Bay to City – BOSH in the 1860s

Bay to City – BOSH in the 1860s

The Brothers of the Sacred Heart moved into Faubourg Marigny during the Civil War, Bay to City.

bay to city

Bay to City

At the beginning of the Civil War, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart (BOSH) stood at a crossroads. The Institute operated St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, since 1854. With secession of Louisiana and Mississippi, the Union Navy blockaded the Western Gulf Coast, anticipating an invasion of New Orleans. The Brothers closed St. Stanislaus to boarders.

To fully appreciate this move, consider a trip from the city to the bay. We’re not talking about an hour’s drive. In 1861, you’d load up a coach or wagon with your boy(s) and their luggage, and head about 100 miles east. That was a eight hour ride. With Farragut’s ships and gunboats, along with Butler’s 30,000 troops on Ship Island, safety was a serious concern. While families understood the concerns, they didn’t want to just give up on a BOSH education for their boys.

To the City

bay to city

Brother Athanasius Faugier, S.C.

So, the BOSH contacted the Archbishop of New Orleans, Jean-Marie Odin, about setting up a presence in the city. Odin agreed, and connected Brother Athanasius Faugier, S.C, of St. Stanislaus, with Father Anthony Durier, pastor of Annunciation Parish in Faubourg Marigny. Fr. Durier helped the Brothers set up shop in the Marigny. This made a lot of sense. Brothers from France worked with a French archbishop to open a school in a very-French neighborhood. Fr. Durier loaned a house to the BOSH. They renovated that house to accommodate twenty-five boarders. They then rented a house on Union Street (now Touro Street) and opened the school. The school was about six blocks away from the boarding house. The 1883 Robinson Atlas segment above shows Annunciation Church in block 492.

bay to city

Fr. Anthony Durier

This arrangement continued through the end of the rebellion. The BOSH packed up and returned to the Bay. It wasn’t long, though, that Archbishop Odin invited the institute to establish a permanent presence in New Orleans. The BOSH purchased the house at Chartres and Barracks Streets in 1869, and St. Aloysius opens.

Thanks to the faculty members of Brother Martin High School, who assembled much of this information for their Day of Experience, “Exploring the Origins of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans.”

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!

NOLA History Guy December (4) – Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans

NOLA History Guy December (4) – Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans

Our fourth installment of NOLA History Guy December features the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans (BOSH)

nola history guy december

NOLA History Guy December – BOSH – Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans

When my CPA kiddo attended Brother Martin High School, it was time for another book. My original idea was for a book on the Gentilly neighborhood overall. Unfortunately, Brother Henry
Gaither, S.C., nailed it when said, “So much in the neighborhood drowned.” Fortunately, though, the school didn’t drown. While it sustained some damage on the first floor, the Gentilly Ridge protected the campus. It took some time to get approval from the Institute, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. Once I received the green light, however, things rolled. Brother Ronald Talbot S.C., Provincial at the time, and Mr. Tommy Mitchell (Class of 1979), Assistant to the President and Director of Development, gave me access to a ton of archival material. Brother Ronald also graciously wrote the book’s foreword. Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans begins with origins of the BOSH ministry on the Gulf Coast and continues right up to the book’s publication.

St. Aloysius College, 1869

The Brothers of the Sacred Heart came to the Gulf Coast in 1847. The Institute (they’re an “Institute” rather than an “Order”) authorized a school for Mobile, Alabama. The BOSH moved West along the coast. They opened St. Stanislaus College in 1854. They deemed the trip from New Orleans to the Bay too dangerous when hostilities broke out. So, some of the faculty traveled to New Orleans, setting up shop at Annunciation Parish in Faubourg Marigny. They continued the education of the boys there.

Impressed with the quality of the teachers, Archbishop John Mary Odin, invited the Institute to establish a presence in the city. The Brothers purchased a building on Barracks and Chartres Streets, opening St. Aloysius Academy in 1869.

Officer’s Quarters

The Spanish army out of Havana maintained a garrison in New Orleans when Spain took control of New France. The officers lived in a house at the corner of Barracks and Chartres Streets in the French Quarter. The archdiocese sold that house to the Institute. To record the sale, a “plan book” was created. This was similar to an modern appraisal report. Since there was no color photography, architectural illustrators drew sketches of homes and buildings, along with diagrams of the property to be sold. I found the plan book for St. Aloysius in the Notarial Archives. Here’s the caption for the plan book:

St. Aloysius Academy. Architectural drawing depicting the building located at the corner of Barracks and Chartres Street in the French Quarter, at the time of its purchase by the Institute in 1869. Prior to photography, sales of property in New Orleans would be accompanied by a “plan book plan,” which usually included a description of the property, a map of the city block in which it was located, and an artist’s illustration of the building(s). The building was originally built as officers’ quarters for the Spanish garrison of the city. This is the only known illustration of the “first St. Aloysius.”

