caused by high winds, hail and rain. Storm debris including tree limbs, carpet and carpet padding, aluminum and wood fencing and household appliances should be placed curbside in separate piles, apart from the household garbage.
Separating normal household waste from storm debris will allow Waste Management employees to collect household garbage more quickly and safely, and help prevent odors and safety hazards that would be
created by mixing household garbage with storm debris. Separation is also necessary to allow Waste Management to collect normal household waste and to permit other firms to collect storm debris in accordance with arrangements made by local municipalities and/or the parish or county with contractors independent from Waste Management.
Waste Management will resume curbside residential collection and commercial collections as soon as it is designated to be safe to do so, on those streets that are passable. The company will expand its routes to additional areas as more streets become clear of debris and other impediments.
“After a significant storm impacts a community, there are few more welcome signs of things getting back to normal than seeing our people doing their jobs,” said Faucheux. “Once public safety is restored, the rapid recovery of a community begins with the startup of routine services. While contractors from other companies are contracted to pick up storm debris, we focus on restoring regular commercial collection services and household curbside collection. Doing everything we can to prepare before, and return to service after a crisis, is what being a good community partner is all about.”
Waste Management will post updates on its website at www.wm.com/alerts as an approaching hurricane causes closures and delays, and the site is frequently updated once the hurricane passes and service returns to normal operations.

About Waste Management

Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com. 

General Local History

A Saint For New Orleans

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by Lindsay Reed

Nine parishes in Louisiana have the distinction of being named after saints. The last time I had the pleasure of visiting the Northshore, I was curious about who St. Tammany was and the results of my query surprised and delighted me. St. Tammany is the only one of the parishes not named for a Christian saint. Tammany is a variation of the name Tamanend. He was a chief of the Native American Lenni-Lenape tribe who made a pact with William Penn. This pact, dated 1683, stated that his tribe (later called the Delaware tribe by English speakers) and the Quaker colonists settling in Pennsylvania would live in peace “as long as the creeks and rivers run and the sun, moon, and stars endure.” Tamanend’s name means ‘Affable One’ in his tribe’s native language. While the European colonists and Native Americans did not live in peace for as long as the pact so beautifully stated, Chief Tamanend was respected and honored by a great many people and is called a patron saint of America. May 1st marks festivals held in his honor featuring the ringing of bells. He is remembered in musical and visual art and his name has graced numerous social clubs, a middle school in Pennsylvania and, of course, the southern Louisiana parish.

Not long after I discovered the story of the namesake of the Northshore parish, I came across the story of the first Native American to be canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. Her name is St. Kateri Tekakwitha. She became a saint in 2012 and her patronage includes Native Americans, orphans, ecology and the environment. She was born in 1656 and lost her parents in a smallpox outbreak when she was four years old. The illness also left her face scarred and her eyesight impaired. Her father was a Mohawk chief and her mother, a Christian, hailed from the Algonquin tribe. Tekakwitha, as she was called before her baptism, was raised by her paternal aunt and uncle, also a Mohawk chief. She refused to marry and was baptized by Jesuit priests on Easter Sunday 1676 at the age of 19. At this time she adopted the name Kateri in honor of Saint Catherine of Siena. Neither of these decisions garnered approval from her tribe and she endured both social and physical hardships as a result.

When it became dangerous for her to remain in the village Father Jacques de Lamberville, the Jesuit missionary who baptized her, advised she journey nearly 200 miles to a Jesuit missionary settlement at Kahnawake where she could practice her faith with less severe opposition.
Kateri arrived at Kahnawake, outside of Montreal, and spent the remainder of her life there. Although she was born in New York her relics are kept and venerated at the site of her death. For the last three years of her life Kateri continued to offer up acts of self-mortification and penance as well as intense devotion to prayer. She was no longer being punished by her tribe for being a Christian but she was still unable to participate in the religious life of a nun because of her ethnicity. She was allowed to take private vows of celibacy on March 25, 1679 and she had fellowship with a group of Christian Iroquois women who shared her views on dedicating their life entirely to God. The Jesuits were impressed with her piety and her life was well documented by Fathers de Lamberville, Chauchetire and Cholenec, which helped secure her canonization as the first Native American saint. Kateri died on Holy Wednesday April 17, 1680 and Father Cholenec wrote that her smallpox scars faded 15 minutes after her death and her face was suffused with beauty. This was the start of miracles being attributed to Kateri Tekakwitha and confirmed to the Jesuits who had lived with her that she had spiritual powers.

