New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Thursday, April 27, 2017
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1900s


1900 Louis Armstrong is born

Louis Armstrong, who popularized jazz on an international level, was born in New Orleans in 1900 (some say 1901) and died in 1971. He began his career around 1915 as a teenager. 'West End Blues' was one of Armstrong's songs which featured the local scene.

1900 Louis Armstrong is born

1900s - Mannessier's Pavilion at West End.

1900 Mannessier's Pavilion, West End, ca. 1900. The New Basin Canal reached the Lake at West End, a resort area that flourished from the 1880s to around 1920. New Orleanians rode steam and later electrified trains or took the Shell Road to the site, where there were restaurants, amusement rides, musical entertainment, and movies shown outdoors. Mannessier's, at right, was a branch of Mannessier's Confectionery, a famous coffee, ice cream and pastry shop on Royal Street. The pavilion operated at West End from about 1899-1911. [Louisiana Photograph Collection. C. Milo Williams Collection] Source: http://www.nutrias.org/~nopl/photos/williams/williams47.htm

1900s - Mannessier's Pavilion at West End.

1900s montage of West End attractions

Source unknown.

1900s montage of West End attractions

1909 West End Postcard

A postcard lithography shows boats and a ferris wheel. Published by Rotograph, # A3622.

1909 West End Postcard

1903 Woman Lighthouse keeper at West End shelters storm victims

Margaret Norvell served at the Head of Passes Light from 1891 to 1896, the Port Pontchartrain Light from 1896 to 1924 as the head keeper and then finished her career at the West End Light where she served from 1924 to 1932. She rescued numerous shipwrecked persons during her career and assisted many others in distress. On one occassion in 1903 when a storm swept away every building in the community except the lighthouse she cared for over 200 people who had been left homeless. Source: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/faqs/vip.html

1903 Woman Lighthouse keeper at  West End  shelters storm victims

1907 Postcard. Reads "Old Spanish Fort Erected in 1770 Under Baron De Carondelet. New Orleans, La"

1907 Postcard. Reads

1900 West End at the New Basin Canal

New Basin Canal, ca. 1900. This view, taken from the Lake Pontchartrain entrance to the canal, shows several of the structures that comprised the West End resort. The lighthouse is still standing, but the larger buildings behind and to its right have long since disappeared. Source: http://nutrias.org/monthly/oct98/oct9810.htm

1900 West End at the New Basin Canal

1906 Shell Road & New Basin Canal

1906 A postcard illustrating the shell road and canal (New Basin Canal) described in Mark Twain's 'Life on the Mississipi' (1874). Reads 'Shell Road Toll Gate, New Orleans, La.' Publisher: 'Phostint' By Detroit Publishing Company, #10285 At top, In Pencil -Notes: Toll House At Left - Unpaved Road - Canal At Right, With Small Steamer And Other Boats, Barges - Copyright 1906 By The Detroit Publishing Company -Blue Title. Source:thepostcard.com http://www.thepostcard.com/

1906 Shell Road & New Basin Canal

1904 the 1st Pumping Stations

Designed in 1904 and used by New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board ever since these were the most advanced low-lift drainage pumps in use in the early 20th century, later used worldwide. New Orleans is the only major American city that lies below sea level (4-6 feet). Its pumping and drainage sys- tem is the most powerful system in the USA, designed by Baldwin Wood around a series of giant 16-foot screw-type pumps capable of emptying Lake Pontchartrain inside of 48 hours. Were it possible to lay the more than 2,500 miles of underground pipes and conduits end-to-end, they would stretch from here to Vancouver. (The Wood pumping system and pumps were prototypes for the Dutch when they drained the Zuider Zee, reclaiming 1/3 of the total area of the Netherlands.) Source: http://gcrc.med.unc.edu:70/0/ftp/doc/neworl.txt

1904 the 1st Pumping Stations

1908 map showing West End, Spanish Fort, & Milneburg.

Note the transit systems which broght visitors from all over the city to the lakefront resorts, restaurants, dance halls, and camps. Note also the waterways (New Basin Canal & Bayou St. John) which were used to transport people and goods to and from the lake. Map source: http://www.madere.com/map10.gif

1908 map showing West End, Spanish Fort, & Milneburg.

1908 close up--Lake section

1908 close up--Lake section

Buddy Bolden at the Turn of the Century

1877-1931 - Buddy Bolden #1 "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 Deeper, deeper, Buddy Bolden plunged into his music...He dominated...New Orleans, playing at saloons, lakefront parties... Source: New Orleans Music Online http://www.neworleansonline.com/music/bolden.shtml Bolden played for dances, for pinics out at Milneburg, (Jelly Roll Morton says that he most surprising thing that happened to him in connection with the misspelling fo the name Milneburg was a long letter from a patriotic German citizen who was pleased that someone from the States had celebrated the Joys of the German City Milenburg with such wonderful jazz) for parties at Johnson Park (when Buddy Bottle used to make his balloon ascensions)... Source: http://home.att.net/~joeshepherd/jazz/jazz13.html Buddy Bolden is considered by many to be "The Father of Jazz".

