What's the story on the fountain identified as donated to City Park in 1910 by the parents of William Frazer Owen?
The story behind this fountain is a sad one indeed. It is one of the park's memorials, this one given by Mr. and Mrs. Owen as a memorial to their young son after his premature death.
The fountain looks very different from the original that was erected in 1910. The first fountain included a statue of a little boy wearing overalls. He was holding up and examining his boot, which had a hole in the bottom. Through the hole poured the fountain stream into a round iron pool.
The statue had been cast from a famous original called "The Unfortunate Boot." And it graced the park until 1929 when it was discovered by park officials to be broken.
The park board decided to have it replaced and accepted a bid from J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York for $270 to provide a bronze replica of "The Unfortunate Boot" weighing 400 pounds. However, the new statue was never put in place.
It seems that William McFadden -- the millionaire oilman who owned the mansion that is now occupied by the Christian Brothers School -- objected to the fountain. McFadden was very generous and made charitable contributions to the park. He was also an honorary member of the City Park board. So it was important to keep him happy. In this instance, McFadden used his influence to persuade the park officials to discard the statue because his wife had an identical statue in one of her gardens. It didn't seem to matter that the Owen statue had been in place 10 years before McFadden had bought his home.
So the statue was sold outside of the country and another statue was found. This one is Chloe, a bronze nymph, placed there in November 1929.
In 1994, the cast-iron fountain rusted out and was replaced, and today it is the Patrick J. Butler Memorial as well as the Owen Memorial Fountain.
I just finished watching Ken Burns' fascinating biopic of Huey P. Long. Huey had a suite at the Roosevelt Hotel. Is that suite still there? How much would it cost to rent it for the night?
R. Drew Sanders
Dear R. Drew,
The Kingfish did indeed spend a great deal of time holding court from his suite at the Roosevelt -- now Fairmont -- Hotel. His suite was up on the 10th floor. But since then it has been divided. I'm sure if you called the hotel they would be happy to accommodate you. But you know what they say: if you have to ask the price, you probably can't afford it.
Why is the road along the lake in Bucktown called the Hammond Highway? Was it supposed to be a highway all the way to Hammond?
You are absolutely right! A long time ago, this road was the highway to Hammond. Lying along the shores of beautiful Lake Pontchartrain, the highway connected to another highway and a ferry over Pass Manchac.
However, when U.S. Highway 61 was built, and later Interstate 10, old Hammond Highway fell out of favor. Now there's very little remaining.
By the way, did you know that the city of Hammond was named for its first settler, Peter Hammander, who later Anglicized his name? He was a native of Hammardal, Sweden, who came to Louisiana in the early part of the 19th century.
I am currently talking a class in history after 1865, and one of the questions regards how General Pershing Street got its name. Can you help?
I imagine I'm too late to help you with your class, but you're not the only reader to ask about this street's name.
It's common everywhere to name streets after
military heroes. General John Joseph Pershing -- also known as Black Jack Pershing
-- commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I.
The street was originally called Berlin, but was changed to General Pershing
in 1918 because of strong anti-German sentiment.
to an editor's error, the photo caption in my column of July 15 incorrectly said
that the painting "Life at the Metairie" was moved from the Beverly Country Club
to the New Orleans Fair Grounds grandstand after the Beverly burned down in 1983.
The Fair Grounds actually acquired the painting several years before that date.
NOTE: Due to an editor's error, the photo caption in my column of July 15 incorrectly said that the painting "Life at the Metairie" was moved from the Beverly Country Club to the New Orleans Fair Grounds grandstand after the Beverly burned down in 1983. The Fair Grounds actually acquired the painting several years before that date.