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Dec 2, 2016

1913 Romain Building Sidewalk Clock Taken Down

I was downtown for Jury Pool in October 2016 and I napped to walked past the Romain Building. I had to do a double take and it actually hurt me; the 1913 Sidewalk clock was taken down after 103 years.

I suspect that Mr. Properties took it down, I won't tell his name.

Just how many Baton Rougeon's remember and loved that old clock which was on a cast iron stand. Many baby-boomers such as myself fondly remember that Clock from when Third Street was the shopping hub of BR.

History is fleeing people.

Note: My baby doctor (and when I was older) was in the Romain Building whose name was Tyler. What I remember was the Radiator Heaters. He was one of two house calling doctors I had, the other was Doctor Crimes on Winboure Avenue. Doctor Crimes called my Mom "Mother"; 'Mother, Ronnie is a little anemic, put him on Liver for a while.'

Aug 13, 2014

RW Greenwell's Grave

I have searched for this good man's grave before with no luck. The man was Robert Washington Greenwell, Captain of the East Baton Rouge Militia, was a Partisan Ranger for Louisiana, namesake of Greenwell Springs Louisiana and Greenwell Springs Road and owner of the property that contained ten spring heads. The springs became the site of a mineral spring water resort in the mid 1800s.

The water from each spring head had different mineral properties due to the different depth.
People from Baton Rouge and other places would come to the site, behind the later 1920s Tuberculosis Hospital, for their health.
The resort offered a hotel, cabins, and a dance pavilion.

Brigadier General John Caleb Breckinridge rested up in the hotel from there March from camp Moore. The hotel was destroyed by fire during the Civil War. Eventually the spring head was widened too much and the springs lost there siphon power.

I respect Mr. Greenwell for his service to his community (parish & state).

There needs to be a historical plaque at the cemetery where he is buried - 'Odom Cemetery' Wax Road near Greenwell Spring Road.

[After reading viewer comment I now believe that I must have found RW Greenwell Jr. and not the father who is renown man.]

Aug 25, 2012

Photos from Port Allen regarding Gov. Allen and Allendale

This replacement marker dedicated Sept. 23, 1959 
Allendale Plantation Historical Marker Dedication

These structure's and others like these is said to have come
from Allendale Platation. Call them slave quarters if you'd like.
My unqualified opinion is that they are1930s building of the
Cinclare Sugar Mill.

The original statue is in Winn Parish;
This statue sits across the street from the West Baton
Rouge Parish Courthouse.

To me: Allen is saying to Louisianian's after the Civil War:

Forget what you once possessed - now lost,
Forget the conflict and that you had enemies,
Forget the price you paid - more than was mete,
Swear allegiance to the Union - we are one again,
And built on the future and find solace where you can find it. 
                                                                 -Author of this blog

Aug 9, 2012

Story of two houses / Home owners helped CSA soldiers.

Our first story of a antebellum house comes from "War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies" by Robert N Scott (1985) and the Report of US Major John H. Clybourn.

I will have to leave out much of the details due to a lack of knowledge, but this is so historically interesting and so pertinent to my blog I will write a short account in my words including a link to sources which covers these stories.

I presume that the time that Major Clybourn swam his command across the Comite River was just prior to the battle of Baton Rouge. Upon crossing the Comite Black man informed the major that at the house of Mr. Granville Pierce on Greenwell Springs Road they were harboring two Confederate Lieutenant's, one was the chief of the rebel scouts in the district. So Major Clybourn took ten men and surrounded the house. A thorough search through the home revealed nothing though the Yankee's saw their horses and gear. They seized their horses and left realizing that probably the rebe officers's were hid in the house.

Except from, "War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies", page 1002.
     "...[I] swam my command across the Comite River, and marched to Baton Rouge. Learning from a negro (sic) that  the rebel Lieutenant Brannan and Lieutenant Brown were at the house of Mr. Granville Pierce, on Greenville (sic, Greenwell) Springs road, I charged up with a party of ten men and surrounded the place, capturing Lieutenant Brannan's orderly and equipments, but could find nothing of the rebel officers. I am certain they were hid away in the house. Lieutenant Brannan  is chief of all the rebel scouts in this district." [Parenthesis added]
I do not know where this house was, or is.

The second story of second antebellum house come form Central City News

Colonel Henry Watkins Allen had his cheek torn away by a mini-ball at the Battle of Shiloh and in 1862 had commenced to lead a charge against an enemy position when they fired a cannon and the blast knocked the young Colonel Allen down, I don't know the detail of the incident to write of it in detail. The Article says that he was taken to a house on Joor Road to be treated for his wounds. I have been where the house is as related to me by two sources, but nothing can be seen of it through the trees.