Recently I was curious who the first African American saint was and this time I was once again surprised but also hopeful. I was surprised because as of yet there has not been a canonized African American saint but there are several cases pending. I was hopeful because one of those cases is that of Henriette Delille, a New Orleans woman. If she is canonized she will have the distinction of being both the first African American saint as well as the first saint from New Orleans. Her story mirrors some of the same difficulties that St. Kateri faced and it would be wonderful for the first person with African ancestry sainted in America to be a woman whose story demonstrates devotion and perseverance in the face of difficulties which we struggle with to this day. The case for Mother Henriette Delille to be considered for sainthood was opened in 1988 and all her documents were gathered and sent to Rome in the summer of 2005. Hurricane Katrina hit that August and New Orleans underwent a tragedy that could be likened to the physical and emotional suffering that many saints experience. Mother Henriette’s case progressed over the years and on March 27, 2010 she was deemed Venerable by the Roman Catholic Church. This title signifies that she lived a life of heroic virtue. It is two steps away from the title of Saint, for which two verified miracles are necessary. Those miracles are currently being investigated and if both are authenticated then Henriette Delille will become the first New Orleans Saint.
Henriette was born in 1812, the same year that the first cargo arrived in New Orleans by steam from Natchez. The city would undergo many changes in her lifetime, as the cargo entering New Orleans became immigrants between 1830-1840 and the city became the third largest in the United States. Henriette’s great great grandmother Nanette had arrived from West Africa and was a slave until the death of her owner. Nanette earned enough money to buy the freedom of her daughter Cecile and two of her grandchildren. Henriette was born a free person of color to Marie-Josephe Diaz and Jean-Baptiste Lille Sarpy. Marie educated her daughter in literature, music and nursing, raising her to participate in the placage system.

This was a social institution in which wealthy white men attended quadroon balls with the intent to meet and develop relationships with mixed race women. These relationships would be treated as common law marriages, also called ‘mariage de la main gauche’ (left-handed marriages) and would frequently result in families. Often the men would also marry white women and have a legal marriage and legitimate heirs as well. This was the arrangement Henriette was born into because it was illegal for her parents to marry. Her family expected that she would also participate in the placage system and there are indications she did have a relationship of this nature with a man. Records show that Henriette gave birth to two sons, both of whom had the same name and that both boys died before age three. These tragedies and the subsequent grief resulted in Henriette experiencing a religious transformation. At age 24, she wrote in her prayer book – “Je crois en Dieu. J’esp’re en Dieu. J’aime. Je veux vivre et mourir pour Dieu.” (I believe in God. I hope in God. I love. I want to live and to die for God.) She was no longer willing to live her life the same way.
Hemriette’s relationships with her family were strained by her decision to no longer live within the societal norms in place for free women of color in New Orleans at the time. Henriette’s mother Marie had two other children and they all listed themselves as white on the census but Henriette decided to identify herself as a free person of color. This decision prohibited her admittance as a postulant into both the Ursuline and Carmelite orders because they only accepted white women. Marie died in 1836 and Delille was free to pursue her goal to start a religious order for women of color. Along with friends Juliette Gaudin, Josephine Charles, Marie Jeanne (a French woman dedicated to the cause) and several free women of color, Henriette started an organization they named the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 21, 1836. Their goal was to provide an opportunity for women in New Orleans, including women of color, to come together to show devotion to God through serving those in need. Their motto was “To be of one heart and one soul.” Father Ettienne Rousselon was a benefactor to the women after his arrival in New Orleans in 1837 and assisted them in receiving recognition for the order. Their ministry became the Sisters of the Holy Family Order in 1842, on the same date of November 21. Only Henriette and Juiliette witnessed the official formation of their order that day as Marie Jeanne could not because of her ethnicity and Josephine did not join them until the next year. The ladies educated slaves and free people of color, both children and adults, at a time in America’s history when it was illegal to do so. Henriette used her monetary means as well as the education her mother and mentors provided her to help people in need of both knowledge and healthcare. It was another decade before the Sisters took formal vows of poverty, chastity and obedience on October 15, 1852.
At this time Henriette officially became Mother Superior of the Sisters of the Holy Family Order. Mother Henriette passed away at age 50 on November 17, 1862. The Order consisted of 12 members at the time of her death but continued to grow and provide services for those in need. Today the Lafon Nursing Facility and St. Mary’s Academy are part of Mother Henriette and the Sisters of the Holy Family Order’s legacy in East New Orleans, as well as schools in Texas, Florida, Arkansas and Louisiana and missions in Texas, California, Washington D.C. and Belize. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina profoundly affected both Lafon Nursing Facility, which was rebuilt and reopened in 2010, and St. Mary’s Academy which reopened in 2011 to a rebuilt and updated campus. New Orleans and Henriette Delille have gone through a great deal of change and loss at pivotal points together and the road to put things in order has been an arduous one.
I feel it is important to note that the Venerable Henriette Delille was a multiracial CrÈole. This is a blending of ethnicities including French, Spanish, African, Native American and European common in New Orleans because of historical and geographical factors.

