New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
1891 Painting-the Lake and Milneburg
Title of the Painting: Lake Pontchartrain Milneburg in the Distance Artist: George Gay Louisana State Museum Paintings Collection Lake Pontchartrain, Milneburg in the Distance-George Gay (c. 1858-1914) 1891 oil on canvas. Little is known of the Louisiana landscape painter, George Gay. Favoring coastal scenic vistas, Gay lived and worked in New Orleans from 1884 to 1897. His primitive style reveals limited formal art training.
1891 Inner Lake Pass
Engraving of View of Inner Lake Pass, West End from an 1891 Atlas.
Lake Pontchartrain at West End.
1896 - The first movie in New Orleans was shown at the Lake
The first movie in New Orleans The first movie in New Orleans was shown on an outdoor screen on the lakefront June 28, 1896, by Allen B. Blakemore, an electrical engineer for the New Orleans City and Lake Railroad. Blakemore reduced the five-hundred-volt current from the trolley line for his wonderful vitascope machine by way of a water rheostat. Source: http://clarionherald.org/20000316/stall.htm
1893 Woman Lighthouse keeper at Milneburg shelters storm victims
According to Carl Arredondo, in a 1893 Hurricane where 2000 people died in a 15 foot storm surge, 200 survivors sought refuge at the Port Pontchartrain lighthouse, and its female lightkeeper was publicly recognized for caring for them. This phots shows an 1890 shot of the lighthouse. Source: http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:IpP2X9jLmjo:www.newswatch15.com/weather/+port+pontchartrain&hl=en
1895 Lumber Schooner, New Basin Canal
George Fran?ois Mugnier New Orleans, c. 1895 Most Irish immigrants who arrived at the port of New Orleans stayed in the city, primarily because they could not afford passage farther inland. Crowding into the city's riverfront neighborhoods, they strained its limited housing, employment, and education. Forced to compete with slaves and free blacks at the bottom of the economy, many New Orleans Irish took low-paying, often dangerous manual jobs, such as digging canals and ditches, building roads, levees, and railroads, and laboring on the docks and in the warehouses. The mortality rate was especially high among canal diggers, who were highly susceptible to yellow fever, malaria, and cholera. Source: http://lsm.crt.state.la.us/cabildo/cab8.htm
1894 Kate Chopin writes about Bayou St. John & the Lake
1894 - A LADY OF BAYOU ST. JOHN A LADY OF BAYOU ST. JOHN. THE days and the nights were very lonely for Madame Delisle. Gustave, her husband, was away yonder in Virginia somewhere, with Beauregard, and she was here in the old house on Bayou St. John, alone with her slaves. Madame was very beautiful. So beautiful, that she found much diversion in sitting for hours before the mirror, contemplating her own loveliness; admiring the brilliancy of her golden hair, the sweet languor of her blue eyes, the graceful contours of her figure, and the peach-like bloom of her flesh. She was very young. So young that she romped with the dogs, teased the parrot, and could not fall asleep at night unless old black Manna-Loulou sat beside her bed and told her stories. In short, she was a child, not able to realize the significance of the tragedy whose unfolding kept the civilized world in suspense. It was only the immediate effect of the awful drama that moved her: the gloom that, spreading on all sides, penetrated her own existence and deprived it of joyousness. Sépincourt found her looking very lonely and disconsolate one day when he stopped to talk with her. She was pale, and her blue eyes were dim with unwept tears. He was a Frenchman who lived near by. He shrugged his shoulders over this strife between brothers, this quarrel which was none of his; and he resented it chiefly upon the ground that it made life uncomfortable; yet he was young enough to have had quicker and hotter blood in his veins. When he left Madame Delisle that day, her eyes were no longer dim, and a something of the dreariness that weighted her had been lifted away That mysterious, that treacherous bond called sympathy, had revealed them to each other. He came to her very often that summer, clad always in cool, white duck, with a flower in his buttonhole. His pleasant brown eyes sought hers with warm, friendly glances that comforted her as a caress might comfort a disconsolate child. She took to watching for his slim figure, a little bent, walking lazily up the avenue between the double line of magnolias. They would sit sometimes during whole afternoons in the vine-sheltered corner of the gallery, sipping the black coffee that Manna-Loulou brought to