The signs

Signs along the highway, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, June 1943, by John Vachon, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Another view of this here.

E. Riche/ Read the history of my life I am 65 year old born 1877 June 30th I don’t steal don’t murder don’t lie and never was arrested in my live Sherif Dauterive* gave a handcuff to handcuff me for telling the truth do you think it would be an honor to handcuff me the boat the life saver, is for proof that it crossed Judge Perez†, his two children, his wife, and his brother but Mr. Dauthrievl asked could I prove it, I said yes, and he asked who crossed him. I said a boy he also asked did he pay him I said yes, he gave him $100 [or $1.00] and looked for change back if I am wrong arrest me I am ready for trial I want help from the public eyes on, hands off, keep out, and be happy life saver crosse Peres family over Miss River if you arrest me for telling the truth you should be paralyzed blind or crazy God is my judge

History of depression and starvation these signs were taken up by the grand jury April 6, 1936 for investigation has investigation been made[?] if nothing can be found wrong please return these signs

On the side: Caernarvon levee [?} on April 29 [? . . .] horse [or house] claim ditch claim tree [?] claim. . . spring crop claim summer crop claim [? . . ] how can a poor man have a square deal [? . . .} have a square deal to replace my [?] in the same condition [? . . . .] (emphasis mine)

The drawback of tyme claim of 200 of false claim was made by county agent c.c. Dethloft [or Dethlofi] he was adv[i]sed $1299 [or 1219] tree claim I was offered $275 is this a square deal Mr Perez worked fifty fifty on summer claim every farmer summer claim was 229 [or 289] Mr Perez got 110 and each farmer got $110 [ or 410] paid ten years taxed [?. . .] 1927 where did my mo[?. . .] collected penny on


*Louis Dauterive was sheriff of Plaquemines Parish from 1931 to 1943.

†Parish political boss and segregationist Judge Leander Perez. Here’s a news story about him allegedly strong-arming another family over land in the 1930s. E. Riche’s complaints may go back to the removal of families in the 1920s to built a spillway to protect New Orleans.

Vintage landscape: New Orleans

Vintage landscape/enclos*ure: Ursuline Convent, New Orleans, Library of Congress“Doorway and courtyard of the Ursuline Convent, New Orleans,” between 1920 and 1926, by Arnold Genthe, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The Old Ursuline Convent was completed in 1753 in a French Colonial style.  It may be one of the oldest buildings in the Mississippi Valley. It was a convent only until the 1820s, however, when the nuns turned it over to the Bishop of New Orleans and moved to a larger place in Treme.

At the time of this photo, the building was a rectory for the adjoining church of St. Mary’s, the home parish for the area’s many Italian immigrants.  Today, it is part of the Catholic Cultural Heritage Center of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The Sunday porch: iron lace

The Sunday porch/enclos*ure: iron lace in New Orleans“A vista through iron lace, New Orleans,” ca. 1920-26, by Arnold Genthe, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This is a covered third floor balcony, and it has a wonderful view of the back of St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter.

The 1836 house still stands* — wrought iron intact — at 716 Orleans Street. It is now light pink with dark green shutters and is known as the Le Pretre Mansion, for one of its first owners.

It was on the market as recently as this past April — for $2.65 million.  Here’s a 1937 photo of the entire house.

An exotic horror/ghost story goes with the mansion:

In the 19th century, a Turk, supposedly the brother of a sultan, arrived in New Orleans and rented the house. He was conspicuously wealthy, with an entourage of servants and beautiful young girls — all thought to have been stolen from the sultan.

Rumors quickly spread about the situation, even as the home became the scene of lavish high-society parties. One night screams came from inside; the next morning, neighbors entered to find the tenant and the young beauties lying dead in a pool of blood. The mystery remains unsolved. Local ghost experts say you can sometimes hear exotic music and piercing shrieks.

— “Walking Tour in New Orleans,” Frommer’s(.com)

The Sunday porch/enclos*ure: iron lace in New OrleansThe view above, from the same balcony, looking northeast on Orleans Street, was photographed in 1936, by Richard Koch for a Historic American Buildings Survey, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The Sunday porch/enclos*ure: iron lace in New OrleansThis privacy panel along the second floor balcony of the service wing, overlooking the courtyard, is interesting too. Photo also by Richard Koch for HABS.