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Newspaper Archive of
The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
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October 25, 1984     The Ponchatoula Times
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October 25, 1984
 

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Thursday, October 25, 1984-4th Year, Number 4 '00tE PONCHA T D LILA TI,00vlES s0o Subscribers pay less than half price - See Coupon Pg. 2 II iii liiHi iiii II I . II I I I I III IIII .............. II III II III II follows Old Spanish Trail mayor's Bible tells Pon(:hatoula history By BRYAN T. McMAHON r Editor & Publisher o Zhistory of Ponchatoula's first family lies hidden between the heavy covers of '; LYear-old Bible once owned by William Akers. ,:: liable is now in the possession of Mrs. Elizabeth Sellers Haight, whose hus- ard Charles Haight was the great-grandson of the founder and first mayor Watoula. the assistance of Mrs. Haight and her deceased husband's sister Mrs. Louise , neighbors on West Oak, The Ponchamu!a Times has been able to piece flit some of the early history of this region, dating back to when this was a n of Spain. ed as landmarks on the well-marked trail of Ponchatoula s development , early marriages between Akers descendants and some of the long-estab- plarnilies of the region. lhe story begins n the early 1800's by the side of the Spanish Trail that at the ed as the main thoroughfare that passed through Bedico, Ponchatoula, to, and on to Baton Rouge. ore well-known Old Spanish Trail through the West Florida parishes of the heads South at what is now Slidell and passes through New Orleans, Thibodeaux and goes all the way to Houston, following a buffalo migra- es research shows that another trail broke off this one somewhere near -day Slidell and headed West along the first high ridge on the north side of )ontchartrain. It is this trail that formed the main street for Ponchatoula's I settlers. Spanish Trail passed to the north of the two lakes named for French n during the time of Louis XIV of France. Pontchartrain and Maurepas DOwed close to what is now Weinberger Road, heading west where it can be k:lay as West Oak, still a high ridge. n West Oak the trail continued through what is now Wadesboro and then to rs Landing which is known to us today as Springfield. It had been named lde Bookter, one of the first settlers in the area, back when modern-day Ifield was a booming trading post on the Old Spanish Trail, a path frequented Outlaws of the day. n Was back in the 1700's whe Spain ruled this part of Louisiana. from Baton O the Florida Panhandle (which is why New Orleans and lands to the west I[ I ississippi were included in the Louisiana Purchase but this was not.) After Successfully invaded Spa!n and installed Napoleon Ill on the Spanish : this vast colony of Spain s wrote its own Declaration of [ndependence, pShed a bicameral legislature and declared itseff a sovereign state, the Republic Florida. soon to be conquered by Gen. Claibourne and claimed as part of of America. the Spanish Trail forked at Bookter's Landinq (Springfield) with Staff Report water sprites in Manchac, wampus cats in Wadesboro and spirits in Springfield. IOing to be a very spooky week in Several private residences are said to oula be n the infestation and blir are already out, on lawns will Storefronts all across town. with by the weekefid. ees reported out Bedico way, IE PAGE SiX P.H.S. Homecoming Court L Ponchatoula Homecoming has been chosen, with the be named at the in9 Game, Friday, i/ 2. The court includes tow, left tO right) Cory Palisi, trman, Gtna Norton, Renee Domingue=, Jennifer Maxwell, Sandy Jenkins, Rhonda Collins, (back row) Amber Gregotre, Ashley Annina, Sarah Mitchell, Connie Johnson, Melissa Tobla, Watlda Dotey, futile Hutchinson. and Becky Becnel. (Times Photo by Eddie Ponds) 00nchatoula to fly 00tion's largest American Flag Stall llepo, t e donation of land in dcem- ronchatoula by the Country i ioard of Directors, plans can nue for the Ponchatoula , ? to erect a towering flagpo l.!he largest American flag in the e Ran Perrin told the board that finishing touches are made on what will be "the pole American flag flying , an accomp'hshment of the Jaycee Women that .ve boggled the mind of the Ross t 0overs the entire floor area of Ponchatoula Jaycee Hall, to local Jaycees. to erect the former South miarowave tower in front Market have been set weather, explained  local contractor who is head- tt project for the gaycees. IZ_  that a 54 square Inch base will have to be constructed in five foot square turned and the city for the new undatton built around a hole drilled at the site to