New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, April 24, 2017
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1940s


1940 Pontchartrain Beach postcard

Kropp Postcard

1940 Pontchartrain Beach postcard

Brochure for Pontchartrain Beach

Brochure for Pontchartrain Beach

Brochure for Pontchartrain Beach-reverse side

Brochure for Pontchartrain Beach-reverse side

1948 New Basin Canal at West End

This photograph of the New Basin Canal at West End was probably taken after the 1948 hurricane in connection with a beach erosion control study conducted by the Corps of Engineers. The Southern Yacht Club is at the right of the canal entrance and, behind it, the Municipal Yacht Harbor and West End Park. On the left is the lighthouse station. The group of buildings behind and to the left of the lighthouse is Lakeshore Hospital, formerly known as Lagarde Army Hospital. The western half of the Lakeshore subdivision currently occupies the site. The New Basin Canal no longer exists. It was filled in during the 1950's to create the Potchartrain Expressway & West End Boulevard. Source: New Orleans Public Library--Images of the Month http://nutrias.org/~nopl/monthly/sept98/sept98.htm

1948 New Basin Canal at West End

1948 Louis Armstrong as King Zulu on the New Basin Canal

Louis Armstrong as King Zulu arriving by tug at New Basin Canal, 1948 Photo Source: http://www.museevirtuel.ca/Exhibitions/Festiva1/en/zoom/lsm10.html

1948 Louis Armstrong as King Zulu on the New Basin Canal

1948 View of Bayou St. John at the Lake

Bayou St. John meets the Lake, probably 1948. On the right of the old bridge is the Coast Guard Station (now gone) and the area known as the 'Old Beach,' the original home of Pontchartrain Beach. Above the Old Beach is Lake Vista, after the streets were built, but before homes went up. At the right of the Bayou is open ground which became Lake Terrace. Source: New Orleans Public Library--Images of the Month http://www.nutrias.org/~nopl/monthly/sept98/sept989.htm

1948 View of Bayou St. John at the Lake

1946 - Lake Pontchartrain by Milo M. Quaife

This 376 page volume, published in 1946 by The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis, is part of the American Lake Series edited by Milo M. Quaife.

1946 - Lake Pontchartrain by Milo M. Quaife

1942 Map of Military Installments

Source: http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/la/orleans/images/no1940.jpg

1942 Map of Military Installments

1948 - Bayou St. John meets the Lake

Bayou St. John meets the Lake, probably 1948. On the right of the old bridge is the Coast Guard Station (now gone) and the area known as the "Old Beach," the original home of Pontchartrain Beach. Above the Old Beach is Lake Vista, after the streets were built, but before homes went up. At the right of the Bayou is open ground which became Lake Terrace. Source: New Orleans Public Library--Images of the Month

1948 -  Bayou St. John meets the Lake

Aerial view of Bayou St. John with Higgins LCVPs, LCSs, and PT-Boats awaiting shipment.

Source: http://www.higginsboat.org/html/photo/bwph010.html

Aerial view of Bayou St. John with Higgins  LCVPs, LCSs, and PT-Boats awaiting shipment.

1944 'Men of the 182nd General Hospital board Higgins boats at West End for a

'Men of the 182nd General Hospital, under the command of Colonel Charles Kirkpatrick, board Higgins boats at West End for a trip across the lake. The operators of the boats are men of the Coast Guard and Navy, students of the Higgins Boat Operators and Marine Engine Maintenance School.' The lake was an important testing and training venue for Higgins boats throughout the war. [from January-March, 1944 (p. 119)] Source: http://nutrias.org/monthly/june2000/june0018.htm

1944 'Men of the 182nd General Hospital board Higgins boats at West End for a

1948 U.S. Naval Air Station a.k.a. Camp Leroy Johnson & Pontchartrain Beach

The U.S. Naval Air Station, (which would make way in the not too distant future for Louisiana State University at New Orleans, now the University of New Orleans) and, above it, Pontchartrain Beach. During World War II, the long factory building above Pontchartrain Beach at Franklin Avenue housed Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Co., which built seaplanes. By 1948 the facility had been converted to private industrial use. Today, the Levee Board occupies the property. Source: New Orleans Public Library--Images of the Month http://www.nutrias.org/~nopl/

1948 U.S. Naval Air Station a.k.a. Camp Leroy Johnson & Pontchartrain Beach

1946 Frank & Fred Assunto (Dukes of Dixieland) begin playing at Mama Lou's

1922-1974 - Frank Assunto In 1946 a 14 year old Frank Assunto along with his 17 year old brother Fred began playing on Saturday's at Mama Lou's Seafood restaurant and sometimes across the river at the Moonlight Inn along with other youngsters on Saturday nights. Frank Assunto recalled those days at Mama Lou's saying they were paid $3 each a night but since none of them were old enough to drive a car the cab fare to and from took most of their money. But they got what was in the "kitty" (a tip jar) and sessions lasted from 10pm until 2am with one break at midnight when the budding young musicians could go into the kitchen and eat all the seafood they could hold. Broke, but well fed was Frank's summation of those early days. A young Pete Fountain was often a member of this band. By 1947 the band was reorganized as the Basin Street Four, Five or Six depending on how many members could be rounded up. They played for the sheer pleasure after high school and where ever else they could. The weekend gigs continued at the seafood place. Source: http://www.thedukesofdixieland.com/bandhistory.htm

