Mandeville, Louisiana

Day 879

     Mandeville is located on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, across the lake from the city of New Orleans, on the South Shore (isn’t that clever?). Mandeville get’s its name from a village in Normandy, France. It means “big farm” (from Magna Villa) in medieval Norman French.

      The town of Mandeville was laid out in 1834 by developer Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville, more often known as Bernard de Marigny. In 1840 Mandeville was incorporated as a town. It became a popular summer destination for well-to-do New Orleanians wishing to escape the city’s heat.

     Bernard (Bernie to his friends), was born in New Orleans in 1785, the third generation of his family to be born in colonial Louisiana. A French-Creole American nobleman, playboy, planter, politician, duelist (he participated in 15 duels), writer, horse breeder, and land developer.

     Tidbit of Information: One of the things Bernie brought back to New Orleans from his visit to England was the dice game Hazard, which became popular in a simplified form known in local dialect as “Crapaud”, what we now call Craps. Barnard eventually lost his fortune gambling and died impoverished in 1868.

     We walked the pathway along the lake.

     Once upon a time there was a beach between the breaker wall and the lake. Steps were built so you could go down to the beach.

     The lake has risen because of the building of levies. 

     Lake Pontchartrain is named for Louis Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain. He was the French Minister of the Marine during the reign of France’s King Louis XIV, for whom the colony of La Louisiane was named. Lake Pontchartrain is an estuary connected to the Gulf of Mexico  

     Along this path were numerous live oaks, like this one from 1799:

   Because of storms and hurricanes, this tree did not weather well. You can see 3 posts that hold the branches up.  Now, this tree from 1709, faired much better:

     There were many more live oaks along our path, but they were much younger,  around 1850. Just image, these trees were here during the Civil War. 

     Also along our path were fancy estates, like the Theodore Verret House, built in 1849. 

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