Canal and Carondelet Streets – Two Views

Canal and Carondelet Streets – Two Views

Two views of Canal and Carondelet, fifty years apart!

canal and carondelet

Canal and Carondelet Streets

Two views of a busy part of Canal Street, the corner at Carondelet. The older image dates to the 1870s, the later one dates to the 1920s. While many things changed, there are a few constants between the views.

Canal Street, West from Clay statue

Photographer Clarence John Laughlin created this copy print of a photo from the 1870s around 1955. Here’s THNOC’s record entry:

Print of a 18th century photograph showing Canal Street with streetcars in neutral ground and businesses and houses of worship lining the street.

The original photographer (Blessing Studios, perhaps?) stands at the Clay Statue at St. Charles Street and Canal, looking towards the lake.The Canal Streetcar line opened in 1861. So, the mule-drawn streetcars dominated Canal Street by the time of this photo. The 700 block contains Moreau’s Restaurant, a book store, and a “Wig Manufactory.” The building with the corner turret and cupola is the Pickwick Hotel. It housed the Pickwick Club, a private businessman’s club with close ties to the Mystick Krewe. The hotel provided meeting and dining space to the club, and adopted their name.

The neutral ground contains a number of Stephenson “bobtail” streetcars. These mule-drawn cars operated on most lines in New Orleans, most notably the Carrollton, Canal, and Esplanade routes. To the right, the 801 block includes the D. H. Holmes dry goods store, mid-block.

The third incarnation of Christ Episcopal Church stands a block up, at 901 Canal. The church put their beautiful gothic building up for auction in 1884. The Mercier family purchased it. They demolished the church (which moved uptown to St. Charles and Sixth Streets), building a retail/office building. Mule-driven hack cabs stand in the foreground on the right, waiting for customers.

Carondelet in the 1920s

canal and carondelet

John Tibule Mendes shot a photo of the Louisiana Club in the 700 block of Canal in 1920. Here’s the second photo’s record entry at THNOC:

 View made from downriver side of Canal Street looking into Carondelet Street and the Central Business District. Buildings, mostly along the 700 and the corner at the 800 block, are visible, as are facades along the 100 block of Carondelet. The Louisiana Club, started around 1879, located at the corner of Canal and Carondelet for many years, is seen in mid-view. This club sponsors the High Priests of Mithras carnival ball. Pedestrians, a streetcar, and various business signs are also seen.

The record notes that the Louisiana Club started in the late 1870s, just after the date of the first photograph. While much at the corner has changed, the Pickwick Hotel building remains. In the interim, the Pickwick Club moved across the street to the 1000 block, then to its current location at St. Charles and Canal. Like the Pickwick Club, the Louisiana Club (now most closely associated with the Knights of Momus Carnival organization) is still around.

The right-hand side of Mendes’ photo shows the transition of streetcars from the earlier shot. The streetcar is a “single-truck,” Ford, Bacon & Davis model, operated by New Orleans Railway and Light Company. (NOPSI doesn’t form for another three years.) The turret of the Pickwick Hotel is visible, but the building is no longer a hotel. Local merchant Leon Fellman acquired the building in 1897. He moved his store from the Mercier Building in the 901 block to 800 Canal that year. By the time of the photo, 1920, Fellman passed away. His family returned to the German spelling of their last name, and the store changed its name to Feibleman’s.

We’ll unpack these photos in individual posts in the future. The compare/contrast here fascinated me, so we’re starting with that .

Later changes

Changes to buildings on Canal continued to change. While Feibleman’s moved to Baronne and Common streets in 1931, the building remained until 1947. Gus Mayer demolished it, building a larger location for their store. That building remains as the CVS Drugstore.

St. Aloysius memories for Martin Madness

St. Aloysius memories for Martin Madness

Looking back at St. Aloysius memories for Martin Madness 2024.

st. aloysius memories

St. Aloysius Memories

St. Aloysius memories

ad for St. Aloysius in the Daily Picayune, 24-August-1881

For Day Two of the “Martin Madness 2024” campaign at Brother Martin High School, please enjoy some memories from the Daily Picayune newspaper. Two advertisements for St. Aloysius entice families to come to the school. The first appeared on 24-August-1881. The school opened in the French Quarter, at Chartres and Barracks Streets, in 1869. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart (BOSH) were solidly established at that location by this time,

At top is a watercolor illustration of the original St. Aloysius from 1869. The Spanish built this house for their army during the colonial period. It changed hands from the Spanish to the French just before the Louisiana Purchase. Much of the property owned by the colonial governments passed to the Catholic Church just before the Americans took ownership of the city. Archbishop Odin, recognizing the quality work of the BOSH, invited the Institute to open a permanent school in the city. He sold them this house. The illustration is the “plan book” made to document the sale.

