|This small tablet, made of marble, was discovered at the site of
Fort Maurepas: "Colonie Francoises, 1699, Pe. LeMoyne Sr de Ibvle"
|With thanks to Don Bourgeois for this image, "View of New Orleans, 1719" ... Don very kindly
translated the image description: "The (?) quarters of the Bourgeois' are surrounded three months
of the year with the unloading of the water of the river from the 25th of March until the 21st of June.
In front of the city there is a levee and by the back a ditch and other ways of draining."
|Jean Lafitte, pirate and hero of the Battle of New Orleans. Contrary to popular belief, Lafitte did
not take part in the battle itself, though many of his men, including one of his brothers, Dominque
You, did. Lafitte served as a guide for Gen. Jackson and, also, provided much needed supplies.
|On the night of January 7, 1815, the eve of the final Battle of New Orleans, nuns,
relatives and friends of soldiers prayed at this old Ursuline Chapel. This building, built
for the nuns by Don Andres Almonester y Roxas in 1787, was incorporated into a school
on the grounds of the old Ursuline Convent, which still stands.
|The first St. Louis Church, the first permanent church in the settlement in New Orleans, as it
appeared in 1730. Started in 1724, it was completed in 1727. French Governors Perier,
Bienville, Vaudreuil and Kerlerec, as well as, Spanish Governors Unzaga, Galvez and Miro
worshipped within its walls. The remains of the faithful were brought through its doors
enroute to the first cemetery on St. Peter Street. The church and most of New Orleans
burned to the ground in the great fire of March 21, 1788. This drawing was made from
Adrien de Pauger's architectural plans, which are in the French National Archives in Paris.
|Gaston de Pontalba drew this sketch of the Place d' Armes in 1849; left to right,
the Cabildo, St. Louis Cathedral and the Presbytere. Notice the mansard roofs of
the Cabildo and Presbytere, added since the 1845 drawing.
|Sketch of the Place d' Armes (later called Jackson Square) in 1845, by Thomas
Williams. At this time it was a parade ground, note the soldiers drilling.
|The second St. Louis Church at the Place d'Armes, a gift of Don Andres Almonester y
Roxas. Construction began in 1789 after the great fire of 1788 destroyed the original
church. It took five years to complete and the church was dedicated as a cathedral in
1794. Another fire had destroyed 212 buildings just a few weeks before the
dedication, but the new cathedral survived. It was used until 1849, when it was
determined that a new building was needed. That is the building which remains today.
|Left: Cemetery advertisement, "Lower tier...$60.00; Upper
tier...$65.00; Ground lots upon which tombs can, at any time
hereafter, be erected, measuring 14' x 16' vary in price from
37 cents to 57 cents per foot, according to their localities.
Benjamin Casey, Treasurer, Firemen's Charitable Association,
February 1, 1842." Right: Sketch of typical wall vaults found
in old New Orleans cemeteries. Lafayette #1 was built in 1833,
St. Joseph's in 1850, Lafayette #2 in 1853, Carrollton in 1848
and St. Vincent's in 1850; below Canal, besides St. Louis 1 & 2,
St. Louis #3 was built in 1856, St. Roch in 1868.
|Left: One of the most talked about buildings in the city, the
St. Charles Hotel, shown in this 1842 sketch, was the
center of business and social life in the American section
in the 1840's; fire destroyed this building in 1851, along
with several other nearby buildings. Right: The hotel was
rebuilt and the second building was destroyed by fire in
1894; photo at right shows the hotel after the 1894 fire.
|House on Grand Route St. John: This house was situated on the last leg of the Bayou Road
that led from New Orleans to the settlement of Bayou St. John, which had become an important
small port and settlement in the late Spanish period. Before other canals were dug, supplies
coming to New Orleans via the Lake Route, through the Rigolets and Lake Pontchartrain to
Bayou St. John were unloaded at Port St. John and carried to the city over the portage road.
The portage road was the earliest path from the Lake to the River, and has been used since
time immemorial by the Indians before the French began exploring the area. With the coming
of the French colonizers it became the main road for bringing supplies and people to the new
settlement on the Mississippi. During the late 1700's and first half of the 1800's, it became the
fashionable road of the area, along which many lovely homes were built, most of them
two-story plantation type homes. This area, along with Gentilly, was one of the earliest and
most fashionable suburbs of New Orleans. It was so early that concessions of land in this
location of Grand Bayou de St. Jean (as named by Bienville) were granted to settlers as early
as 1708. In 1718, when the future Nouvelle Orleans could boast little more than a rude shack
serving as a temporary shelter for the Commandant, Jean Baptist LeMoyne Sieur de Bienville,
settlers were established along the banks of Bayou St. John.