1982.1.10.4

It would be erroneous to only mention Mother Delille’s African ancestry. But that part of her ancestry did play a significant part in contributing to the challenges and discrimination she faced in her life as well as where she focused her compassion and life of service. St. Kateri was born of two Native American tribes and also experienced the strain of her family’s disapproval for the path she chose to devote herself to but she endured all that suffering and forged an irrefutable link as a Native American Roman Catholic saint. One of the translations for St. Kateri’s name Tekakwitha is “she who puts things in order”. That can be a difficult endeavor genealogically as well in any aspect of life. I think it is a common feeling among Americans to not be entirely sure of their complete ethnic heritage and to be surprised by the results of genetic testing. The United States has a unique history of immigration. Some immigrants arrived by choice to pursue a better life for themselves and their descendants. Some people were brought by force and endured a great deal of sorrow to contribute to the population of this country. Many people felt a pressure to pass as American and sever cultural ties to their country of origin after the physical act of transplantation. This can be likened to the pressure Mother Henriette felt to pass as white in her time. But she did not wish to be untrue to herself and her heritage and I find that heroic. New Orleans and America share a common theme of blending together ethnicities, religions, languages and art and it would be a great event for New Orleans to have a native born Saint.

From top clockwise: View of the Central Business District and Mercedes-Benz Superdome, an RTA Streetcar passing through Uptown New Orleans, a view of Royal Street in the French Quarter, a typical New Orleans mansion off St. Charles Avenue, and the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square

Finally, Mother Henriette is relatable at this time in history because she faced societal pressure to conform to certain sexual and social norms within which she did not wish to live. Our country is in the midst of confronting the same sort of difficult issues concerning what is acceptable and how long we will continue to tolerate openly known secrets that contribute to the suffering of vulnerable populations and the overall dysfunction of our society. Mother Delille is an excellent candidate for sainthood in the post #metoo era because she experienced the pain of growing up and living as an adult within the plaCage system. Through personal tragedy she showed the tremendous bravery to say, “Not me. No longer”. She continued to demonstrate amazing courage throughout the rest of her life to help people in need. Many people in the world today need the encouragement of stories of brave women who came out on the other side of suffering to rebuild a life of dignity and compassion. Anyone can be inspired by the story of a life of heroic virtue. To become a saint, the Venerable Henriette Delille needs her story to reach more people. It can become overwhelming to only see the shortcomings of society in this day and age. But there is also the chance to have a say in who we deem holy.
Let’s pray for our first New Orleans Saint.
Submitted by Lindsay Reed