The Institute operated the school here until 1892. They moved to Esplanade and N. Rampart Streets that year, taking over the mansion formerly used by the Ursuline nuns for their school.

While the book is a wonderful trip down memory lane for members of the Brother Martin faith community, it’s also a great resource for folks interested in the history of the Third District and Gentilly.

The Book

nola history guy december

Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans by Edward J. Branley

From the back cover:

When New Orleanians ask “Where did you go to school?” they aren’t asking what university you attended but what high school. That tells a native a lot about you. For over 150 years, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart have educated the young men of New Orleans, giving them the opportunity to answer the question proudly by replying St. Stanislaus, St. Aloysius, Cor Jesu, or Brother Martin. Images of America: Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans showcases photographs, illustrations, and maps tracing the role of the institute in making New Orleans a vibrant and dynamic city, able to overcome even the worst of adversity. From their roots in the French Quarter, moving to Faubourg Marigny, and finally settling in Gentilly, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart continue to make a major contribution to metro New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana.

Available at local bookstores, Walgreens stores, other local shops, Bookshop, and other online outlets. Give history! Support NOLA History Guy December.

Brother Martin State Championship 1971

Brother Martin State Championship 1971

The Brother Martin State Championship football game comes 51 years and a day later.

brother martin state championship post game 10-December-1971

Brother Brice, SC, Coach Bobby Conlin, and an unidentified news reporter stand by as the 1971 Brother Martin High School Football Team accept the state championship trophy, 10-December-1971

Brother Martin State Championship

There’s lots of hype out there on the current Crusader football team, in the run-up to tonight’s championship game in Da Dome. While the team played in the 1989 state championship, they lost that year. So, the one and only football state championship in the school’s history was 51 years and one day ago. Brother Martin defeated neighborhood rival St. Augustine, 23-0, on 10-December-1971. The teams met at Tad Gormley Stadium that evening. Here’s Brother Neal’s summary of the game:

25,000 filled the horseshoe in City Park for the rematch with the Big Purple. The game wasn’t as close as the regular season finale. Senior end Steve Mallerich set the tone on the first series by sacking QB Keith Pete. Later in the period, Farnet picked off a Pete aerial to set up a [Steve] Treuting TD plunge for a 7-0 lead. [Darryl] Brue kicked a 32-yard field goal on the last play of the half. The second half belonged to the Crimson and Gold as well.
Blindsided by [Ken] Bordelon as he threw, Pete saw another pass picked off, this time by Brue. Seven plays later Treuting scored again for a 17-0 lead. Junior Marc Robert recovered a fumble at the Knight 11 which set up a [Joe] Mattingly four-yard run to complete the eighth shutout of the season, 23-0.

While most of the champion starters graduated in 1972, Juniors Joe Mattingly, Darryl Brue, and Marc Robert returned, leading the 1972 team to a Catholic League district championship.

Coaches

brother martin state championship football coaches 1971

Head Football Coach Bobby Conlin (center), Dan Conlin, (left), and Emile “Chubby” Marks, 1971.

Head Coach Bobby Conlin, his brother Dan, and Emile “Chubby” Marks shepherded the team through the regular season and playoffs. The offense ran a Bama-style wishbone, and Coach Marks’ defense was simply a brick wall. If you’re ever wondering why the school’s gym is named after the coach who won the school’s only football state championship, it’s because he didn’t start out as the football coach. When Cor Jesu started its football program in 1965, Principal Brother Roland, SC, hired Andy Bourgeois (SA 1956) as the head coach. Bourgeois played on the LSU team that won the national championship in 1958. He was one of the “Chinese Bandits,” immortalized by the Golden Band from Tiger Land. Brother Roland named Bobby Conlin as the Kingsmen’s first basketball coach that year.

When Cor Jesu and St. Aloysius merged in the fall of 1969, Bourgeois moved on. Bobby Conlin moved from head basketball coach and assistant football coach to head football coach. Andy Russo, basketball coach at St. Aloysius, moved to Elysian Fields.

Crusader Band

brother martin state championship football game 1971 - crusader band halftime performance

Brother Martin Crusader Band performs at halftime of the state championship football game, 10-December-1971.