Buddy Bolden at the Turn of the Century

1900s - Early jazz musicians of all races and economic classes performed in groups at the lakefront

The Lake Pontchartrain shore includes Bucktown, West End, Spanish Fort, Milneburg, and Little Woods. Historically, the lakefront was a resort area where brass bands played at amusement parks, dance pavilions, saloons, picnics, and family camps (i.e., cabins on piers for weekend retreats). Early jazz musicians of all races and economic classes performed in groups at the lakefront, which was important as a place where musical ideas and techniques were shared and mixed. Joseph Sharkey Bonano was born in Milneburg. Most of the lakefront relating to jazz history was irreversibly altered in the late 1920s when the shoreline from West End to the east of Milneburg (more than 5 1/2 miles) was extended about 2,000 feet into Lake Pontchartrain. Important sites that were obliterated by the reclamation project and other efforts included Tranchina's and the Tokyo Gardens at Spanish Fort, the boardwalk and stilt camps at Milneburg, and the West End Roof Garden. Only a few isolated and altered structures related to early jazz remain today. Source: http://www.nps.gov/neor/map_area_hist.html#lake Sharkey Bonano was one of the most charismatic and beloved jazz men of old New Orleans. His charismatic singing and trumpet playing draw comparisons to Louis Prima (he even starred in a band with Prima's brother Leon in the 1930s) but his sound and personality was indisputabley his own. Tbis record label is from a rare locally produced 78rpm single of "Farewell Blues" signed on the label by Bonano.

1900s - Early jazz musicians of all races and economic classes performed in groups at the lakefront

1903 Streetcar service to Spanish Fort was discontinued

signalling the beginning of the demise of its popularity. Source: New Orleans Magazine-Julia Street: Questions and Answers about New Orleans March 2000 - Vol. 34 - Issue 6 - Page - #346 http://publications.neworleans.com/no_magazine/34.6.-JuliaStreet.html

1903 Streetcar service to Spanish Fort was discontinued

1909 President Taft returns from boat ride on lake

Creator: Teunisson, John N., photographer Subject(s): Boats and boating Description: Three tiered boat loaded with passengers. Notes: 20 x 25 cm. Accession #: 8482.008 Date (YYYY-MM-DD): 1909-10-31 Type: image Source: Louisiana State Museum

1909  President Taft returns from boat ride on lake

1901 - Hotel, West End.

From the George Francois Mugnier Photograph Collection-- New Orleans Public Library. Source: http://nutrias.org/~nopl/photos/mugnier/canals/gfmca.htm

1901 - Hotel, West End.

1901 Postcard-Southern Yacht Club

1901 Postcard-Southern Yacht Club

1902 - Bayou view, West End.

From the George Francois Mugnier Photograph Collection-- New Orleans Public Library. Source: http://nutrias.org/~nopl/photos/mugnier/canals/gfmca.htm

1902 - Bayou view, West End.

1907 - Southern Yacht Club Postcard

The Southern Yacht Club, West End, New Orleans,La. This postcard is dated 1907, was made in Germany and published by The New Orleans News Co.

1907 - Southern Yacht Club Postcard

1900s Milneburg Hops

On the pier... were Morgan's Saloon, the Joy Club, Romer's Café, The Inn, Quarelles, Nick's Restaurant, and The Lighthouse, and there were 100 more such venues close by. An incorporated village on Lake Pontchartrain, it was an active resort from the 19th century. It was the site of the Pontchartrain Amusement Park until 1984, and during its heyday (to the mid-1930s) it boasted numerous venues, both public and private, which engaged jazz bands to play residencies or for individual functions. On the pier, for example, were Morgan's Saloon, the Joy Club, Romer's Café, The Inn, Quarelles, Nick's Restaurant, and The Lighthouse, and there were 100 more such venues close by. Its memory is preserved (though its name is misspelled) in the often performed and recorded tune Milenberg Joys. Source: www.xrefer.com

1900s Milneburg Hops

1900s-"An Afternoon at Spanish Fort"

Divided back post card, Published by C. B. Mason, #7. Historical Spanish Fort Lake Resort was operated at this time by the New Orleans Railway & Light Co.

1900s-

1901 Roller Coaster at at West End

Notice how it extends far into the lake. Looks like fun.

1901 Roller Coaster at at West End

1905 - Scene on Bayou St. John

Title: Bayou St. John Photographer: Teunisson, John N. Description: Scene on Bayou St. John, including houses in the background. Source: Louisiana State Museum http://appl005.lsu.edu/LSM.nsf/0d6463f4d93cecd68625689c00470f5c/bd20284a261c591a862569f9004f9aaa?OpenDocument

1905 - Scene on Bayou St. John

1909 Poscard of the Terminal of the Old Basin Canal

1909 Poscard of the Terminal of the Old Basin Canal

1901 West End, garden, February 18, 1901

New Olreans Public Library Cornelius Durkee Photograph Collection #11 Source: http://nutrias.org/photos/durkee/11.htm

1901 West End, garden, February 18, 1901

1912 Gold Fish Pond at Spanish Fort

Postacard depicts The Gold Fish Lake at the Spanish Fort, with the Louisiana State Seal in the lower, right corner. Published by J. Scordill, 902 Canal St., New Orleans, LA. Postally used in 1912.

1912 Gold Fish Pond at Spanish Fort

1905 Postcard--Bayou St. John

Reads "Evening on Bayou St. John / NEW ORLEANS, LA"

1905 Postcard--Bayou St. John

1907 Covington to New Orleans Map

1907 ADVERTISING COVER FROM THE SAINT TAMMANY BANKING CO., & SAVINGS BANK COVINGTON LA. VERY NICE MAP ON THE REVERSE, SHOWING THE RR LINES INTO AND AROUND NEW ORLEANS, LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN & COVINGTON

1907 Covington to New Orleans Map

1900s Shell Road at West End Postcard

Divided back (1907 to 1915) postcard captioned "Shell Road and Canal, New Orleans, La." Shows the New Basin Canal with a boat visible along the dock. Published by The Acmegraph Co., Chicago, Illinois.

1900s Shell Road at West End Postcard