|The Boston Club, decorated for a night parade, 1906. One of
Mardi Gras' long-running traditions features Rex, King of Carnival,
toasting his Queen in front of the Boston Club on Mardi Gras Day.
|The Boston Club, ca. 1890
|Boston Club on the left, with Macheca's Imperial
building on the right - this building was later to
be the home of Godchaux's Department store
from 1926-1987; photo, ca. 1909.
From History of New Orleans by John Kendall, published in 1922:
"An important part in the social life of the city is played today by the clubs. The Boston Club is
the oldest surviving organization of this type. It was formed in 1841 by a coterie of gentlemen
devoted to the game of Boston, a card game in vogue at that time. The club was incorporated
in 1842. Its first quarters were on Royal Street, but after a short residence there, it transferred
its household goods to rooms on the south side of Canal Street, adjoining Moreau's
restaurant. About this time, other games than Boston began to be played in its comfortable
card rooms. Later on, the club took rooms on Carondelet Steet, near Canal, and, finally,
occupied its present home on Canal Street, between Carondelet and Baronne. This building is
a fine type of the pre-war southern residence. It was built by the famous Dr. W. N. Mercer,
when he relinquished his stately mansion on Carondelet Street, where he entertained Henry
Clay, during his frequent visits to the city. Mercer was an intimate friend of Clay, and it is said
was the generous, but anonymous, benefactor who paid the statesman's debts in the later
years of his life. Among the noted men who have belonged to the Boston Club may be
mentioned John R. Grymes, Judah P. Benjamin, T. J. Semmes and Gen. Dick Taylor."
|Postcard, Canal Street, 1906; Boston Club is the white building, second from right.
|King Rex toasting his Queen at the Boston Club, Mardi Gras, 1959