This happened on August 5th, in her diary Sarah Morgan wrote that about in November he was still unable to walk. Colonel Allen became Louisiana's second Confederate Governor and is buried on the Old State Capitol Grounds.

Aug 9, 2011

Reflections of Baton Rouge

Reflections of Baton Rouge Louisiana

I can’t think of any place better than Baton Rouge to grow up in. In the late 40’s and early 50’s it was a small town who’s claim to fame was that it was the capital of Louisiana and it was just 70 miles from New Orleans. We were on the edge of Cajun Country, our western parish line was the Mississippi River, we were in the center of  the state and the brand new Interstate 10 was being built directly through our town. My mother owned a locally famous Donut shop and it felt good to be popular.

My earliest culinary memories were the afternoons we would take a family ride in our gray 46 Plymouth station wagon to Park Boulevard and buy hot tamales from Muffuelatto’s tamale cart located on the grass median at Government Street. Other favorite trips included hot and salty curly cue burgers from Alessi’s Drive Inn and the delicious crispy chicken box from Bernard's Chicken Shack. The Fleur de leis made their square Roman style pizza considered by most to be the best in town and the creamy Coke floats from Hopper’s drive in was one of my favorite sweet treats.

Like most people, I suppose, life changed towards adulthood and so did my town. My industrial sales job let me experience martini lunches at Leon’s Italian kitchen and white tablecloth food and service at Mike and Tony’s Restaurant. Sammy’s lounge, The Star Mist and Rip’s Huddle were my choices for night life and for dinning it was Dajonel’s for continental cuisine, Jubans for New Orleans Creole and Mike Anderson’s for the fried seafood. After that period of life, Baton Rouge grew beyond the plant worker’s town I had known all my life and the chain restaurants and night clubs more or less set the pace for entertainment and dining...

[Used by permission]
Mr. Lynn Anselmo
Tony's Donuts
Tony's Restaurant

Tony’s Donut Shop Chippewa Street at Plank Road
Served Baton Rouge from 1946 to 2004 and was considered by most to be the Best Donut in Town. The shop was created by my father, Anthony Anselmo (TONY). After his death in 1950, my mother, Grace, was in charge until we took over in 1974.

Fleur de lis Roman Style Pizza, began in 1946

The an artist depiction of the Fleur de lis when it was a Cocktail Lounge,it is rumored that it was a Speakeasy* during prohibition under a previous ownership.
*a place where alcoholic drink was sold illicitly during Prohibition. Prohibition was from 1920 to 1933.

From a very good source: This was a service station, then grocery, the cocktail lounge, and now pizzeria. Also, from same source: There used to be a motel behind the cocktail lounge.

Fleur de lis, as it is today, very little has changed.

Fleur de lis Roman Style Pizza,
a family restaurant since 1946
5655 Government St. at Lovers Lane

Quote: "We try to keep everything the same as it always has been. Most importantly the recipe, style and quality of the pizza. We also try to maintain the traditional look of the building both inside and out." -Fleur de lis

Review: "The Fleur De leis made their square Roman style pizza considered by most to be the best in town..." 

Mr. Lynn Anselmo, formerly owner of Tony's Restaurant

Author: I love the fact that the neon on the front is exactly the way it was from the cocktail lounge time, except for the addition of "Roman Pizza". The top neon say "Air Conditioning" which was "new" technology in the day. Even the Jax Beer sign hanging off a poll to the right is still there, but broke out.

Interestingly, the bar inside was brought over from the Dixie Brewery in New Orleans in the 1940's.

Other reviews:

Fleur de lis Roman Style Pizza
5655 Government St.
Drive-thru window and take out
Call Fleur de lis at (225) 924-2904

[My blog is non-commercial, that is, business' who let me post their history data I try to help them out a little, it a favor for a favor, I do not benefit from those favors I give.]

Aug 7, 2011

Baton Rouge Department Stores, now defunct

Department Stores mentioned in this post are: Reymond's, Dalton's, Rosenfield's, Rubensteins, and Son.

