You're just a spring chicken compared to Old Blake. I, too, remember the old route of Rex, as well as the route of the first Rex in 1872.
The route was changed on Feb. 23, 1971, for the Centennial Celebration of Rex. But with the change, adjustments had to be made.
For more than 75 years, it has been traditional for the Rex parade to stop at 2525 St. Charles Ave., home of a member of the organization, where the reigning Rex is toasted and offers toasts to past kings and queens who gather there.
The route you remember began on Felicity Street, traveled up the avenue -- stopping at 2525 -- and made a U-turn at Toledano. The parade then headed back down the avenue, stopping at Gallier Hall and various clubs including the Boston Club on Canal Street.
The new route begins Uptown on Claiborne and Napoleon avenues and heads down the river side of St. Charles Avenue. Of course, now the entire parade has to cross the street at Toledano to get to 2525 so that the tradition of toasting can continue. Go figure!
The route of the first Rex parade was entirely different, however. On Feb. 13, 1872, it meandered from Canal to Royal Street to Esplanade Avenue to Rampart Street. Then it traveled back to Canal Street and over to St. Charles, then to St. Joseph Street, and down Camp to Canal.
Gallier Hall was always on the Rex route except between 1958 and 1962 when the parade was temporarily re-routed to include a stop at the new City Hall in the Civic Center.
I have driven past Poeyfarre Street in the Warehouse District on many occasions. Who or what was Poeyfarre?
Jean Baptiste Poeyfarre, an elderly Frenchman from Beaune in the region of Burgundy, was a landowner and had a home in the area. Poeyfarre had immigrated to Louisiana because he saw economic opportunities in the new country. He also liked the looks of the young daughter of a prominent Creole planter family. Jean Baptiste purchased his home and a large tract of land in 1818. When he died in 1824 at age 83, he left his entire estate to his widow, Louise Forstall, who continued to live there and spent a great deal of money fixing up the place. However, she decided of necessity in 1833 to move to a smaller house at what is now 620 Ursulines St., where she lived until her death in 1845. Poor Louise was hounded by creditors until she died. She never remarried, and with her the Poeyfarre name died as well.
Before she moved, the Poeyfarre property was divided into 57 lots and sold at auction in May 1831. And a new street named "Poeyfarre" was cut through. The house in which the Poeyfarres lived was rented out for a time and then bought by German immigrants Louis and Samuel Fasnacht in 1860, and the house became part of their brewery. Five years later the brothers sold the brewery to a fellow brewer, and it became the Erath & Company Brewery. Samuel Fasnacht got the building back but eventually abandoned it as a brewery by 1876. In 1881, A.A. Maginnis bought them out and erected the Maginnis Cotton Mill on the site in 1882. Not being concerned with historic preservation, Maginnis promptly tore down the old Poeyfarre house that had stood on that site for 116 years.
However, historic preservation is all the rage today, and at 920 Poeyfarre, the old mill has been renovated and now contains luxury apartments and penthouse condominiums.
In 1997, the University of New Orleans undertook major archaeological excavations on the site of the old Poeyfarre home, which yielded valuable information about Creole households of the period.