Esplanade and N. Rampart

St. Aloysius memories

ad in the Daily Picayune, 24-August-1892

 

The BOSH outgrew the French Quarter location. They acquired the mansion at the corner of Esplanade Ave. and N. Rampart Streets in 1892. This ad, from 24-August-1892, isn’t much different than the earlier one, with the exception of the location change.

st. aloysius memories

St. Aloysius, 1892

Here’s the original school at that corner.

The Hat

If you haven’t listened to this week’s podcast yet, go! If you have, you heard me mention throwing money into the hat to support the school. While it was meant as a metaphorical hat (you have a credit card/venmo/etc), i really do have a hat. I’ll be at the PJ’s Coffee Shop at 5555 Canal Blvd., tomorrow morning, for Day Three of Martin Madness. Listen to the pod. Think back on your memories of the school, as a student, parent, faculty member. Stop by, say hi, and toss some cash in the hat!

Podcast 42 – Martin Madness

Podcast 42 – Martin Madness

Brother Martin High School’s spring fundraising campaign is “Martin Madness”

martin madness

Martin Madness

Sharing some history, reflections, and thoughts on the influence of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, from the Civil War to the present.


Here’s the PDF

Go support Brother Martin High!

Faubourg Marigny railroad ferry

Faubourg Marigny railroad ferry

Faubourg Marigny railroad ferry connected the East Bank with the NOO&GW railroad.

faubourg marigny railroad ferry

Faubourg Marigny railroad ferry

S. T. Blessing stereograph, titled, “View from Opelousas railroad ferry,” The image is essentially undated. The New York Public Library lists it as 1850-1930. The likely date is 1870s. The photographer stands at the Faubourg Marigny ferry landing, located at Elysian Fields Avenue and the river. The New Orleans, Opelousas, and Great Western (NOO&GW) railroad operated the ferry, connecting the east bank with their station in Algiers.

The NOO&GW

The NOO&GW railroad originated on the West Bank, in Algiers. It incorporated in 1853, with the mission of connecting New Orleans to points west. So, prior to the Southern Rebellion, the railroad grew west, to what is now Morgan City, Louisiana. The Union took control of the “Texas Gauge” railroad, from 1862 to 1865. Expansion continued during reconstruction. Additionally, we’ve written a couple of articles on the railroad. It started from a Louisiana operation to ownership by Charles Morgan, to becoming part of the Southern Pacific system.

The Marigny riverfront

Blessing captures an active riverfront scene. The vessel to the center of the photograph is an ocean-going ship. While this vessel may depart for the US east coast, like New York or Baltimore, the riverboat on the right will likely return up the Mississippi. Two mules stand in the foreground, resting after unloading barrels. Those barrels likely contain molasses. Sugar plantations processed raw sugar cane. They converted it to molasses, making it easy to barrel and transport. Longshoremen loaded those barrels on both types of ships.

In the background, a church steeple rises from the neighborhood. Given the position of the photographer, that is likely the spire of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

The ferry itself

faubourg marigny railroad ferry

Robinson Atlas, 1883, showing the Pontchartrain Railroad station on Elysian Fields and the ferry landing.

The NOO&GW ferry crossing enabled passengers to board trains on the east bank, cross the river, and continue westward. While Algiers was the railroad’s main station, getting passengers there was still a challenge. The railroad ferry gave passengers a more-comfortable ride, in their coach and sleeper cars.

After Charles Morgan sold the NOO&GW to the Southern Pacific system, trains crossed the river in Jefferson Parish. That ferry landing was near the location of the Huey P. Long bridge. Rather than traveling to the Faubourg Marigny railroad ferry, passengers boarded SP trains at Union Station. The departing trains headed north from there.

PATREON Note: So, today’s post is NOT behind the Patreon wall, in the hopes that some of the folks who see the links on social media will get a taste of what patrons get daily. While we present the first hundred or so words on each post to non-patrons, we felt it would be good to offer an entire post.

