NOLA Politics – Anti-Ewing Ticket 1908

NOLA Politics – Anti-Ewing Ticket 1908

The Anti-Ewing Ticket 1908 opposed candidates aligned with Robert Ewing.

anti-ewing ticket 1908

Anti-Ewing Ticket 1908

Campaign flyer supporting the “Anti-Ewing Ticket” in Louisiana state elections, January 28, 1908. Others on the ticket included Theodore S. Wilkinson (governor), Gustave Weser (10th Ward Democratic State Central Committee), and Robert J. Jaloney, for state senator.

Robert Wilson Ewing

Ewing owned the New Orleans Daily States newspaper.Ewing allied himself with the city’s Regular Democratic Organization (RDO). Ewing was a notable figure in the RDO,

Louisiana was essentially a one-party state since Reconstruction. So, campaigns focused on the Democratic primary. The candidate emerging from the primary almost certainly would defeat the Republican. Additionally, RDO candidates benefited from favorable coverage in Ewing’s newspaper, the New Orleans Daily States. The paper later changed its name to the New Orleans States. The States merged with the New Orleans Item. This merger reduced the number of afternoon newspapers in the city to one. The States-Item later merged with the Times-Picayune, the morning paper.

Ewing also managed the 1908 candidacy of William Jennings Bryant for President of the United States.

Opposition to the RDO

While the RDO wielded great influence. Other Democrats ran against that influence. Since the RDO was strong, opposition candidates focused not on the organization, but on the power behind it. The anti-RDO factions regularly accused the organization of corruption and malfeasance.

It was not uncommon for a candidate to seek both political and party positions. Thomas Harrison, ran for “Single State Tax Collector” for Orleans Parish. Additionally, he sought a seat on the Democratic Party’s State Central Committee.

The 10th Ward

While the city’s Ninth Ward extends downriver from Faubourgs Marigny and Treme, the 10th Ward was Uptown:

The roughly wedge-shaped Ward stretches back from the Mississippi River. The lower boundary is Felicity Street, across which is the 1st Ward, then Martin Luther King Boulevard (formerly Melpomene Street), across which is the 2nd Ward. The upper boundary is First Street, across which lies the 11th Ward.

(source: Wikipedia)

This flyer is archived at Tulane.

Governor Elect Buddy Roemer 1988

Governor Elect Buddy Roemer 1988

Governor Elect Buddy Roemer at NOCCA, for an event in 1988.

governor elect buddy roemer

Governor Elect Buddy Roemer

Buddy Roemer made an appearance and spoke at an event at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, on January 18, 1988. At the time, Romer held the Fourth District seat (Shreveport/NW Louisiana), from 1981 to March of 1988. In the Fall of 1987, he chose to challenge Edwin W. Edwards for governor. He won, and became the state’s fifty-second governor, on March 14, 1988.

Roemer as Congressman

While Roemer later switched parties later in his career, he was a Democrat in 1987. In the House of Representatives, Roemer was a “boll weevil.” He embraced much of the agenda of President Ronald Reagan. Additionally, he was openly hostile towards Speaker Tip O’Neil. So, the Democratic caucus denied Roemer choice committee assignments. Congress became a dead end for the ambitious Roemer.

The 1987 governor’s race

Edwin Edwards wound down his third term in the fall of 1987. He declared his intention to run for a fourth term. This was unprecedented in Louisiana. Prior to the re-write of the state constitution, the governor could not succeed himself. Through all of the “Long/Anti-Long” years, the factions traded the governor’s mansion back and fourth every four years. Edwards occupied the office from 1972 to 1980. The new constitution prohibited him from seeking three in a row. So, he sat out the 1979 race, but came back in 1983. By 1987, a number of politicians lined up to take on Edwards, including three Congressmen: Bob Livingston, Billy Tauzin, and Roemer. Roemer emerged from the pack, Edwards realized there was no way he could win the runoff. So, Edwards conceded on election night, leaving Roemer unopposed.

Roemer toured the state as governor-elect in the winter of 1988. One of those stops was at NOCCA, that January.

NOCCA

The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts offered training in a number of arts:

  • Culinary arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Media arts
  • Music
  • Theatre arts
  • Visual arts

NOCCA initially operated as an adjunct to a student’s chosen high school. While students completed their basic requirements for high school at their regular school, they divided their time with NOCCA for arts classes. Eventually NOCCA became a fully-accredited high school. The school’s first campus was in Uptown New Orleans. This is where Roemer spoke. In 2000, the school moved to Faubourg Marigny.

