My father, before he passed away last year, used to tell me that as a child he played at the triangular park on Esplanade and Bayou road. At that small park there is a square terra-cotta monument. He always wondered what the monument was dedicated to. Do you know?
The park at that intersection, dedicated in 1886, is called Gayarre Place and is named for Charles Etienne Gayarre, a famous New Orleans historian. The Gayarre Place Monument was donated by George H. Dunbar, a resident of Esplanade Avenue. The terra-cotta base and statue represents the Goddess of History-Genius of Peace. The original monument was a relic of the Cotton Centennial Exposition that was held in New Orleans in 1884-85.
I don't know when your father was playing in the park, but I can tell you that the original monument was vandalized in 1938, and the present one is a replacement.
I'm stumped. After some in-depth research, even to the level of source documentation, I can't find the origination of the name of Lake Borgne. Would you be able to find out how the lake got its name?
Old Blake is always glad to "unstump" folks. Lake Borgne, the large body of water that lies between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi Sound, was named by Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville. The name means "one-eyed," and was probably given because the lake had only one outlet to the Sound.
When Iberville was securing the mouth of the Mississippi for France in 1699, he also named lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas after the French Minister of Marine and his son.
Lake Borgne is located north of New Orleans, and along with lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas forms one of the largest estuaries in the Gulf Coast region. While the other two lakes are bounded by landmasses and marshlands, Lake Borgne is open to the east and connects directly with the Mississippi Sound.
Lake Borgne was the site of the first battle near New Orleans in the last days of the War of 1812. Gen. Andrew Jackson had established his base of operations in New Orleans in November of 1814. The British under the leadership of Gen. Edward Pakenham had left Jamaica and chose to attack New Orleans from the east by way of Lake Borgne and Bayou Bienvenue in December. Lake Borgne was too shallow to allow the frigates to land troops, so the men were transferred to small boats. On Dec. 14, the British were able to gain control of the waterway when their 45 open boats, manned by 1,200 men, captured five American gunboats that were scouting in the lake.
Of course, on Jan. 8, 1815, the final victory fell to us. Gen. Pakenham was killed in battle, and the British sustained over 2,000 casualties in that decisive battle, but Jackson lost only 71 men. The British forces withdrew through Lake Borgne and into the Gulf, firing on Fort St. Philip for more than a week before sailing out to sea for good.
Who is the artist who painted the mural in the bus terminal?
The mural in the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, which opened in 1954, was created by Conrad Albrizio. He was born in New York City in 1894, but came to New Orleans as an architectural designer in 1920. He soon became friends with other artists and writers, including William Faulkner and Sherwood Anderson. Returning to New York in 1923, he studied at the Art Students League. Following this he traveled to Europe to study frescoes.
He painted many murals in New York, Detroit, Alabama and Louisiana in a project funded by the WPA. And Gov. Huey Long commissioned him to paint murals in the Louisiana State Capitol.
Albrizio was a member of the art faculty at Louisiana State University from 1935 until his retirement in 1954. Probably best known for his murals in public buildings, Albrizio died in Baton Rouge in 1973 at the age of 79.