Pontchartrain Beach
Page One
Construction of the art deco style bath house, 1941; a ramp connected it to the swimming pools.
Pontchartrain Beach at its first location,
where it remained from 1928 to 1939; it then
moved to the area where the former resort
town of Milneburg once stood
New Pontchartrain Beach Midway - 1940
The old Milneburg Lighthouse, also, known as the
Port Pontchartrain Lighthouse, was constructed in
the lake just off the south shore in 1838 in the
resort town of Milneburg.  This is the spot where
Pontchartrain Beach was eventually built (the
area  having, long ago, been annexed by the city
of New Orleans).  Milneburg was popular among
the city's residents in the 1800's and early 1900's;
it contained many houses, or camps, built on piers
over the water.  In the 1930's, the levee board did
a reclamation project and the Milneburg camps
were destroyed, as what had been water, became
land.  However, the lighthouse survived and
turned into a popular landmark when the
amusement park was built around it.
1940 - About the time the beach opened; notice
the Lighthouse, still in the same spot, but now
located on the amusement park's midway
The Lighthouse stood at the entrance to Kiddieland
and was a popular meeting place for beach-goers, as
was the clown head in the photo above
The Zepher
The historic
Milneburg Lighthouse
as it is today, fallen
into a state of
disrepair, waiting for
someone to rescue it.
It rests on property
now owned by the
University of New
The lighthouse when the community of
Milneburg was still there
View from lighthouse after the reclamation,
before the amusement park was built
Another view of the lighthouse after the camps
were destroyed, but before the reclamation
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Pontchartrain Beach first opened its gates near the
intersection of Robert E. Lee Blvd. and Bayou St.
John in 1928 (just a stone's throw from the old
Spanish Fort Amusement Park).  In 1940, it moved to
the Lake at Elysian fields, where the old resort
community of Milneburg once stood.  And from 1940
until it closed in 1983, Pontchartrain Beach was the
summer fun destination of choice for New Orleanians
of all ages.  Visitors could swim, wade or build
sandcastles on the man-made beach;  swim in one of
the three pools; take a chance at a game of skill in
the Penny Arcade; enjoy the wide variety of rides:  
the Zepher was the hands-down favorite, a roller
coaster of serious proportions, or the Ragin Cajun,
the "Wild Maus," the Ferris Wheel (what a beautiful
view from the top of the Ferris Wheel at night,
looking out over the lake and the lights of the
midway), the Bug, the Tilt-o-Whirl, the Haunted
House, Bumper Cars, Laff-in-the-Dark, Flying Horses
or dozens of others.  For the little ones, there was
Kiddieland, complete with a Junior Zepher;  or
visitors could stake out a choice spot to watch the
famous stage shows that attracted lots of celebrites.
-- Nancy