Streetcar Ticket – New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad 1868

Streetcar Ticket – New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad 1868

Streetcar Ticket for the St. Charles Line

Streetcar ticket

New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad Company streetcar ticket, 1868. (public domain image)

Streetcar Ticket from 1868

Riders paid for their fare in the 1860s by purchasing a streetcar ticket. This was the style of the ticket for the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad Company (NO&CRR) in 1868. While the NO&CRR continued operations through the Southern Rebellion, only one new company the New Orleans City RR Company (NOCRR) operated streetcars during the rebellion years. Streetcar expansion took off in 1866.

The NO&CRR

The company operated the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, from 1835 to 1902. In addition to St. Charles, the company operated the Poydras-Magazine, Jackson, and Napoleon lines. The NO&CRR absorbed other operating companies throughout the 1870s to the end of the 19th Century.

Streetcar electrification in New Orleans began in the 1890s. The NO&CRR survived until 1902. The remaining operating companies merged into the New Orleans Railway Company at that time. That company re-organized into the New Orleans Railway and Light Company (NORwy&Lt) in 1905. That consolidated entity became New Orleans Public Service, Incorporated (NOPSI) in 1922.

Mule car operation

When the NO&CRR began operations in 1835, St. Charles used steam engines. The smoke and noise generated complaints up and down the line. So, the line was converted to mule-driven operation in the 1850s. The company followed the NOCRR in the 1860s, operating “bobtail” cars from the Johnson Car Company, up to electrification.

Streetcar protests 1862-1867

Streetcars in New Orleans were segregated until 1958. When Louisiana seceded from the union in 1861, many of the white men went off to war. Their jobs around town still had to be done. So, employers hired free men of color. The lines ran “star” cars, which permitted African-Americans to ride, but all other cars were whites-only. Black men experienced difficulty in getting to work. While employers complained to the transit companies, the operators weren’t very responsive. More “star” cars were needed.

The dynamics changed when the Union Army occupied New Orleans in May, 1862. African-Americans protested segregated operation from then until 1867. Hilary McLaughlin-Stonham details those protests in her article, Race and Protest in New Orleans: Streetcar Integration in the Nineteenth Century. It’s worth a read.

Magazine Street Trackless Trolley Conversion #StreetcarMonday

Magazine Street Trackless Trolley Conversion #StreetcarMonday

Magazine Street Trackless Trolley Conversion – electric with no rails

Magazine Street Trackless Trolley Conversion

NOPSI Trackless Trolley on the Magazine line. Undated Franck-Bertacci photo, ~1948-1952

Magazine Street Trackless Trolley Conversion

Magazine Street Trackless Trolley Conversion

Riders Digest flyer, 11-February-1948 (courtesy Aaron Handy, III)

New Orleans Public Service, Inc (NOPSI) discontinued streetcars on a number of lines after World War II. Magazine Street was one of these lines.  While most lines transitioned to diesel buses, Magazine Street used “trackless trolleys” from 1948 to 1964.

Mules to Electrics to Buses

The Magazine Street line began operation in June, 1861. It used mule-drawn streetcars until 1895. The line electrified in 1895. The first electrics on Magazine were open-vestibule cars that were quickly replaced by single-truck Brills. When the arch roof cars began service on Canal, the 1905-vintage “Palace” cars shifted to Magazine and other upriver-downriver lines. Eventually, the 800-900 series arch roofs operated everywhere in the city.

NOPSI planned to convert streetcars to buses in 1940, but WWII delayed that. The War Department refused the conversions, saying the increased consumption of rubber and diesel fuel were unacceptable.

The Route

Magazine Street Trackless Trolley Conversion

NOPSI 931 at Arabella Station on Magazine Street, 1947. (Franck-Bertacci Studios, THNOC)

Magazine originally ran outbound on Camp, inbound on Magazine Street. Streetcars ran up to Toledano Street. The direction on Camp and Magazine flipped in the 1920s. Since then, line runs inbound on Magazine Street to St. Andrew. The inbounds turn there onto Sophie Wright Place, then onto Camp Street at Felicity. From there, they run to Canal Street. The end of the line is on Canal and Magazine. Outbound travels all the way up on Magazine, to Audubon Park. Magazine continued past the park, up Broadway to S. Claiborne until 1933. The service cut back to the park when the Freret line opened.

After WWII

Magazine Street Trackless Trolley Conversion

Ripping up the streetcar tracks on Camp Street, 1948 (NOPL)

The government lifted wartime restrictions in 1947. NOPSI discontinued streetcar operations as soon as possible. While West End and other long-haul lines switched to buses, The city ripped up the tracks in after trackless trolleys began operation in February, 1947. The overhead wire remained until 1964.