accept the base of the towering pole now located behind Charlotte's Webb on Southwest Railroad Avenue, the pole will be moved across Pine Street to the new location. Unur,4 telegraph lines that used to hang above the Market, following the rail line, were taken down two weeks ago at the request of Mayor Charles Gideon, who is putting the weight of his office behind the pro}ect. This paves the way for the engineering feat of actually moving the tower to its new location. Once in place, it will take 20 dtizens to raise or lower the flag each time it flies, a task Perrin said would requite the formation of a new organization in Ponchatoula, The Minuteman Club. Gideon, who joined Perrin at Thurs- day's meeting of the Country Market board, said dub  would be kept on continuous notice so the flag could be lowered quickly in the faceof storms and high winds. When not flying for special otor, the huge hand-crafl! flag would be replaced by a smaller, but  Impres- sive, flag, a. move Pentn said would fEE PAGE THREE ! By the time he had grown to young manhood, the 24-year-old Akers had struck a deal with the federal government, paying one bit (12 I/2 cents) per acre for a thousand acres of land, now known as the City of Ponchatoula. He traveled here along the Old Spanish Trail and built a log cabin facing the trail with the help of local American Indians on a knoll that exists today behind the wooded area south of West Pine and at the end of West Oak. One legend has it that Ponchatoula was named by Akers after one of the Choctaw Indian chiefs who helped him build his log cabin. At the age of 26 Akers married for the first time, taking Margaret Richardson of Sprinufield for his bride and establishina her at the log cabin, with it. rnw nf lave SEE PAGE SIX Chamber hosts senior citizen pres. The Ponchatoula Chamber of The "noon luncheon, prepared by Commerce will meet Friday noon in the Miss Addie Morris, costs only four Rotary Hut at Memorial Park to hear the dollars, and all members and president of Tangipahoa Voluntary prospective Chamber members are Council on Aging (TVCOA) speak of urged to attend, said Chamber the need for a new home for President JoeSingerman. Ponchatoula's senior citizens. Mayors Current Mayor Dr. Charles Gideon recently paid a visit to the grave of his early predecessor, William Akers, first mayor and founder of Ponchatoula, who lived along the Old Spanish Trail and is buried in Wetmore Cemetery between Ponchatoula and Springfield. (Times Photo) The original owner of this Bible is believed to be the founder and first mayor of Ponchatoula, William Akers. It contains an inscription recording his June 6, 1850 marriage, at the age of 42, to" Julia Vinyard. it also sheds light on the family tree of Ponchatoula's founding father and was of great assistance to reporters with this newspaper researching the city's early history. (Times Photo) travelers able to continue on to the Spanish fort at Baton =Rouge via Galvez. Manchac and then to Baton Rouge. Another fork headed north to Natchez and was known as the King's Highway. The 1800's dawned. Spain was gone. America held sway. and Springfield had been renamed to account for the abundance of fresh water springs in the area. It grew to a high point of 2,000 inhabitants and sported at the height of its growth a port featuring warehouses and a lumber mill. To this booming town came the 10-year-old William Akers who. his family Bible tells us. was born in New Orleans " __ // I / I "1 \\;' I::IITI rf1ll ,i,   ,. I Old Spanish O Ponchatoula's first main street This is the route of the Old Spanish trail that passed through modern day Bedico, Ponchatoula, Wadesboro and Springfield. Local citizens with information as to the exact route or those with new information to add tO, or correct, in the associated story on the early days of this region are asked to contact the editor, Bryan T. McMahon at P.O. Box 743, Ponchatoula, La., 70454. Future historic pieces are planned. Site of the first mayor's log cabin Local business just smoking Staff Report It's not at all hard to figure out what they do at Louisiana Smoked Meats Inc. The smell of hickory hits you at the front door with a force that would bring tears of }oy to any backyard barbequer, but this Ponchatoula business is as close to backyard cooking as the space shuttle is to a child's paper plane. Located at the furthest tip of Ponchatoula's southwest city limit, on the 1-55 service drive, the meat plant is quietly succeeding after only three months in business, with its products under various brand labels appearing in supermarket meat coolers throughout the region. The meat plant is a manufacturing concern, not a meat distributing company, and so owns no