Works Cited

Kyriakodis, Harry. ìRespectfully Remembering the Affable One.î Hidden City Philadelphia RSS, Hidden City, 7 May 2014, hiddencityphila.org/2014/05/respectfully-remembering-the-affable-one/.
The Gale Group Inc. ìKateri Tekakwitha.î Encyclopedia of World Biography, Encyclopedia.com, 2018, www.encyclopedia.com/people/philosophy-and-religion/roman-catholic-and-orthodox-churches-general-biographies/kateri.
Rasmussen, John. ìSaint Kateri (Kateri Tekakwitha).î The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada, 19 Nov. 2012, www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/tekakwitha-kateri/.
Scott, Mike. ìFull Steam Ahead: The Invention That Forever Transformed New Orleans — and the Country.î NOLA.com, NOLA.com, 5 Feb. 2018, www.nola.com/300/2017/03/new_orleans_steamboat_history_1812.html.
Moss, Candida. ìWill America Finally Get Its First Black Saints?î The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 2 Apr. 2017, www.thedailybeast.com/will-america-finally-get-its-first-black-saints?ref=scroll.
Chatelain, Kim. ìThe First Real New Orleans Saint? Henriette Delille’s Path to Canonization.î NOLA.com, NOLA.com, 2 Mar. 2017, www.nola.com/religion/index.ssf/2017/03/henriette_delille.html.
Villarrubia, Eleonore. ìMother Henriette Delille, New Orleans Native, Declared Venerable.î Catholicism.org, 14 July 2016, catholicism.org/mother-delille-new-orleans-native-is-declared-venerable.html.
Pope, John. ìSt. Mary’s Academy Celebrates Milestone on Road to Recovery from Hurricane Katrina.î NOLA.com, Times Picayune, 6 Apr. 2011, www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2011/04/st_marys_celebrates_milestone.html.
Stockman, Dan. ìHistory of Rebuilding Helps Sisters of the Holy Family after Hurricane Katrina.î Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter, 23 June 2016, globalsistersreport.org/news/ministry/history-rebuilding-helps-sisters-holy-family-after-hurricane-katrina-40551.
Stuart, Bonnye E. More than Petticoats. GPP, 2009. pg 25-34
Ferreira, Marion. ìFrom a Creole Perspective.î FrenchCreoles.com, http://www.frenchcreoles.com/Henriette_Delille2(Marion_Fererra).html

General Local News

City Leadership Receives Crimestoppers Award

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Congratulations to Mayor Cooper and Chief Tim Lentz, who

accepted the Crimestoppers Award of Excellence for their

work on Operation Angel. Chief Lentz describes the event in

his own words following the picture below:

“Today (Thurs., March 15th), myself and Mayor Cooper were

honored to receive the Crimestoppers Award of Excellence

for our work on Operation Angel. Their 33rd Annual Awards

Luncheon took place at the Hyatt in New Orleans. We were

equally proud to share the spot light with our friend Trey

Folse as he received the Award of Excellence in School

Safety and Prevention.