 

Napoleon Avenue at St. Charles 1860 #StreetcarMonday

Napoleon Avenue at St. Charles 1860 #StreetcarMonday

Napoleon Avenue links the river to Broadmoor

Napoleon Avenue

Napoleon Avenue at St. Charles Avenue, 1860 (photographer unknown)

Napoleon Avenue in 1860

The first streetcar service in New Orleans was along St. Charles Avenue. The New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad Company started at Canal Street. They expanded service in stages, as demand and their capital allowed. So, by 1860, the line extended past Napoleon Avenue,

Nayades Street

Napoleon Avenue

Map of Uptown New Orleans, 1850

The street we known know as St. Charles Avenue was called “Nayades Street” for most of the 19th Century. So, architect and surveyor Barthelmy Lafon named this long street after the mythic Green Nymphs who watched over fresh water wetlands. The street ran from the Business District, out to the City of Lafayette. Finally, the line ran to the City of Carrollton. The “Route of the Nayades” connected the neighborhoods. Similarly, it connected the plantations. In 1852, descendants of Spanish planters like Francisco Bouligny continued development. So, they changed the name of the street to honor Charles III. Charles was a Saint and king of Spain. As a result, of naming an uptown-to-downtown street after a Spaniard they needed balance. Bouligny’s descendants named their north-south road after Napoleon Bonaparte. They subdivided the plantation after 1862. Streets on either side of Napoleon Avenue were named to commemorate Bonaparte’s major victories.

Streetcar Operations

The NO&CRR opened its crosstown line in 1835. By the time of this 1860 photo, the company operated “bobtail” streetcars. The Johnson Car Company sold these cars to the New Orleans company. These streetcars, pulled by mules, were a good fit for New Orleans. Therefore, when the New Orleans City Railroad opened their line on Canal Street, they ordered bobtails. The uptown company acquired the property on either side of the tracks at St. Charles an Napoleon. Because the area grew in population, they extended service on Napoleon. So, the Napoleon line ran from St. Charles, going further up the street. NO&CRR opened a mule barn and a streetcar storage barn/maintenance shop at the intersection.

Eventually, the the mule-drawn streetcars were replaced with electrics. The NO&CRR facilities closed. Streetcar operations consolidated closer to the business district.

Vernon Smith turned NORTA 29 into “The Littlest Streetcar”

Vernon Smith turned NORTA 29 into “The Littlest Streetcar”

Vernon Smith gives NORTA 29 a personality!

Vernon Smith

I had the privilege of attending a book event last Friday, at St. Francis Xavier Parish, on Metairie Road. There were over twenty authors there. I knew many of the authors. I also enjoyed meeting some new folks, like Mr. Vernon Smith.

NORTA 29

vernon smith

NORTA 29, the last Ford, Bacon, and Davis streetcar. (Edward Branley photo)

Vernon sat behind a poster-sized illustration of “the sand car”, also known as NORTA 29. The sand car is the last remaining Ford, Bacon, and Davis streetcar. The FB&Ds date back to 1894. Ford, Bacon and Davis were engineers. They won a contract to advise several streetcar operators in New Orleans. Electric streetcars rolled the streets, beginning in 1893. The transit companies used mule-drawn cars for decades. Electric streetcars meant they had to install overhead wires along their routes. The engineers offered consulting services.

After working on track plans, interchanges, etc., FB&D learned a lot about streetcars. They designed a streetcar for the New Orleans systems. Several companies liked the design. So, they ordered these streetcars in 1894. They first appeared on the St. Charles Avenue line. Then they rolled on Canal Street. From there, the companies put them on the backatown routes.

The Littlest Streetcar

By the 1910s, the operators needed streetcars larger than the FB&Ds. They replaced the single-truck, smaller streetcars with double-truck cars from Brill and American Car Company. New Orleans Railway and Light Company ordered the first arch roof double-trucks in 1915. The 800- and 900-series arch roofs came to New Orleans in 1923.

The transit companies kept many of the FB&D streetcars for years. They ran well. Their smaller sized enabled them to run on routes with smaller ridership. The single-trucks were forty years old by the 1930s. NOPSI retired most of them. They kept a couple FB&Ds for special uses. NOPSI refitted #29 to drop sand on the rails on wet/icy days. NORTA 29 continues this job to this day. It is indeed the littlest streetcar in the NORTA fleet.

The book

Mr. Smith’s book is a wonderfully-illustrated childrens’ book. It’s available in hardcover, librarians take note!

The Littlest Streetcar

ISBN: 9781455621897
ISBN-10: 1455621897
Publisher: Pel
Publication Date: February 1st, 2017
Pages: 32
Language: English
Recommended Reading Level

Minimum Age: 4
Maximum Age: 7
Minimum Grade Level: P
Maximum Grade Level: 2