Deputy Mayor Jerry Sneed, Fire Chief Charles Parent, Council Member Susan Guidry and the firemen of Engine 35 were our special guests on Tuesday, September 27 at 6:00 PM for our celebration of the fire station’s 100th Anniversary. Also joining us were members of the Picheloup Family, including Maurice Picheloup III and his cousin, Claire “Miss Cookie” Fulham and their families.
The Picheloup family originally donated the property to the City of New Orleans in 1911 for use as the site of a fire station. The fire station lead the way to further development of the Picheloup dairy farm property into what is today the Parkview Neighborhood. Maurice Picheloup spoke to the audience of about a hundred neighbors and invited guests, including many fire department officials.
Mr. Picheloup prepared the following comments for the gathering:
“Captain Maurice Picheloup, my grandfather, is said to have donated the land on which this century-old Firehouse was able to open in 1911. He had operated a dairy farm here for many years and had been involved in the activities of the city having served since the age of 40 (1906) as Superintendent of the House of Detention where the prisoners were held until the new Criminal District Court Building and Jail replaced it at Tulane and Broad in 1929.
I don’t know how many residents of Parkview today can relate to those days but those who raised their families here around City Park and Bayou St. John might remember Southern Park, the Picheloup Dairy, and even the Baseball Diamond that occupied this area prior to l920-22 when the development from the these occupants changed to what is enjoyed today between the Bayou and Orleans Canal Development and City Park. I’m 92 and even I don’t know about those but I do know about the Firehouse. I only visited there a couple of times but my Uncle Louis was the Picheloup who found his way to the Firehouse frequently. He lived in the family home at 1020 No. Carrollton which was built after the development caused him to lose his Moss St. home to the new Delgado Drive subdivision he developed and build a new one on Carrollton Ave. I was raised at 635 N. Carrollton with my maternal grandmother
My cousin, Claire Fulham, has spent all her 90+ years here on Picheloup Place, raising her family near the Firehouse and taking care of the cooking facility at Holy Rosary School. To this day she carries the nickname “Cookie” from those thousands of students she fed. She is here today and I hope many of you will have the opportunity to meet her. She and I remember well from our childhood the unkempt condition of our segment of Bayou St. John compared to what you and visitors to New Orleans enjoy today as part of Parkview.
In 1911 when this Firehouse was created to help the safety and security of this area there was no Harding or Delgado Drive or Picheloup Place but there were many homes in this area that needed the Fire Protection this facility could provide. I grew up knowing only the fact that my family helped make this attractive and much-needed Firehouse possible.”
Also speaking was Council Member Susan Guidry who presented the firemen with a City Council Proclamation honoring their service over the past 100 years. Deputy Mayor Sneed addressed the audience for the Mayor and Fire Chief Charles Parent, the Superintendent of the New Orleans Fire Department spoke about his pride in the fire departments actions after Hurricane Katrina to get the City back to a good fire rating. This took the work of all of his employees and the cooperation of the citizens of the City.
Interestingly, at about 5:55 PM, as the ceremony was getting ready to begin, the Engine 35 firemen were called out on a house fire. They returned about 40 minutes later to the applause of the gathering. The ceremony also included the dedication of the Parkview sign, in the front yard of the Fire Station, to the Picheloup Family.
Everyone enjoyed a special cake and beverages to end the evening. The Engine 35 firemen had shirts for sale commemorating their 100th anniversary. Shirts can still be purchased from the fire station.