Originally opened in 1915 as Reymond's Department Store but in 1929, it changed hands and became the Dalton Co. In 1955, it housed a branch of D.H. Holmes where it remained until they closed the 3rd Street location in February 1963. The building became the new home of I.H. Rubenstein's in 1965, the fourth department store firm to operate in the structure. in 1965, the fourth department store firm to operate in the structure. Source

The store, I.H. Rubenstein and Son, was a part of the musical chairs which affected Baton Rouge retailing throughout the last century. Mr. Rubenstein had been a manager of Rosenfield's, which dates back to 1853. Rosenfield's was the first store in Louisiana to be completely air conditioned, have elevators and eventually, moving stairs. In 1964, his son, I.H. Rubenstein Jr., left Rosenfield's to found the I.H. Rubenstein & Son store in the Broadmoor Shopping Center. Soon after, Rubenstein took over space on 3rd St. downtown that was first occupied by Reymond's, then Dalton's and finally a former downtown branch of New Orleans-based DH Holmes. Holmes had left downtown in 1963. I.H. Rubenstein was not a complete department store but carried medium-to-better clothing and accesories for the home. When I.H. Rubenstein, Jr. passed away in 1975, Rubenstein's locations included Broadmoor, Westmoreland, the Corporate Mall and a store in Hammond, LA. The downtown Rubenstein store closed in 1973. In April 1979, I.H. Rubenstein's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the Corporate Mall store on College Dr. was immediately closed. However, after changing its format to that of 'value-pricing', Rubenstein would announce the closure of its business in November 1979.

Source: Unknown, I came across this in a thread  on a message board.

Jul 27, 2011

Sons of Confederate Veterans formed 1896

The "Sons of Confederate Veterans" are direct decedents of Confederate Veterans, one has to be a decedent to join the SCV. The SCV, as an organization is the direct heir to the Civil War Veterans organization called, the United Confederate Veterans.

The "when and where" of the SCV founding and charge given to them by Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee in SCV words, I have be given permission by the local SCV camp to print on Historical Baton Rouge, I thought the charge from a Civil War Veteran was interesting and significant enough to post here..

[begin quote]

The Sons of Confederate Veterans formed in 1896 in Richmond Virginia is the direct heir to the United Confederate and is a historical, patriotic and non-political organization dedicated to ensuring that a true history of the 1861-1865 period is preserved.

Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans:
"To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the Cause for which we fought.

To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations."

Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee
United Confederate Veterans
New Orleans, April 25, 1906

[end quote]

General Dill was the youngest Confederate general.

Jul 20, 2011

St. Vincent's Academy

 I will post a link to the photo of the St. Vincent's Academy when I find one. I have a reproduction of a postcard with the old school, but due to copyright, I assume that I can't post it here.

Here is a link to St. Vincent's Academy, but it is not the original school, this photo was taken in 1916: Click here

The Brothers of the Sacred Heart founded St. Vincent's Academy of this site in 1894. In 1929 the school for boys was replaced by a larger facility and renamed Catholic High School. In 1957 the school was moved to its present site on Hearthstone Drive. This marker commemorates the Centennial of the Brothers work in Baton Rouge.

Catholic High School was founded in 1894 as St. Vincent's Academy. The school was so named in recognition of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who helped organize and establish the school. The original site of the school was an old frame building in downtown Baton Rouge, and the enrollment was 106 students. By the 1920s, the enrollment had grown to approximately 300 students, and in 1928, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart built a new school, gym, and brother's residence at the corner of North Street and Fourth Street.

The name of the Academy was changed to Catholic High School, in 1929, after the move into another facility.

The Iberville building, a Louisiana State building, is built on the site.

[Disclaimer: The "Religion" of this site is "History", as is the ethic race also "History" (unbiased on all points.)]

Jul 2, 2011

St. Joseph Cemetery - Est.1824


This cemetery is between North and Main Streets across Main street from the old Godchaux's building.
Internment List 

In 1825 St. Joseph Church
purchased the property for
a graveyard. Remains of some
of Baton Rouge's first settlers
were moved here from the
old Spanish Cemetery, or
cemetery of the Church of
Our Lady of Sorrows, which
became St. Joseph's. Philip 
Hicky, Adrien Persac, and
Theophile Allain are among
prominent Louisianians buried
here. The Catholic Diocese
of Baton Rouge owns
the cemetery.

Notes on the names mentioned on plaque:

Colonel Philip Hickey, owned a Sugar Plantation named Hope Estate five miles below Baton Rouge on the left bank of the Mississippi.

Marie Adrien Persac, a Louisiana Artist

Theophile Allain, born a mulatto* slave, after emancipation he helped start Southern University.
Planter, Francois remembered principally by the remarkable reputation achieved by one of his slaves; the bright, intelligent, good-looking mulatto born on his place, who was named Theophile, but called by his master "Soulouque," after the Haitian hero. He was his master's factotum (a general servant or a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities.), accompanying him everywhere (even to Europe). After emancipation, Soulouque, as his talents demanded, quit menial service and entered the brilliant arena of politics, at that tune opened to the negro. He rose easily above his contemporaries, whom he dominated by his intellect and fine address. He was elected State Senator; and, at Baton Rouge, further distinguished himself as a parliamentarian and a speaker.

* a person having one Black and one White parent