Pocket Parks

The coming of the "pocket parks" to Covington was a great idea. The best known pocket park is Columbia Landing, but there's another well-known pocket park at the bend in Tammany Trace between Gibson and New Hampshire Streets, photos below. It was created in 1994, twenty-five years ago.

Click on the images to make them larger.

 They even gave out pocket park plaques to participants.

See also:

Nose Park

Covington Grocery & Grain Company

The Covington Grocery & Grain Company was established in 1901 and soon grew into a major regional vendor with several branches in two states. It is a tremendous success story, made even more so by the fact that its founder, Ernest J. Domergue was a native of New Orleans, and came to Covington as a result of having fallen victim to the "yellow fever."

He recovered and eventually worked his way up in the business world as one of Covington's most successful entrepreneurs.

December 16, 1919, St. Tammany Farmer Advertisement

 Below is a report printed in the March 15, 1919, edition of the St. Tammany Farmer which detailed its phenomenal growth and dividends.


"It is with pride that we point to the history of the Covington Grocery & Grain Company, Ltd., because it has not only been constructive in the sense of its personal business achievement, but has been progressive and influential in the extension and advancement of agricultural interests and uplift movements.   

"Along with the growth of the business the establishment of new branches has been accomplished by the adoption of modern improvements in new buildings for safe storage and quick handling of products and for the protection from fire.  The mother institution at Covington has been distanced by the rapid growth of business at Slidell, La., which now exceeds that of any of its branches.

"The business started with the Covington Warehouse & Commission Com­pany, Ltd., organized by E. J. Domergue and H. P. Gagnet and which was chartered July 5, 1901, with a capital of $25,000.00, of which $5400.00 was paid in by December 31, 1901, on which date the company issued its first statement.

"The first board of directors and officers were: H. J. Smith, President; S. D. Bulloch. Vice-President: C. H. Bickham, Secretary; Hardy H. Smith, Treasurer: the late J. .B. Wortham, the late Leon Roubion, and G. S. E. Babington.

"Owing to the operation of the company, the handling of wholesale groceries, etc., the name was appropriately changed to the Covington Grocery & Grain Co., Ltd., September 12, 1904. It being found that there were still greater opportunities of extending the business by the establishing of branch houses in other sections, July 11,1907, the charter was amended so as to allow the Company to reach out for business offered by an extended field. This resulted in the establishment of the Slidell branch in the same year, the Bogalusa branch in 1913, the Tylertown, Miss., branch in 1914, the Columbia, Miss., branch in 1915, Laurel Branch in 1918, Franklinton branch in 1918, with preparation for a branch in New Orleans and Hattiesburg.

"The Company is rapidly becoming one of the most important institutions of the kind in the State. Its combined sales, ending fiscal year December 31, 1918, are approximately three millions.

"Thirty-three semi-annual dividends, ranging from 5 to 10 per cent, have been paid during the Company's existence, and the prospects are very bright for future increase of business.

"Realizing that large quantities of feedstuffs were being imported that might be profitably grown at home, the Company has urged and encouraged the growing of these crops and the adoption and use of improved machinery and modern methods of cultivation. To ofFer facilities for the marketing and handling of home grown feeds and produce, it has anticipated putting up elevators. This will not only give opportunities to the home farmer but will facilitate prompt deliveries and the general service of the Company.

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 In a 1922 book called "The History of New Orleans," the author John Smith Kendall noted the following:

     Ernest J. Domergue, a native of New Orleans, laid the foundation of his successful career in commerce and finance at Covington, Louisiana, and quite recently returned to his native city, where he is president and directing head of one of the largest wholesale corporations in the South, the Interstate Wholesale Grocers, Incorporated.

Mr. Domergue was born at New Orleans in 1873, son of Ernest J. and Angel (Abadie) Domergue. His father was born in Paris, while his mother was a native of Northern France. Ernest J. Domergue acquired his public school education at New Orleans, and left that city in 1885, during the yellow fever epidemic. He was stricken with that disease, but subsequently entirely recovered his health at Covington. 

He then remained at Covington, where he began his business career as clerk in a store, later became a broker, and in 1900 organized the Covington Grocery & Grain Company, a wholesale concern. He developed that to a highly prosperous organization, and gradually acquired interests in other wholesale grocery houses, and in order to be at the center of the work of commercial concerns of which he is the head he returned to New Orleans in 1920 to make his home.

Mr. Domergue with his own extensive interests and in association with others organized the Interstate Wholesale Grocery Company, Incor­porated, and has since been its president. This corporation has two million dollars capital, and is one of the largest, if not the largest, whole­sale grocery concern in the South. 