Fall of 1971 was the days of the Naval Junior Officer’s Training Corps (NJROTC) band. While Cor Jesu and St. Aloysius both had classic, corps-style uniforms for their respective bands, Brother Mark, SC, opted for the Navy blues for BMHS. NJROTC was a required class for 10-12 grades. So, the band upperclassmen all had the uniform already. It was easy to outfit the freshmen. At halftime for the state game in 1971, Crusader Band took the field in the double-breasted blue coats, trousers, and white combination caps of NJROTC cadets. While the band had a crisp, disciplined presence, they were stiff compared to the high-stepping Purple Knights of the Marching 100.

Then the drum major blew the whistle to start the Crusader Band program. The band opened with a stutter-step march, the kind of thing you’d expect from the Marching 100 or the Human Jukebox. In Navy uniforms. Even eighth-grade me, sitting up there with my gold BMHS sweatshirt and spirit ribbons, was stunned. Now, the band were good musicians, but this was so totally different. Brother Virgil, SC, had us all talking more about the band than the team for a while. The reception from the Purple Knights was mixed. They were both laughing and flattered, knowing that, even though they lost the game, they won halftime.

Prof Taverna and the St. Aloysius Band

Prof Taverna and the St. Aloysius Band

St. Aloysius Band in 1946 was led by Prof Taverna.

prof taverna

St. Aloysius Band

Photo of the St. Aloysius High School Band, 1946. The band wears a classic corps-style uniform, with grey tunics, white trousers, and Sam Browne belts. The belt design was for military officers and NCOs who carried pistols. The shoulder strap supported the weight of the pistol on the belt. Fortunately, the BOSH didn’t issue pistols to the band, but the look was nonetheless sharpe. The band director, to the left is Joseph “Prof” Taverna. The students in white in the center were the color guard. The two young men on the right held the banner for parades. The drum majors wear bearskins on the left.

One of the distinctions about this photo from earlier years is the drumhead on the bass drum. After the war, high schools transitioned from calling themselves “colleges.” As young people came home from World War II, they took advantage of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the “G. I. Bill.” One of the program’s benefits was financial assistance for college tuition. The high schools dropped “college” in their names to avoid confusion.

So, the band reflected this change. The drum head says, “St. Aloysius High School – New Orleans, La.” The large, vertical “SAC” is a shout-out to “St. Aloysius College.” The BOSH didn’t want to upset decades of alumni with a major name change. The band smoothed things over a bit.

Prof Taverna

prof taverna

Joseph “Prof” Taverna in 1931.

The school hired a new band director in 1931, Joseph Taverna. Here’s Brother Neal’s bio of “Prof,” in his History of Crusader Football:

One of the laymen was the new band director: Professor Joseph Taverna. He hailed from Turin, Italy, where he studied at the conservatory. His father was a celebrated composer who was once organist at St. Peter’s in Rome under Pope Leo XIII. Shortly after securing his degree in Turin, young Taverna came to America and settled in New Orleans. Here, “he organized the first boys’ band ever to play in the Crescent City.”

Later he became professor of music at Marion Military Institute in Alabama where he remained until the World War broke out. He led various army bands during the war. After the war, he returned to Marion. “His remarkable success drew the attention of the authorities of Alabama University. Professor Taverna accepted Alabama’s offer to head their music department. Here he trained both the Concert Band and the Military Band, taking the latter twice to the Rose Bowl.”

All that before 1931! While it may seem that taking up the baton at Aloysius was a step down for Prof, it’s not without precedent. Sometimes talented teachers need a step away from the rat race. Since he actually a professor, the honorific stuck. The reference to “laymen” BNG makes is an important one. In 1931, there were only four lay faculty at the school. All the other teachers were brothers. This expanded as the school entered the 1950s, particularly in the athletic department. While there were a lot of well-trained brothers teaching academic subjects, they didn’t coach. So, alumni joined the faculty in those roles. Band was a on-off situation. Prof took care of it for decades. By the late 1960s, Brother Virgil Harris, SC, ran the band program. Brother Virgil retired in 1973, and BMHS has had lay band directors ever since.

Military Style

Prof Taverna directed a corps-style, Souza-style band. The uniforms matched the style. When Cor Jesu opened, that school opted for a less-military look for their band. Aloysius followed suit, after Prof retired in 1961. The band adopted the Navy uniform when St. Aloysius added an NJROTC unit in 1968.

Legacy

Prof Taverna had a strong influence on the school’s music program, and the lives of many musicians. To honor his contribution to St. Aloysius and the BOSH, the BMHS band room in the Ridgely Arts Center is named for Prof.

NOTE: Thanks as always to Brother Neal Golden, SC, for his wonderful work documenting the history of the BOSH schools!