We truly appreciate Crimestoppers and their Executive

Director Darlene Constanza for recognizing our efforts to

make a difference in the lives of those suffering from

addiction.” – Chief Tim Lentz

CPD is Open 24/7 Emergencies – 911 Assistance – 985-892-8500

Local History

A Celtic Cross From Ireland In New Orleans

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Twenty seven years ago, a Celtic Cross cut of marble from County Kilkenny, Ireland, was dedicated to the immigrant Irish workers who dug New Orleans’ New Basin Canal. The work was completed in 1838, after six years of labor. The canal connected Lake Pontchartrain with the interior of the city to promote commerce; today, the canal is filled. Commerce moves through the city still, though differently. In that former canal space, a beautiful monument stands in the neutral ground, on the grass between West End Boulevard going north and Pontchartrain Boulevard going south. This monument is an actual piece of the country of Ireland, shaped by Irish hands. From the powerful force required to break the block away to the heartbreaking care required for the intricate carvings, this stone monument mirrors the history of New Orleans, and on a larger scale, of America as well.
Thanks to the Irish Cultural Society of New Orleans who spent the time and effort to raise $20,000 to finance the cross. It is jarring to think that the cost of that canal is measured in lives as well as dollars and time. The cost in lives is significant; the exact number of men lost, primarily Irish, is unknown. Estimates vary from hundreds to tens of thousands. When mosquito-born diseases like cholera and yellow fever plagued the city, these men were hit hard, as they were working in swamp water up to their hip. They went to work sick to dig a channel that would innervate New Orleans. There is honor in that, and the sacrifices made to get to the city’s heart speak to an understanding of disaster shared by New Orleans and the country of Ireland.
Between economic and natural disasters, New Orleans and Ireland have experienced events that range from severe damage to utter catastrophe. The Great Famine, 1845-1851, caused an exodus from Ireland, with a horrific new reality for those leaving or staying. Hurricane Katrina had a similar effect on New Orleans in 2005, also growing the north shore along with the rebuilding process.

The Irish immigrants who died digging the New Basin Canal were men who left their native country in the days before the Great Hunger, as conditions became more desperate in Ireland – politically, economically, and in every aspect of the physical, mental and emotional health of the people. Tensions tend to build for long periods of time before devastation. The question “what caused it?” is different every time you ask; how far back to look?
I’m sure the men who died digging the canal thought of their family back in Ireland, even as they passed on and returned to the ground of their workplace. I’m sure there were good times, hope and an opportunity to balance the desperation of that work. A labor union grew, and the opportunity to be as big as you could dream was before them, as well as the risk. Tragedy permeated all levels of existence, deeply into art as an expression of emotion. The following song places the number of casualties at 10,000, which may not be an exact count–but the permeation into the psyche is strong and gives evidence to the level of grief. “Ten thousand Micks, they swung their picks/ to dig the New Canal/ but the cholera was stronger ‘n thay/ An’ twice killed them awl”.
It’s not an easy song to listen to. Many of the men who are the subject of this popular song were in the very beginning phase of changing nationality. That’s an enormous transition, likened to being on the neutral ground in between – probably thinking of their homeland constantly. As New Orleans shows a continuous affinity for saints, the immigrants revered Saints Patrick and Brigit. Maman Brigitte is the Haitian/New Orleans Voodoo spirit adopted directly from the ancient Irish Goddess Brigid. There is significant connection when theologies intermarry, one usually formed by a bond of labor and tragedy.
The Great Famine that changed Ireland changed America too, by extension. The men commemorated by the Celtic Cross here in Louisiana, Irish in origin but American at death, is but one example of how much the two countries share. The marble cross stands as memorial to the men who worked day after day to build a connection, carrying on their job while singing one hell of a work song. Perhaps November 4th will become an anniversary in both New Orleans and Ireland, one that commemorates the themes of sacrifice, suffering and respect of shared ancestors that builds a beautiful legacy. – By Lindsay Reed
Photos by Hunter Thomas

General Opinion

Human Trafficking in the United States

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According to the U.S. Justice Department, 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked into the country every year. The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates that 57,700 U.S. Citizens and immigrants are victims of human trafficking, including young children, teenagers, men and women.
At the same time, recent analysis by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed a gap between the claimed number of victims and confirmed cases of victimization. How is this discrepancy characterized? Are people sensationalizing their experiences, or is the system hindered in some way? In many cases, sex workers refuse to report crimes because they themselves will be arrested as active participants in criminal behavior.
This brings to mind statements made by New Orleans D.A. Leon Cannizarro in April of this year regarding victims of rape and domestic violence. In effect, victims would be forced to testify with material witness warrants or face jail time. Not only is jailing a victim of that nature of crime abusive, it is counterproductive to the goal of removing violent criminals from the street.
It is a crime to make people work by use of force, coercion or fear under federal law; by extension, no one should be forced to testify under duress. Our very own Declaration of Independence was influenced in part by the philosophy of natural law, which was instrumental in challenging the divine right of kings, and is distinct from common law.
Simply, it is the idea that all human beings on the planet ultimately have the same rights, which are not to be violated by the state or by one another.