them at intervals; and talking, talking incessantly during the first days when they were unconsciously unfolding themselves to each other. Then a time came - it came very quickly - when they seemed to have nothing more to say to one another. He brought her news of the war; and they talked about it listlessly, between long intervals of silence, of which neither took account. An occasional letter came by roundabout ways from Gustave - guarded and saddening in its tone. They would read it and sigh over it together. Once they stood before his portrait that hung in the drawing-room and that looked out at them with kind, indulgent eyes. Madame wiped the picture with her gossamer handkerchief and impulsively pressed a tender kiss upon the painted canvas. For months past the living image of her husband had been receding further and further into a mist which she could penetrate with no faculty or power that she possessed. One day at sunset, when she and Sépincourt stood silently side by side, looking across the marais, aflame with the western light, he said to her: "M'amie, let us go away from this country that is so triste. Let us go to Paris, you and me." She thought that he was jesting, and she laughed nervously. "Yes, Paris would surely be gayer than Bayou St. John," she answered. But he was not jesting. She saw it at once in the glance that penetrated her own; in the quiver of his sensitive lip and the quick beating of a swollen vein in his brown throat. "Paris, or anywhere - with you - ah, bon Dieu!" he whispered, seizing her hands. But she withdrew from him, frightened, and hurried away into the house, leaving him alone. That night, for the first time, Madame did not want to hear Manna-Loulou's stories, and she blew out the wax candle that till now had burned nightly in her sleeping-room, under its tall, crystal globe. She had suddenly become a woman capable of love or sacrifice. She would not hear Manna-Loulou's stories. She wanted to be alone, to tremble and to weep. In the morning her eyes were dry, but she would not see Sépincourt when he came. Then he wrote her a letter. "I have offended you and I would rather die!" it ran. "Do not banish me from your presence that is life to me. Let me lie at your feet, if only for a moment, in which to hear you say that you forgive me." Men have written just such letters before, but Madame did not know it. To her it was a voice from the unknown, like music, awaking in her a delicious tumult that seized and held possession of her whole being. When they met, he had but to look into her face to know that he need not lie at her feet craving forgiveness. She was waiting for him beneath the spreading branches of a live oak that guarded the gate of her home like a sentinel. For a brief moment he held her hands, which trembled. Then he folded her in his arms and kissed her many times. "You will go with me, m'amie? I love you - oh, I love you! Will you not go with me, m'amie?" "Anywhere, anywhere," she told him in a fainting voice that he could scarcely hear. But she did not go with him. Chance willed it otherwise. That night a courier brought her a message from Beauregard, telling her that Gustave, her husband, was dead. When the new year was still young, Sépincourt decided that, all things considered, he might, without any appearance of indecent haste, speak again of his love to Madame Delisle. That love was quite as acute as ever; perhaps a little sharper, from the lone period of silence and waiting to which he had subjected it. He found her, as he had expected, clad in deepest mourning. She greeted him precisely as she had welcomed the curé, when the kind old priest had brought to her the consolations of religion - clasping his two hands warmly, and calling him "cher ami." Her whole attitude and bearing brought to Sépincourt the poignant, the bewildering conviction that he held no place in her thoughts. They sat in the drawing-room before the portrait of Gustave, which was draped with his scarf. Above the picture hung his sword, and beneath it was an embankment of flowers. Sépincourt felt an almost irresistible impulse to bend his knee before this altar, upon which he saw foreshadowed the immolation of his hopes. There was a soft air blowing gently over the marais. It came to them through the open window, laden with a hundred subtle sounds and scents of the springtime. It seemed to remind Madame of something far, far away, for she gazed dreamily out into the blue firmament. It fretted Sépincourt with impulses to speech and action which he found it impossible to control. "You must know what has brought me," he began impulsively, drawing his chair nearer