Julia Street | WITH POYDRAS THE PARROT
THE PURSUIT TO ANSWER ETERNAL QUESTIONS
There was once a statue of a lovely Indian maiden standing on the edge of the island in the lagoon on the corner of City Park Avenue and Carrollton. I went through the Sculpture Garden but all they had was very modern art. I would love to know what happened to her.
– Loretta Tuminello (New Orleans, LA)
In March 1976, the bronze statue was stolen from its platform in the lagoon next to Swan Island. An underwater search was conducted shortly after the theft was discovered, but the statue was never found and its current whereabouts remain unknown.
While you are right about the statue’s former location, the artwork did not depict a young Native American woman. The subject would be better described as an Art Deco-inspired young Caucasian woman from the 1920s. Dressed in a flowing gown, the woman steps delicately, grasping her dress in her left hand as she sips from a shallow cup in her right hand.
An internet search produced media coverage of the underwater search in 1976 and the said statue was named “The Lady.” That information, however, almost certainly is anecdotal and likely is not what the statue was named. German sculptor Adolf Müller-Crefeld (1863–1934) designed the work, which is named La Source. The statue, which was a fountain, was originally a focal point of a formal garden at the McFadden Mansion (now Christian Brothers School in the heart of City Park). The photograph accompanying this column shows La Source in its original garden home.
When the McFaddens moved away in the 1940s, the mansion’s furnishings were sold at auction. City Park subsequently obtained La Source around that time. Park minutes reveal that, in early 1959, the bronze fountain from the McFadden house was installed in the lagoon next to Swan Island. The fountain worked until the early 1960s, when a freeze damaged its mechanism.
Older readers may have noticed that City Park’s missing statue has an identical twin that once adorned the Reily Memorial Fountain in Audubon Park from 1937 until the early 1980s, when that fountain was demolished. Audubon Park’s copy of La Source is no longer a fountain but has adorned multiple locations within the renovated zoo. The last I heard, the statue had been moved to temporary storage because of ongoing construction.
My 84-year-old grandfather has been asking me to try to find out what was the name of the neighborhood ice cream parlor in the Irish channel on the corner of Jackson & Chippewa. He and his friends went to Redemptorist school and they would all go hang out there after school. It was mostly to meet the girls. He told me the place later became a union hall. Can you please help me?
– Jessica Roth (New Orleans)
From your grandfather’s early childhood and into his young adulthood, the Best Ice Cream Company operated the ice cream parlor at 636 Jackson Avenue at the corner of Chippewa Street. In the late 1930s, owner Frederick Yoars resided on premises. During your grandfather’s youth, Yoars, a native of Indiana, operated throughout the city no fewer than 16 Best Ice Cream parlors, four of which were on Magazine Street. The New Orleans-based ice cream chain, known for portion-controlled servings and locally-made cones, also operated stores on North Broad, Burgundy, Constance, Dryades, Dumaine, Freret, St. Charles and Tulane Avenue. There were also three locations across the river – 441 Seguin Street and 840 Teche Street in Algiers and 401 Huey P. Long Avenue (formerly Copernicus) in Gretna.
The Best Ice Cream Company dissolved in the early 1950s. Its founder, Fred Yoars, spent his later years in Florida where he died in 1979 at the age of 82.
Dear Ms Street and Poydras,
Is it true that John Lockwood, the helicopter pilot who rescued several men from the roof of the burning Rault Center back in 1972, was fired the next day by his employer for endangering their aircraft?
– Marinus Quist (Covington, LA)
Helicopter pilot Lockwood changed employers not long after the November 1972 Rault Center fire but the reason why the former RAF pilot made that career change was not publicly explained. In mid-April 1973, less than six months after the Rault Center fire, the Louisiana American Legion commended Lockwood for having rescued eight people from the blasing skyscraper’s roof. The award was to have been presented at the state American Legion convention in Baton Rouge. However, when the organization learned the honoree had since relocated to Hawaii to work for another helicopter company, the ceremony was rescheduled to take place at the national American Legion convention in Honolulu.
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