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Jennings, La.; Tour the Great Historic Buildings from Days Past.
For a Picture/ Story Tour Visit the all new http://JeffDavisOnline.com; Community Gallery ; YOUR CrawfishNet Community

Some are still with us ... But sadly, most are gone by now.
Your guide through the Jennings days gone by, CrawDaddy, will enlighten you with pictures & stories of things that were.
NOTE!>>>: Be Sure to Scroll Right (view left to right)and visit our other Photo pages for Even More Pics and Stories. Most pictures are rather large so as to deliver more detail >>>>.
We encourage you to please submit any pictures or stories you might have to CrawDaddy@CFweb.Net.

A GRAND view of North Market St.
Looking west accross Main St. 1909
Bldgs: [l>r] , (I'll be adding more views of these in added pages) Most of these were originally built just after the 1901 grand fire to replace wood frame buildings. Bldg #1; This was the Jeanke's Impliment and Hardware business. Later I remember it as the Boudoin's Clothing, Notions and Department Store. Old Mr. Boudoin or his wife or store clerks would greet you and lead you to what ever clothes or shoes etc. you needed. The old store had great 6" plank wooden floors that would thud and creak as you walked on them. They always had the look and smell of being freshly oiled. As a youngin', you didn't dare run down the aisles of this store 'cuz either your Mom or Mr. Boudoin would fuss at you. And God forbid you'd fall if you were running! .... You were likely to rise again with a splinter stuck in you that when removed, the wound would take some 3 or 9 stitches.
Bldg #2
Scroll to the right for even more Great pictures >>>>>>>>>

View from West to East on N. Market St. >>>>>
THERE'S MORE > Scroll Right >>>

City Hall, Jennings, La., circa 1907 [photo by Duncan Studios]
Note the Mahaffy Hotel in the background to the west.
By 1917 The Mahaffy had suffered a terrific fire which ended it's stunning career as a nationally know landmark of architecture.

Jennings Southern Pacific Railroad Depot; circa prior 1909
Jennings in the birthing process.
The Southern Pacific Railway Ticket Agent/ Station Mgr. at this time was 37 yr. old, Herbert L. Davis, who in 1896 had married Maude Marie Everts "Roberts". The community was saddened when "H.L." passed away of a ruptured appendix in 1917 at a terribly young age of 45, having worked over 26 yrs for the SPR
Maude was a daughter to Minna Lodemia Freeman Roberts and step-dughter to John Henry Roberts. "Minnie" and "J.H." were a driving force in establishing the Jennings branch of the Carnegie Public Library (see then/now photos, this pg.). She served as the first Librarian for many years. "J.H.", a decorated Civil War vet. who served in the Secret Service for the Union Army, was elected the first Jennings Mayor in 1888 then served some years as the local Postmaster.
Minnie's father, Kasson Freeman, Jr., came to this area as the original land surveyer when homesteaders were given 160 acres each to establish themselves as permanent residents. Minnie's mother was Lodemia Susan Ward Freeman. Lodemia was termed a "medical woman" since it was not widely acceptable to refer to women as "Dr.".
I'll be presenting more about my great grand parents, Herbert and Maude in these pages soon. All the others mentioned here are relatives as well and I have very much more of interest to leave for you.
(---- Gary Davis ----)

Jennings Southern Pacific Railroad Depot; 1967

And HERE'S what the site looks like today! *News@11 (story below)

Standing Tall!
Easily the Grandest building ever erected in Jennings' history
It stood accross from what is now the Daily News office & the American Legion Hall, Market St.

Built in 1901 and victim to two large fires,
The Mahaffey was vaccant & abandonded by 1917. Such a shame to lose such a Grand work of art to so short a lifetime. I'll have more photos and a horendous story of the final fire that put an end to this building and it's era.

A TRULY Remarkable Feat of Architecture
Located accross from the Federal Post Office in it's Day
( Now the old Post Office is the JD Parish Library)

Here's a shot of the first Jennings depot circa 1910.
A nice pic of an early train too.

1984 had the depot looking like this. Several years later it was torn down to the slab.
*News@11; During the Melvin Garmin mayoral administration the city was offered the building to preserve as a historical landmark for the consideration of $1.
The building would have to be moved away from the railroad tracks for liability reasons.
The plan would have been to move the depot to the lot just to the west of the James O. Hall American Legion building, which is still vacant today, but the plan was tabled and the building was taken apart and hauled away.