to hers. "Through all these months I have never ceased to love you and to long for you. Night and day the sound of your dear voice has been with me; your eyes" - She held out her hand deprecatingly. He took it and held it. She let it lie unresponsive in his. "You cannot have forgotten that you loved me not long ago," he went on eagerly, "that you were ready to follow me anywhere - anywhere; do you remember? I have come now to ask you to fulfill that promise; to ask you to be my wife, my companion, the dear treasure of my life." She heard his warm and pleading tones as though listening to a strange language, imperfectly understood. She withdrew her hand from his, and leaned her brow thoughtfully upon it. "Can you not feel - can you not understand, mon ami," she said calmly, "that now such a thing - such a thought, is impossible to me?" "Impossible?" "Yes, impossible. Can you not see that now my heart, my soul, my thought - my very life, must belong to another? It could not be different." "Would you have me believe that you can wed your young existence to the dead?" he exclaimed with something like horror. Her glance was sunk deep in the embankment of flowers before her. "My husband has never been so living to me as he is now," she replied with a faint smile of commiseration for Sépincourt's fatuity. "Every object that surrounds me speaks to me of him. I look yonder across the marais, and I see him coming toward me, tired and toil-stained from the hunt. I see him again sitting in this chair or in that one. I hear his familiar voice, his footsteps upon the galleries. We walk once more together beneath the magnolias; and at night in dreams I feel that he is there, there, near me. How could it be different! Ah! I have memories, memories to crowd and fill my life, if I live a hundred years!" Sépincourt was wondering why she did not take the sword down from her altar and thrust it through his body here and there. The effect would have been infinitely more agreeable than her words, penetrating his soul like fire. He arose confused, enraged with pain. "Then, Madame," he stammered, "there is nothing left for me but to take my leave. I bid you adieu." "Do not be offended, mon ami," she said kindly, holding out her hand. "You are going to Paris, I suppose?" "What does it matter," he exclaimed desperately, "where I go?" "Oh, I only wanted to wish you bon voyage," she assured him amiably. Many days after that Sépincourt spent in the fruitless mental effort of trying to comprehend that psychological enigma, a woman's heart. Madame still lives on Bayou St. John. She is rather an old lady now, a very pretty old lady, against whose long years of widowhood there has never been a breath of reproach. The memory of Gustave still fills and satisfies her days. She has never failed, once a year, to have a solemn high mass said for the repose of his soul. Bayou People Kate Chopin 1894 Source: http://docsouth.unc.edu/chopinbayou/bayou.html#bayouf304
1894 - La Belle Zoraide by Kate Chopin
"The summer night was hot and still; not a ripple of air swept over the marais. Yonder, across Bayou St. John, lights twinkled here and there in the darkness, and in the dark sky above a few stars were blinking. A lugger that had come out of the lake was moving with slow, lazy motion down the bayou. A man in the boat was singing a song." Source: http://www.pbs.org/katechopin/library/zoraide.html Photo of Kate Chopin credit: Source: http://www.pbs.org/katechopin/library/zoraide.html
1897 - A Night in Acadie by Kate Chopin
"One afternoon he took her out to the lake end. She had been there once, some years before, but in winter, so the trip was comparatively new and strange to her. The large expanse of water studded with pleasure-boats, the sight of children playing merrily along the grassy palisades, the music, all enchanted her." Source: Documenting the American South http://docsouth.dsi.internet2.edu/chopinnight/chopin.html
1897 - Athénaïse by Kate Chopin
"One afternoon he took her out to the lake end. She had been there once, some years before, but in winter, so the trip was comparatively new and strange to her. The large expanse of water studded with pleasure-boats, the sight of children playing merrily along the grassy palisades, the music, all enchanted her. Gouvernail thought her the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Even her gown—the sprigged muslin—appeared to him the most charming one imaginable. Nor could anything be more becoming than the arrangement of her brown hair under the white sailor hat, all rolled back in a soft puff from her radiant face. And she carried her parasol and lifted her skirts and used her fan in ways that seemed quite unique and peculiar to herself, and which he considered almost worthy of study and imitation. " Kate Chopin Athénaïse Source: http://www.pbs.org/katechopin/library/athenaise.html