That seems pretty idealistic, but the ancient Greeks, who influenced some of the better aspects of our current social knowledge, thought it was fairly legitimate. The responsibility evident in the concept of natural law is that taking care of oneself is essential to having the ability to help others. This self determination also implies the right to be free of negative influence, in whatever fashion.
The basis of natural law is such that a person or entity does not have the right to impose their will on another individual. Although it seems that we have moved far away from that ideal, it is always obtainable. It begins simply with how we treat one another, exhibiting a basic respect for life, and placing people over profits.
Fear should never be a factor in disclosing abuse, and neither should ignorance. The real problem with the discrepancy of the numbers is that it implies one of two things: 1) people are making up stories or 2) the nature of the issue is more institutional than recognized. Send comments or responses to covweekly@gmail.com

Local Events

The Double Life: A Survivor’s Guide To Transcend Success and Tragedy

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From humble beginnings in Arkansas during the Depression era and exotic Morocco of his teen years to Oxford University as a young scholar and his eventual settling in New Orleans, David Campbell continuously found himself attracted to the mysterious and the bizarre. The Double Life: A Survivor’s Guide to Transcend Success and Tragedy chronicles Campbell’s eighty-year journey as he lived a double life and how he reconciled himself with his sexual identity, his battle with addiction, and his coming to terms with the nature of God and his place within the universe.
Campbell examines not only the personal details of his life, his family, and relationships, but also the intricacies of life as a gay man and prominent attorney in New Orleans during the 1960s, his entry into the city’s historic preservation movement of the 1980s in which he became the first person to convert a warehouse into a private residence in New Orleans’ Central Business district, and his eventual retreat to the sanctity of a nature preserve in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. Along the way, he reveals the stories behind the stories in the practice of law, the art world, preservation, and conservation, all in the context of living a double life.

The Double Life: A Survivor’s Guide to Transcend Success and Tragedy records the accounts of a man who witnessed the beauty and devastation of life while he captures the spirit of New Orleans during the latter half of the twentieth century.    doublelifeneworleans.com
The St. Tammany Parish Library has been serving the citizens of St. Tammany Parish for more than 65 years.          (985) 893-6280      sttammanylibrary.org

 

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Real Estate Professional Beverly Hobbs Shea of Real Estate Resource Group, LLC

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avatarBev Hobbs Shea is a real estate professional specializing in properties for residential and light commercial real estate in the New Orleans and Northshore regions of southeast Louisiana.  Additionally, she offers consulting and fee-based services to the real estate industry with a special  interest in trouble shooting and remedying issues.  Please feel free to contact Beverly for a list of references and testimonials from her satisfied client base.
“I believe that one’s personal and professional lives should parallel one another.  To that end, and at all times, the highest level of integrity and ethics will be the standard by which my duties will be executed and my behavior conducted. There is not enough compensation or promise that can deter me from modeling the core values I esteem.”
Beverly’s reputation is that of a straight shooter, and while her candor may sometimes get her into trouble, she doesn’t change the formula.  Bev believes strongly in responsibility and accountability, and along with that, authenticity and sincerity in the consultations she provides.  She often goes beyond the typical transaction experience and is always up for a challenge!  Since most of Bev’s business is repeat and referral based, it stands as an expanding and continuing testimony to her service and knowledge.  Clients tell Beverly she is unlike any other real estate professional they’ve dealt with in the past, and she always takes that as a compliment.  With this reputation, Bev will honor and trust the confidence placed in her, and she will not disappoint!      Real Estate The Way It Should Be.
Beverly Hobbs Shea, ABR, ACRE, CRB, CRP, CRS, GRI, SRES     

