New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 2

Part 2 of a series. Part 1 here.

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 2

Three more books tonight! Links go back to Octavia Books’ website, but you can get these books at all the usual suspects.

Lake Pontchartrain by Catherine Campanella

new orleans history books

Lake Pontchartrain by Catherine Campanella

This book brings back so many fond memories for me, as well as a lot of interesting history. I always like to say, I “slept” in Metairie, and “grew up” in Gentilly, because my dad worked at LSUNO/UNO, and I went to Brother Martin High School. My dad was not a fan of driving on I-10. He enjoyed his morning sunshine on Lakeshore Drive. So, he would cruise with no red lights to Elysian Fields, and drive me down to school. While this took him a bit longer, it gave him peace. He got peace, therefore I got quiet time to listen to the radio with him, occasionally talk about what was going on.

From the book’s description:

Native Americans used Okwata, meaning wide water, as a shortcut for inland trade between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River. When the Europeans arrived, the original inhabitants showed them the route the settlement near the river became the city of New Orleans, other lakeshore communities grew, and Lake Pontchartrain continued to be a vital waterway well into the 20th century. Aside from its economic value, Lake Pontchartrain was a cultural mecca: Mark Twain wrote about it and jazz sprang from its shores; locals and visitors traveled out to the amusement parks and opera pavilions, simple fishing villages and swanky yacht clubs, forts and lighthouses; and majestic hotels and camps perched precariously over the water. In Images of America: Lake Pontchartrain, photographs document memories of a time that not even Hurricane Katrina could erase.

Of Ms. Campanella’s books, this is still my favorite.

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store by Edward J. Branley

new orleans history books

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store by Edward J. Branley

My latest book! Released in September, Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store tells the story of Krauss, the department store that occupied 1201 Canal Street from 1903 to 1997. I got an email from The History Press around this time last year, asking if I’d be interested in this project, since Krauss closed twenty years ago this past October. I jumped at it! While I worked at Maison Blanche back in the day, I felt a kindred spirit with Krauss. From the description:

For almost one hundred years, generations of New Orleans shoppers flocked to Krauss. The Canal Street store was hailed for its vast merchandise selection and quality customer service. In its early days, it sold lace and fabric to the ladies of the notorious red-light district of Storyville. The store’s renowned lunch counter, Eddie’s at Krauss, served Eddie Baquet’s authentic New Orleans cuisine to customers and celebrities such as Julia Child. Although the beloved store finally closed its doors in 1997, Krauss is still fondly remembered as a retail haven. With vintage photographs, interviews with store insiders and a wealth of research, historian Edward J. Branley brings the story of New Orleans’ Creole department store back to life.

By the way, if anyone wants someone to talk about Krauss, Jewish retailing, Maison Blanche, Canal Street, or streetcars, email me. 🙂

New Orleans Radio by Dominic Massa

New Orleans History Books

New Orleans Radio by Dominic Massa

Massa’s second “Images of America” book. Just as entertaining and informative as his television book. From the description:

From humble beginnings in a physics lab on the campus of Loyola University came the sounds of the first radio station in the lower Mississippi River Valley when WWL Radio signed on in 1922. The little station would grow into a national powerhouse, with its morning Dawnbusters show and nightly broadcasts from the Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel. The city’s second oldest station, WSMB, with studios in the Maison Blanche Building, developed its own cast of favorites, including Nut and Jeff. Later, in the city known as the birthplace of jazz, radio played a key role in popularizing early rock and roll. Disc jockeys at leading stations WTIX and WNOE helped develop the Crescent City sound, along with local personalities with colorful names like Poppa Stoppa, Jack the Cat, and Dr. Daddy-O.

This book was fantastic for me, when I was working on the Jazz book.

Go get ’em!

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store

by Edward J. Branley

For almost one hundred years, generations of New Orleans shoppers flocked to Krauss. The Canal Street store was hailed for its vast merchandise selection and quality customer service. In its early days, it sold lace and fabric to the ladies of the notorious red-light district of Storyville. The store’s renowned lunch counter, Eddie’s at Krauss, served Eddie Baquet’s authentic New Orleans cuisine to customers and celebrities such as Julia Child. Although the beloved store finally closed its doors in 1997, Krauss is still fondly remembered as a retail haven. With vintage photographs, interviews with store insiders and a wealth of research, historian Edward J. Branley brings the story of New Orleans’ Creole department store back to life.