Railroad Stock Certificate 1853

Railroad Stock Certificate 1853

This railroad stock certificate, from the New Orleans, Opelousas, and Great Western Railroad was issued in 1853.

railroad stock certificate

Railroad Stock Certificate

Chartered in 1852, the New Orleans, Opelousas, and Great Western Railroad (NOO&GW) sought investors immediately. The railroad planned to connect New Orleans with Houston, Texas, and points in between. The company  built a station in Algiers, Louisiana. They expanded westward from there. By 1857, the railroad reached Morgan City, Louisiana. Construction stopped there for more than twenty years. The company was unable to continue west because of the Southern Rebellion.

Texas Gauge

NOO&GW used “Texas Gauge” in constructing the initial 83 miles of track (prior to the Rebellion). While “standard gauge” 4′ 8 1/2″, Texas Gauge is 5’6″ in width. Proponents of the wider gauge argued that it allowed locomotives to include more features. They also argued that the wider gauge offered passengers a more comfortable ride. Street railway operators agree, since they use wide gauge track systems. The only remaining railroad in the United States operating with Texas Gauge is Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the subway system for San Francisco, Oakland, and the Bay Area.

Reconstruction and beyond

Steamship magnate Charles Morgan acquired the NOO&GW in 1869. He re-built the railroad using standard gauge. Morgan realized that the railroad would be a better target for acquisition if it connected easily to those systems expanding from the west. New Orleans was already a major rail hub, with connections to Chicago and the Eastern Seaboard. He was right, as the Southern Pacific system eventually acquired NOO&GW.

The certificate

This stock certificate represents 15 shares of stock in the railroad. The company proclaims capital in the amount of $6 million on the left side of the certificate. The right side states the value of each share is $25. So, its value is a total of $375. That’s a sizeable investment in a company that, at the time of issue, had no track!

 

 

Imaginary Map 1874

Imaginary Map 1874

Imaginary Map 1874 – “What-if” illustrations are timeless.

imaginary map 1874

Imaginary Map 1874

What-if illustrations exist going back millennia. This one focuses on our rivers in Louisiana. They are a strong force of nature. The rivers are the Red, Atchafalaya, and Mississippi. They define Louisiana and its people.

Convergence

The convergence displayed on Imaginary Map 1874 presented issues to riverboat pilots. In 1831, Captain Henry M. Shreve dug a canal to bypass Turnbull Bend in the Mississippi. Shreve and others removed the Great Raft logjam. This increased the direction change of the Mississippi. While the rivers were separate, these man-made changes increased the turn of the Mississippi into the Atchafalaya. (Additionally, the Great Raft provided the name for a great Shreveport brewery.)

Baton Rouge and New Orleans

Geologists and other scientists realized the problem. So, the Mississippi moving to the Atchafalaya meant cutting off the two largest cities in Louisiana from the river. Additionally, Nature presented a huge challenge to man. Scientists warned the government. Technology in 1874 limited the response. Still, the warning went out, in the form of imaginary map 1874.

Old River Control

Fortunately for Louisiana, imaginary map 1874’s warning required time to become reality. So, cientists observed the changes in the region. Seventy-nine years later, the USACE prepared to take action:

Between 1850 and 1950, the percentage of latitude flow entering the Atchafalaya River had increased from less than 10 percent to about 30 percent. By 1953, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded that the Mississippi River could change its course to the Atchafalaya River by 1990 if it were not controlled, since this alternative path to the Gulf of Mexico through the Atchafalaya River is much shorter and steeper.

This conclusion meant that Baton Rouge and New Orleans lose their water link. The Mississippi below Old River becomes a salt-water estuary. While this didn’t necessarily mean the end of the world for the cities, government grew concerned. The result, the Old River Control Structure, pitted man against nature. The structure opened in 1963. It forced most of the water flow into the Mississippi, not the Atchafalaya.

The Map

imaginary map 1874

The map’s notes state:

Imaginary Map showing effects of natural action on the Mississippi, Red and Atchafalaya Rivers if not counteracted. E.H. Angamar, C.E. Prepared by A.F. Wrotnowski, C.E. to accompany special report of Board of State Engineers, 1874. Plate V.

The Louisiana Research Center at the Howard-Tilton Library, Tulane University, holds the original.