When I was a kid in the mid-1950s, I remember a bus/trolley on St. Claude Avenue. Could you give me some info please?
What you remember was the St. Claude line. Originally owned by New Orleans Public Service Inc., or NOPSI, the line began operating in February 1926. The original route began at the foot of Canal Street, turned on North Rampart Street, then continued on to McShane Place and St. Claude Avenue. It crossed the Industrial Canal, then traveled on Reynes, Chartres, Tricou, Alhambra, Delery and North Peters streets to the American Sugar Refinery. The return route took you via North Peters, Delery, Dauphine, St. Claude, McShane, North Rampart and Canal.
The route changed in 1930 and again in 1934. The St. Claude cars were going up and down North Rampart to Canal Street — the end of the line — where a shelter was built on the neutral ground for the comfort of passengers.
The original streetcar line was electric, but in January 1949, buses replaced the streetcars. Trackless trolleys took the place of buses in November of that year, but regular buses returned to the route in July 1962.
With the closings of St. Henry and Our lady of Good Counsel, I'd like to know about these two parishes. Both churches undoubtedly have a rich history, and this is a huge loss for New Orleans.
St. Henry's Church (812 General Pershing Ave.), whose patron saint is St. Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, originally was part of St. Stephen's parish under the authority of the Vincentian Fathers. It originally was built as a chapel in 1855, and later was established as a church by German immigrants who settled along the banks of the Mississippi River. Not surprisingly, the German Catholic laborers insisted on having their sermons and catechism in German, and no other language was allowed for either. The Vincentians provided German priests for the congregation.
With the onset of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, there was such anti-German sentiment that services there were almost discontinued. The French clerics wanted to build a church for parishioners of all nationalities, but German nationals protested and asked Archbishop N. J. Peche to keep their church. To avoid charges of prejudice, the archbishop ruled in 1871 that St. Henry's would be retained as a parish church for German nationals with a diocesan priest as pastor.
The present brick church was erected in 1925.
In 1887, Archbishop Francis Xavier Leray created a new parish from territory belonging to St. Stephen's and Redemptorist. Since it was created during the time of Pope Leo XIII, the parish was named after his favorite patron, Our Lady of Good Counsel. The first mass was celebrated on July 3, 1887. The original building, which is gone now, was a small one located where the parking lot is today.
The present Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church building at 1307 Louisiana Ave. was designed by architect Thomas H. Carter and built by Thomas Cary.
Father J. F. Lambert led parishioners and neighborhood businessmen in an effort to collect funds to build a church because they knew the diocese could not provide financial assistance. By 1890, there was enough money to begin replacing the smaller church; the new church was dedicated in 1894. The cost was $30,000.