Managing Broker, Licensed in Louisiana, USA

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Real Estate Resource Group, LLC
90 Louis Prima Drive, Suite A    Offc.  985-898-5888
Covington, LA USA 70433           beverlyhobbsshea.com

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Final Rockin’ the Rails of October 2015 This Thursday

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Concert Features The Johnny Sansone Band With Special Guest Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

johnnysansonebandFrom New Orleans to the world Johnny is known for his blistering electric harmonica tone, Award winning song writing, Swamp, Roots, Americana Accordion and Larger then Life stage presence. Johnny’s music career has brought him from his early professional years backing up Chicago blues legends, Jimmy Rodgers, Robert Lockwood Jr, John Lee Hooker.  Johnny continues to forge forward on world wide tours with his band , As a solo artist and as a member of New Orleans super group The Voice of The Wetlands All Stars.

BigChiefMonkB

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

The New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian phenomenon is part music, part heritage, part ancestry, part revelry, part fashion, and oft misunderstood.  Chief Monk Boudreaux is one of the most famous and enduring leaders of that culture and head of the Golden Eagle Mardi Gras Indian tribe.  Music has also become a vehicle for raising awareness of the plight of coastal erosion.  Boudreaux joined forces with blues guitarist and singer/songwriter Tab Benoit and an all-star band of musicians in the project “Voice of the Wetlands.” The group recorded and performed songs aimed at raising awareness of this issue that is central to the viability of the region.
See them both at the Covington Trailhead this Thursday for the final Rockin’ the Rails of the season.  Brought to you by the City of Covington, Rockin’ the Rails is a free concert series open to the public.  Food and drinks are available for purchase.  Visit covla.com

 

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Save The Date for COPA’s Friday Night Music Club with the Masakowskis

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Friday Night Music Club with Sasha and Steve Masakowski at Center Of Performing Arts

Friday Night Music Club with Sasha and Steve Masakowski at Center Of Performing Arts

On October 9th, Friday Night Music Club will welcome Sasha & Steve Masakowski.  Sasha Masakowski was born into a family of musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She grew up studying classical music under the wing of her mother, acclaimed concert pianist Ulrike, spent her teenage years studying music, theater and dance at the prestigious NOCCA, and developed a strong affinity for jazz music in college, where she immersed herself in UNO’s jazz studies program under the tutelage of her father, world renowned jazz guitarist Steve Masakowski.

She has since created a unique musical identity combining the facets of her upbringing, and developed a career which has allowed her to perform for audiences across the world.

Steve Masakowski has long been regarded as one of the top Jazz artists from New Orleans. Born and raised in New Orleans, Steve Masakowski has played guitar with most of the city’s greatest musicians including Alvin “Red” Tyler, Ellis Marsalis, Danny Barker, Earl Turbinton, and James Black.

COPA Friday Night Music Club

COPA Friday Night Music Club

He has also performed with Grammy Award-winning artists Bobby McFerrin, Nicholas Payton, Allen Toussaint, Dianne Reeves and others at major festivals around the world as wel as being an active member of, and composer for the award winning New Orleans jazz group, Astral Project.

He has twice been voted “Best Guitarist,” and won “Best Contemporary Jazz Group” three times by Gambit and Offbeat magazines in their annual reader’s polls.

Steve is currently on the faculty at the University of New Orleans where he holds the position of Coca-Cola Endowed Chair of Jazz Studies.

Purchase tickets at:  www.centerofperformingarts.net

 

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Rockin’ the Rails Kicks Off This Thursday, October 1 With New Suit

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Rockin the Rails October 2015The fall 2015 series of Rockin’ the Rails begins this week with New Suit, a New Orleans based musical group specializing in ’60-70’s “old-school” soul/R&B music. They cover a wide-range of popular music from a variety of genres to “suit” any public or private event. New Suit performs in locations across the U.S. and are a six member professional music act.

www.covla.com

New Suit on wwltv

New Suit on wwltv