A Marvelous "Tree"; This majestic, well groomed "tree" has stood for MANY! years just south of where the old train depot used to be.
Locals enjoy watching it die back in winter and come back with complete vibrance in spring/summer.
The amazement is that it isn't a "tree" at all but one of the original, close to a century old, SP Railroad telegraph poles that's been heavily grown over with poison oak. Yes indeed, a real allergist's delight!
SAD UPDATE!: One of the many casualties in our city of the hurricane, Lily (I refer to her as illi lili), of Oct. 3rd, 2002 was our historic telegraph pole and it's clinging vines. Few have probably noticed it laying there and no one's even given thought of hauling it away ... for now. If the wolves allow I might even get a farewell picture to share.

Here's a great little item of memorabilia. This is a matchbook cover (unfurled; notice the strike board to the left). Joe Clay's Tavern was one of the great food places during the mid to late 1930s. This matchbook cover came from a New York Ebay dealer about mid 2002, some almost 70 years after it was printed. "Air Conditioned" was an inovation in this day and time. Joe's was the first in the Jennings area to offer this customer drawing feature. This AC used thousands of gallons per day of city provided water to accomplish this cooling task. Of couse, at this time there was no metering on this water so water cooled AC was cheap to operate. The Gulf States Utility Co. set the premier example here, with a unit of this type in service at their location near the corner of N. Market St. at N. Broadway. This was the Electric Company's way of encouraging the use of it's product (hang the city and it's precious water!(B>)). Later on a water cooled unit was used in the Gem Jewlery location on Main St. next to the then Duncan Photography Studio.
I've included here below a qoute from one of the several great books on local history. This gives some keen insight on Joe's Tavern and other great eateries of the days past. We've ALWAYS loved our foods!
From "As I Remember" written by Franklin Hildebrand, [Written 3/17/1958] Pg. 145
"Jennings has had its ups and downs in reputation for good eating.
In the early days there were the taverns and inns where old fashioned boarding house fare was served. Food was placed in platters and bowls and diners helped themselves as often and to as much as they wished, knowing that when the supply was exhausted, the dishes would be replenished, hot from the kitchen.
As the 20s turned into the 30s, Mrs. Lorena Liddle gained fame for her home-cooked delicacies in her cafe where Duncan's Studio is today. After she retired, Oliver Wager took over and featured home-baked pies from the kitchen of his mother.
But far and above all was the reputation gained by Mrs. Inez Dougherty at the old Ardennes (Hotel). Her specialty was fried chicken dinners and gourmets flocked here with entire families from all over the area to portake of her Sunday dinners.
In the mid 1930s Joe Clay further enhanced the reputation of Jennings as a sumptuous place to dine when he opened his cafe in the now vacant room formerly occupied by Clarke's Goodyear store on Market Street.
Clay pioneered in sizzling steaks and brought in several full-scale chefs who knew the art of sizzling those steaks to the great delight of the hungry. Liquor had become legalized by then and you could get cocktails along with your steaks. He kept the place open 24 hours a day and the night rush was almost as great as during the day. After a few successful years however, the business petered out.
Now the smogasboards and the fish concoctions held weekly at the Zigler (Hotel) attract far greater numbers from area communities than Mrs. Dougherty's chicken dinners or Joe Clay's sizzling steaks. And, of course, these affairs are far more elaborate than the routine good eating of the old days.
But in the matter of eating, nothing will ever surpass the old-fashioned barbecues so popular 20 or 30 years ago. Everytime some one got an oil well, or a "piece of good luck" the fatted calf was butchered and barbecued. The creole sauce piquante really made the barbecue and no place on earth can quite equal it along with the other ingredients which made for its success; the hot French bread, the potato salad and the drinks.
The old barbecue may be on the way out so far as it featured a host treating all his friends and neighbors, but it still lingers on in small gatherings or for money-raising efforts."

This item was produced by the advertising co. of it's day, to show the advertising merchant and the film co. what the ad spot would look like. This was shown in the movie theaters or drive-ins. The voice readings and in some cases and or music would sound in the background while the viewing public would see the switching pictures. If you recognize anyone in the middle shot please let CrawDaddy@CFweb.Net know. That's Mr. Daly Manuel himself in the lower picture window.