1899 - The Goodness of St. Rocque by Alice Dunbar
'There had been a picnic the day before, and as merry a crowd of giddy, chattering Creole girls and boys as ever you could see boarded the ramshackle dummy-train that puffed its way wheezily out wide Elysian Fields Street, around the lily-covered bayous, to Milneburg-on-the-Lake. Now, a picnic at Milneburg is a thing to be remembered for ever. One charters a rickety-looking, weather-beaten dancing-pavilion, built over the water, and after storing the children--for your true Creole never leaves the small folks at home--and the baskets and mothers downstairs, the young folks go up-stairs and dance to the tune of the best band you ever heard. For what can equal the music of a violin, a guitar, a cornet, and a bass viol to trip the quadrille to at a picnic? Then one can fish in the lake and go bathing under the prim bath-houses...and go rowing on the lake in a trim boat, followed by the shrill warnings of anxious mamans.' Source: Project Gutenburg e-text http://www.infocentral.com/texts/etext96/stroq10.txt
22 x 15 Color 1892 Map of New Orleans. To the left of the title an example of the two red lines seen in the map which depict the location of the Electric Street Car Lines and the Mule Car lines. In the upper left an insert map depicting a section of the city along Lake Pontchartrain. A few of the interesting notations within the map include; all the Canal locations, Charity Hospital, Rail Road depots with rail company names, the Mint, Confederate Soldiers Home, location of the draining machines, Fair Grounds, US marine Hospital, Work house and the House of refuge to name a few .
1899 National Standard Family and Business Atlas of the World map of New Orleans.
Includes Exposition Park, West End & Riverside Rowing Clubs, & St John Club Boat House.
1890 - 1920 Buddy Bolden's Band plays
Standing, left to right: Jimmy Johnson, Buddy Bolden, Willie Cornish, William Warner. Sitting, left to right: Jefferson Mumford and Frank Lewis. Buddy Bolden, considered the "father of jazz," was born in New Orleans in 1877 and died in 1931. The peak of his career was from 1890 to 1920. He played music at Milneburg and other lakeshore resorts. First of the great New Orleans jazz figures was Buddy Bolden, a barber who blew his horn to glory. Deeper, deeper, Buddy Bolden plunged into his music...He dominated...New Orleans, playing at saloons, lakefront parties... Buddy made up one song after another His playing had one feature that later jazz authorities recognized as indispensable- "the trance,' and ability to sink himself in the music until nothing mattered but himself and the cornet, in fervent communion. As the 1900s approached...a small, bulkily built boy listened nightly to the silver magic of Buddy's notes. Nobody paid any attention to him then. He was young Louis Armstrong. The New Orleans sound had begun around 1900 with brass ensembles which, like ragtime, took the marching military bands as their models. In addition to cornets, trombones, and an occasional tuba these groups included clarinets, banjos or guitars, and fiddles. The bass and the piano were excluded because of their size, although the piano was a popular solo instrument in the dives, honky-tonks, and 'sporting houses." Buddy Bolden's band with Bunk Johnson was playing In honky-tonks as early as 1895, and the Olympia Brass Band existed on and off from 1900 to 1915 led by coronetist Freddie Keppard, with Joe Oliver playing second cornet and Alphonse Picou, Sidney Bechet, and Lorenzo Tio on clarinets. Oscar "Papa" Celestin formed the Original Tuxedo Orchestra in 1910. Keppard later led the Original Creole Band, while Joe 0liver worked for trombonist Kid Ory in his Brownskin Band. When Oliver left for Chicago, as Keppard had done, Louis Armstrong replaced him on coronet, There were probably a hundred of these seminal groups, and their players seemed infinitely interchangeable. All of them understood the basic premise of the music: collective improvisation. Source: New Oleans Online-Music http://www.neworleansonline.com/music/bolden.shtml Around the turn of the century, when the great Buddy Bolden was the king of New Orleans jazz, the legendary musician played his cornet all over town: Rampart and Perdido streets, Uptown, the lakefront and across the river. Source: Gambit Weekly-Blake Pontchartrain http://www.gambit-no.com/1998/0901/blak.html Buddy Bolden's music was never recorded.