fleet" of trucks. Locav,_PON Foods distributes the company's products. Other buyers, including some major supermarket concerns, handle their own shlppino. from Ponchatoula. But a curious reporter visiting e newly-expanded business was offered a tour this week by owners Carroll and Carole Malbrough. The husband-wife team took over the business June ll. He has 28 years experience in the business and, using that, he took the new but out-of-business meat plant and immediately expanded it to 0,000 square feet from its previous size of  4,000 square feet. He limited the business to sausage and hams, and specialized in smoking the meat. In only a single fiscal quartet Malbrough boosted the work force from "about " to 20, all but two of whom live in Ponchatoula He said thaJ2. SEE PAGE ELEVEN MY PONCJ-IATOULA By OLE HARDHIDE The Alligator That's the last time this reptile sneaks out of the cage for an autumn romp through nighttime Ponchatoula! ! started heading out east up Pine Street and got just three storefronts down when I trotted up upon the scariest sight rye seen in many a long swampy day. There was death itself in the window of the beauty parlor Appearances (or maybe it was the Before part of one of those Before-and-After ads you sometimes see), Word is out that those who give up on beautification at the local parlor can soon turn to prayer. Anyway, l was turned around and went dashing the other way up West Pine and just for safety's sake crossed over to the south side of the street, only to be confronted by more sheer horror decorating the windows of the insurance company, the furniture store (could have been one of Archie's helpers peering out through the window), and the final scary event, the front of the Country Cupboard, where inside l saw the tiny wriggling of little gnomey arms and legs about the size of mouse limbs, but tailored in gnome cloth. (Huge humans are bad enough. Little bitty six inch ones are worse than hornets rm sure). I skeedaddled. It was a blind rush up Railroad Avenue past my cage to the dark back end of the Country Market, where a bunch of gun-toting gunslinging cowboys were busy setting up a gruesome specter of gloom and doom on the depot's back porch (better stay away Saturday night!). I rounded West Hickory on two pads, saved by quick clawing at the slipperiest corner in Ponchatoula (and not because three banks share the corner), West Hickory and North Sixth, where the street has that pebbled gravel affect that resembles roller bearings with the first breath of mist from an afiernoon's drizzle, and I barrelled my way for Silk Stocking Street, and hung a hard right racing for the sheriff's house, only to be assaulted on Eddie's lawn by the most fearsome scarecrow I've ever seen (see for yourself). ] avoided the corner near Memorial Park as [ try to avoid all controversy (but i noticed the councilmen still had their stop signs up). And I made it back to the cage before a practicing Jaycee spook could focus any of his five bloodshot eyes on me, or a St. Joseph Spook Party goblin could gobble me. Whew! l don't have the stamina to be a kid from Ponchatoula! Talk of stamina! V.W.'Gene" Laird and Myrtle Bernard Laird are observing their (get this) 60 years of wedded bliss, most of the time at least, this Friday, October 26. (Hardhide likes happy married folks) How about it Mr. Ebrecht. can Gene take the day off to whoop it up a little with the little lady? I hear from my friends in the animal kingdom that Sue Cutrer is working in her garden and some of them are curious as to what's on their menu. How about it Sue? Dave Berwtck or Mickey White could make a fortune turning their stores big carpets into little bitty throw rt " if they could only hire Betty Cutrer and Marie Troyer, both of whom cut q : a rug Saturday at Oak Knoll. Mandy Collier liked the new pi, : tables supplied by Mildred Barringer ' and the Community Garden Club at Memorial Pa7k that she had her birthday party there. (Rower ladies do make such nice memories). And how about the long-practicing until-now-unlucky B Volleyball Team at St. Joseph. They won one Monday against St. Peters of LaPlace (these girls have been practidng so hard they were even tarting to serve volleyballs to thei- family at dinnertime). A new sport was born Sunday in Ponchatoula (where else - Water Soccer. It's played knee deep in water at the Community Center field, looks like a high-priced television ad filming for a popular detergent, and takes place only in blowing rain (Rnchpenny was spotted huddrmg in a bathing slt beneath an umbrella yelling soggy cheers with the other proud parents), Ponchatoula won, but word has it that Western Auto's. Slate of the First Line. " . SEE PAG,I| '