1900 to 1930 -- Remembrances
The following accounts were captured on audio tapes during 1976 and were transcribed to typed form by Mrs. Betty Carlin of the Pass Christian Historical Society.
! The Brandt family home had burned down in 1917 and they moved into one of the little shacks next door to the old library. Another member of the family owned four little shotgun houses. The old school house had two teachers, Miss Nannie Sutter taught first grade and Miss Emma Walters taught all the rest of the grades. The school building was an old wooden building standing atop high pillars at 110 W. Second Street. by Mrs. Mary E. Brandt
! Across from the Town Library was the Air Dome Theater. Sam Taylor operated it as an open air picture show with silent movies. Miss Emma Schorr would play the piano with great emotion. Previous movie places were located on Second St. and at Heirn and Scenic. by Miss Claire Knost
! The Rhodes Trade Palace, later the VFW, now the Palace in the Pass, was owned by then Mayor Charles M. Rhodes. The family lived upstairs and the store was downstairs. In the back there was a shed where the country people would spend three or four days. They would bring in wool and farm produce and trade for dry goods which arrived by schooners and steam boats. They brought their wool in wagons with tarpaulins covering them. Their oxen and horses were kept back by the railroad. by Mrs. Margaret C. Farrell
! Besides Willie Jones, the "Oysterman from Pass Christian", there was a peddler who the locals called Rain in the Face who sold crabs for a penny each as he would call out "Crab Bo-Boy-y-y". by Mrs Justine P. Kuhn.
! A Free Negro by the name of Charlot owned a house which was located on Scenic Drive. Charlot Asmar actually had been deeded all of the property comprising downtown Pass Christian from a little west of Market Avenue to a little east of Seal Avenue from the Beach to Portage. Following the 1915 Hurricane, Edgar Bohn bought the T.V. Courtenay beach property where the damaged Store was located and moved the Charlot house to it. He later moved it back to its original location in the 500 block. by Mr. Ad Lang, Sr.
The ensuing historical tid-bits come from interviews with Tom and John Parker, sons of former Governor John Parker, Sr. who resided on West Beach at their home from 1900 onwards and later at their estate, Windy Hill at DeLisle.
Mr Sam Heaslip used to come over and sail out two or three evenings a week in the moonlight to Cat Island to fish in the surf. The next morning he would catch the Coast train back to New Orleans. He had a darkie working for him called "Old Mose", who was also a good fisherman. Mr. Sam loved to drink and he had a few drinks one night and got sleepy as they were sailing back, so he told Old Mose, there's a star. You stay right on that star and take the boat in." But Mose went to sleep too. When he woke up he shook Mr Heaslip and said, "Marse Sam, I just passed that star. Give me another one to go by."
! Father Sorin approached Governor Parker at DeLisle and claimed he needed some money. He said, "They're going to make me a canon in the church. I wonder why they're going to make me a canon?"
My dad replied, "Because you have performed so many shotgun weddings." . . . Father Sorin served the Parish for more than 50 years. He claimed that the well behind the Our Lady of Good Hope Church in DeLisle beckoned people from all over who would come to bathe in the spring waters in order to rid themselves of rheumatism. In another story, . . . Father Sorin would call intermission to go out to feed his chickens during the middle of mass.
! Edgar Monroe had been having a lot of trouble at his place with the springs. "They've got a lot of natural springs there. He was complaining because he thought he had a leak in the water line, but he found out that it was a natural spring. At that time there were a lot of natural springs that started spurting from the front lawns.
! John Parker Jr. was the president of a local stock group that was called the Club on Wheels which bought a private club car which they named "Beauvoir". A contract was made with the Railroad company to hitch the car behind the daily train run. The stock holders also built a shed at the L&N tracks to house it during the winter. It ran from April until October being picked up by the daily train each morning at 7:10 and was separated each evening at 5:10 pm.
! When automobiles appeared in the Pass they were brought in by rail because there were no roads between the Coast and New Orleans. The first roads for autos went from the Coast through Baton Rouge to get to New Orleans. Roads to New Orleans weren't built until ferry boats were established across the Bay, the Rigolets, the Chef Menteur, and other rivers such as the Pearl.