1890 Ferdinand (Jelly Roll) Morton is born
1890-1941 - Ferdinand (Jelly Roll) Morton Jelly Roll Morton was was the first great composers and piano players of Jazz. An interesing quote from Jelly Roll, talking about his recordings (records): "Why would anyone be interested in those old things?" He wrote "Pontchartrain" and recorded "Bucktown Blues". From 1926-1930, Jelly Roll Morton and the Red Hot Peppers band included Jazz greats Baby Dodds(drums), Johnny Dodds (clarinet), Kid Ory (trombone), and Johnny St. Cyr (banjo & guitar)--all born in New Orleans. Sources: Asbol Repertoire http://www.redhotjazz.com/jellyroll.html
Just across the 17th Street Canal from West End, at Jefferson Parish's East End, the rustic fishing village called Bucktown developed during the late 19th century. By the early 20th century, wooden camps built on stilts with wide galleries covered by shingle or tin roofs lined the canal. There were also stores, a schoolhouse, and a jail, as well as saloons, gambling houses, dance halls and clubhouses for sportsmen. Bucktown's restaurants were notable attractions, serving plentiful seafood from the lake and wildfowl and game from the surrounding swamps and marshes. Source: Betsy Swanson - at http://www.deanies.com/MM017.ASP?pageno=28 Image credit: www.louisianapaintings.com/ html/bucktown.html
1900's ~The steamboat New Camelia
The steamboat New Camelia would leave New Orleans in the evening, tour Lake Pontchartrain, returning in the morning. Postcard published by Raphael Tuck & Sons Oilette, Louisiana Series # 2549. Postmarked Baton Rouge 1907. Printed in England.
1890's West End Garden Amusement Park
Source: The Historic New Orleans Collection http://www.hnoc.org/ posted 2002-03-23
1890s Ferris Wheel
1890s Polo Race?
West End at the foot of the New Basin Canal. One of several pleasure resorts on Lake Pontchartrain. At the time of this print, New Orleanians would have travelled to West End by rail, or they would have taken the Shell Road to listen to music, ride the ferris wheel, or to frolic in the lake like these polo (?!) players. Source: New Orleans Public Library--Images of the Month http://www.nutrias.org/~nopl/monthly/mar99/mar9911.htm
1895 - CAPE CHARLES Ferry/Steamboat runs between Spanish Fort & Mandeville
CAPE CHARLES – A sidewheel ferry, 252.5x36x13 feet, built by Harlan & Hollingsworth at Wilmington, Delaware in 1885 for the New York, Philadelphia & Norfolk RR and used on Chesapeake Bay between Cape Charles and Norfolk, Virginia 1886-1887. Sold to the New York & New England RR, used on Long Island Sound between S. Norwalk, Conn. and Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY September 1891-July 1892. Sold to the East Louisiana RR circa 1895 and used on Lake Pontchartrain between New Orleans (Spanish Fort) and Mandeville. Sold to the Gulf & Ship Island RR circa 1897 and rebuilt into a dredge. Source: http://lrs.railspot.com/h/h-ferries.htm Photo credit: http://www.bay-creek.com/graphics/pc13.jpg (this is not the Cape Charles, but a similar steamer.
1890s view of Bayou St. John
With magnification one can see the sign for "Over The Rhine".
1890s - Spanish Fort Train
We think this may be the famous "Smokey Mary".
1892 Horse Ferry Map
This map was engraved by Fisk & Co. and published by Hunt & Eaton, New York, 1892, in The People's Cyclopedia. It shows steam and horse railroads, theaters, hotels, and other public buildings, as well as railroad and passenger ferries across the Mississippi River. A few of the specific features identified include the U.S. Mint, Morgan's Louisiana & Texas Railroad, St. Charles Hotel, Exposition Park, Jackson Square, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, Bayou Gentilly, Lake Pontchartrain, French Market, Freetown Ferry, Oakland Riding Park, Spanish Fort, the Shell Beach Railroad, Lower Protection Levee, and the University of Louisiana.