Oak Street Roots run Deep

Nicole Romagossa\'s Aunt tells the following stories about her family\'s connections to Carrollton and Oak Street:\r\n\r\nMy family\'s roots are deep in the Carrollton/Oak Street area. My great grandmother, Pauline Stubbs, was raised in the first house built in Carrollton when dairy farms existed where closely built houses sit today. Her father, Robert Stubbs, was the first Chief of Police of Carrollton when Carrolton was still part of Jefferson Parish.\r\n\r\nAs a child I loved to hear my grandparents and great aunts tell stories of their lives in old Carrollton. I especially loved to hear my mother and grandfather talk about his reign as King of Carrollton with my mother as a page in his court. During that time the Krewe of Carrollton paraded on Mardi Gras afternoon and was quite an event for the Carrollton residents. It is interesting to note that years later when my parents were dating, my mother was telling my father about the year that she was a page in the Krewe of Carrollton. As it turned out, my father marched in that very parade with his school band. How typical for New Orleans natives to discover the common thread that draws us together. \r\n\r\nSince both my grandmother and grandfather were born and raised in Carrollton, many of my relatives lived within walking distance of Oak Street and were both witness to and directly involved in the growth and development of that area.\r\n\r\nMy grandfather, Charles Spahr and his father Gabriel Spahr, both worked for George Glover Construction Company. Glover Construction was a major player in the building projects in Carrollton and the City of New Orleans. Gabriel Spahr was the construction superintendent in charge of building operations for the Whitney Central Building. Gabe worked with Architect Emile Weil on that project and I still have a letter dated May 15, 1918 in which Emile praised Gabe\'s handling of the Whitney project.\r\n\r\nI have fond memories of going to Oak Street as a child growing up in the 50\'s. When I would visit my Aunt, who lived on Cambronne Street, she would take me to Oak Street for an ice cream treat. Woolworth was always one of my favorite destinations as well. Although we moved to Gentilly in the early 50\'s, my mother would always take me and my sister to buy our shoes at Haas Shoe Store on Oak Street. My Aunt Frances worked at Haas Young Folks Shop which adjoined the shoe store. Many of our special occasion dresses came from the Young Folks Shop. It was always such fun to shop there. In that shop, each little customer got special attention. I can remember trying on numerous dresses and having my feet carefully measured for shoes. The employees of Haas had immeasurable patience. \r\n\r\nWhen I was old enough to cross streets by myself, my aunt would let me go to Schroeder\'s Grocery alone. I don\'t remember exactly on which corner the store was located, but I walked from Cambronne and Zimple to a corner near Oak Street. Since I was still rather young, I was not allowed to go to \"busy Oak Street\" alone. One of the main attractions of going to Schroeder\'s grocery was being able to stop at the stable behind the store to pet the horses. I remember the interior of the store looking similar to an old general store. I\'d give Mr. Schroeder my list and he would personally get my purchases down from the shelves and would always throw in some candy for me.\r\n\r\nYears later my youngest sister worked at the Whitney Bank on the corner of Oak and Carrollton. I was delighted when her daughter, Nicole, asked me if I had any information on the Oak Street area that I could share for her research. Again, we always seem to come full circle.\r\n

Citation

“Oak Street Roots run Deep,” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed August 17, 2022, https://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/37963.

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