With headquarters at New Orleans, the corporation operates eleven wholesale grocery houses, first among which is Mr. Domergue's individual business, the Covington Grocery & Grain Company, which he organized in 1900. 

The others, conducted by the central office at New Orleans, are the Slidell Grocery & Grain Com­pany at Slidell, Rogalusa Grocery & Grain Company at Bogalusa, Mer­chants' Grocery Company at Franklinton, Nicholas Burke Company at New Orleans, Dupont Wholesale Company at Houma, Percy-Lobdell Company at Thibodaux, Lockport Wholesale Company at Lockport, Renoudet & Dietlein Grocery Company at New Iberia, all these being in Louisiana, and also the Pearl River Grocery & Grain Company at Colum­bia, Mississippi, and the Foote-Patrick Company at Laurel, Mississippi.

Mr. Domergue is also president of the Commercial Bank & Trust Company of Covington, and a director of the Bank of Slidell. He is a member of the New Orleans Association of Commerce, Southern Yacht Club, and is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner. He married Miss Belle Warren of Covington. Their four children are C. R. Domergue, C. O. Domergue, Irma and Leo.

Branch Locations of the Interstate Wholesale Grocers

Covington, La.,

 Bogalusa, La.

Laurel, Miss.
FOOTE-PATRICK CO., R. L. Patrick, Manager

Columbia, Miss.

Tylertown, Miss.

Franklinton, La.

Slidell, La.

New Orleans
OFFICE C. R. Domergue, Manager 

Financial Statements Over the Years

August 3, 1918

Below is a 1905 account of the business:


Lee Lane Shops

Below are a series of pen and ink sketches of the shops on Lee Lane in 1982. Artist Winky Chesnutt made the sketches for an ad in the Chamber of Commerce annual magazine. 

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Lee Lane is the first street that crosses Boston Street as people drive in from the east, over the Bogue Falaya Bridge and past Boston Commons. The street, while only about two blocks long, packs in a dozen or so very quaint and interesting shops. It has provided the initial marketing exposure for many St. Tammany area artists and jewelry makers. 

Southern Living Magazine Article

Thirty four years ago, in 1985, an article in Southern Living Magazine had this to say about Lee Lane:

"Coving­ton visitors discover lovely neighborhoods and distinctive shopping areas. Most of the town is shaded by oaks, which are draped in gray-tinted moss.

"More than a dozen restored Victorian cottages are clustered along Lee Lane in Covington, near the Bogue Falaya River. Trimmed with gingerbread, curlicues, and balustrades, they house a varied collection of specialty shops.

"The restoration of Lee Lane began about 15 years ago (1970) when Mab Valois opened The Armoire. which features chil­dren's and women's clothing. Others soon followed her lead, applying fresh coats of paint to neighboring buildings and stocking them with hand-milled soaps, artwork, an­tiques, and hunilcraltcd items from across the South.

The Armoire

"Ann Moores opened The Kumquat, a bookstore and gift shop, on one corner of Lee Lane. The business soon outgrew the building, and Moores built a reproduction of a 19th-centurv plantation home across the street to house the store. The Kumquat offers an impressive selection of fiction and nonfiction best sellers, cookbooks, and children's books. Prominently displayed near the entrance are The Moviegoer, Lost in the Cosmos, and other works that estab­lished Walker Percy, Moores' father, as one of this country's outstanding contem­porary writers.

"Marjorie Allen patterned The Partridge after the year-round Christmas shops in her native Scotland. Many of the hand­made ornaments and decorative pieces are from Germany and England. One section of the shop is filled with nutcrackers of all shapes and sizes, from the traditional soldier models to a 3-foot-tall guard.

A Lee Lane streetscape by Ann W. Gauthier

"At The Pear Tree, the focus is on grape­vine baskets and dried flower arrange­ments. The Lily Pad's specialty is hand­made shower wraps, and the most pop­ular items at Quilts & Quaints are quilts with the double wedding ring pattern. Lee Lane's Backstreet carries a line of food products from Vidalia, Georgia, including burnt sugar mustard, Vidalia onion pickles, and onion relish."

Here's a link to a map showing what shops were on Lee Lane the following year, 1983.

For more information about Lee Lane, see the following links:

Lee Lane Photos From The Past

Lee Lane at Night

Lee Lane Map 1988

Southern Living Article About West St. Tammany

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2019

The annual St. Patrick's Day parade graced the streets of downtown Covington recently as hundreds of parade participants in a variety of costumes entertained the thousand or so people lining the parade route along Columbia Street, Gibson Street, Lee Lane and Rutland St.
It started at Columbia St. Tap Room and ended at Jewel's Cigar and Briar Shop.

Here are some photographs. Click on the images to make them larger.

Mayor Mike Cooper

Irish Wolfhounds

A lime green machine