1946 Frank & Fred Assunto (Dukes of Dixieland) begin playing at Mama Lou's

Pete Fountain played at Mama Lou's

with the Basin Street Four, Five or Six depending on how many members could be rounded up. They played for the sheer pleasure after high school and where ever else they could. The weekend gigs continued at the seafood place. Source: http://www.thedukesofdixieland.com/bandhistory.htm

Pete Fountain played at Mama Lou's

1948 - Hank Williams records On the Banks of the Old Pontchartrain

HANK WILLIAMS COUNTRY MUSIC FOLIO 1948. 48 pages. Includes the song On the Banks of the Old Pontchartrain written by Hank Williams.

1948 - Hank Williams records On the Banks of the Old Pontchartrain

1941 Building the Runways at Camp LeRoy Johnson

1941 U.S. Naval Reserve Air Training Base (Camp Leroy Johnson) Status: GONE Land now part of The University of New Orleans. Smokestack in left/center has been incorporated into the design of the UNO alumni center. Spreading asphalt for one of the two runways at the base. The runways are built to grade and drainage structures built by WPA labor. Actual laying of asphalt is being performed by contract. Unfinished hangar for the base is s hown in the background. Source: New Orleans Public Library--WPA Photograph Collection http://www.nutrias.org/~nopl/photos/wpa/images/02082.jpg

1941 Building the Runways at Camp LeRoy Johnson

1941 Pontchatrain Beach.

Compare this to the 1927 photo taken from the Milneburg Lighthouse Pontchartrain Beach no longer exists. Pontchartrain Beach Amusement park at the old Milneburg site was the venue for many great musicians. It closed in 1983. This area is now occupied by the University of New Orleans Technology Park.

1941 Pontchatrain Beach.

1944 West End Street Car

Notice the "West End" designation in the top center of the street car window. This photo was taken on March 3, 1944 at 101 City Park Ave. by John T. Dahmen. It shows a passing streetcar on the old West End line. The West End cars ran from the intersection of Canal and Carondelet Streets all the way out to West End on Lake Pontchartrain. Source:http://nutrias.org/~nopl/monthly/dec2001/dec200112.htm

 1944  West End Street Car

1941Bathhouse at Lincoln Beach (which did not open until several years later)

View of the original, WPA-built Lincoln Beach bath house (May 29, 1941). With the renovation of the Beach in the early 1950s, this building was remodeled and converted to a restaurant. Lincoln Beach was closed in 1964 by a federal order forbidding the operation of segregated facilities and over the years, the abandoned area fell into decay (though picnickers and sometimes swimmers still occasionally used it surreptitiously). Today, however, the immediate future of Lincoln Beach looks rosy. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has determined that the water off Lincoln Beach is the cleanest on the south shore of the Lake, and plans for the redevelopment of the area are taking off. With the resolution of a property dispute between the Levee Board and the City and a promise of federal, state and local funding, the beach appears poised to make a spectacular comeback under the direction of the New Orleans Building Corporation, the city agency that oversees the management and development of City-owned real estate. Plans call for a restoration of the sand beach, construction of a swimming pool and and bath house, concessions, nature trails, a recreation center, pavilion, shelters, playground facilities and sports fields and courts. Source: http://nutrias.org/~nopl/monthly/july2001/6jul01.htm

1941Bathhouse at Lincoln Beach (which did not open until several years later)

1943 Coast Guard Recruiting Poster

encouraging boat owners to enlist in the US Coast Guard at the Recruiting Station New Orleans, LA, showing a small Coast Guard boat.

1943 Coast Guard Recruiting Poster

1948 Postcard from the Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park

Front has color picture of the park showing the ferris wheel and giant clown head.

1948 Postcard from the Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park

circa 1940 The Milneburg Light

at Pontchartrain Beach. Gene Leingang Collection New Orleans, Louisiana USA Source: http://www.bergeronstudio.com/gl01/pgl002.html

circa 1940 The Milneburg Light

circa 1940 High Wire Act at Pontchartrain Beach

Phote shows the beginning of a performance as well as the Milneburg Light which was near the stage.

circa 1940 High Wire Act at Pontchartrain Beach

1941 Military Practices on the Shore of Lake Pontchartrain using Higgins Boats

From the book by Strahan, Jerry E.: ANDREW JACKSON HIGGINS AND THE BOATS THAT WON WORLD WAR II; Baton Rouge. Louisiana State University Press. 1994.

1941 Military Practices on the Shore of Lake Pontchartrain using Higgins Boats

1940 Higgins Builds the Boats that Won the War

From the book by Strahan, Jerry E.: ANDREW JACKSON HIGGINS AND THE BOATS THAT WON WORLD WAR II; Baton Rouge. Louisiana State University Press. 1994.

1940 Higgins Builds the Boats that Won the War

1940s ? Houseboats in Bayou St. John

Photo credit: http://nutrias.org/photos/wpa/images/25/250401.jpg

1940s ? Houseboats in Bayou St. John