Gretna Historical Society 2015 News Archive


Thursday, July 9th, 2015 - GHS BBQ

We will be suspending our normal business meeting on July 9th in order to host our annual barbecue. The event is free and includes hamburgers, hot dogs, smoked chicken, potato salad, and BBQ beans. Chef Emile Cloutet, ably assisted by Chef Garland Gaspard will be grilling up burgers and dogs. Paul Coles will prepare the BBQ beans and smoked chickens. The potato salad will be prepared by the 10th Street Café.

Weather permitting, the BBQ will be held in the shady backyard behind the firehouse, starting at 6 p.m.. If there is a chance of rain, we will set up tables inside.

We need help starting at 3 p.m. for setting up, cooking, and sampling to be sure the beer is cold enough. 

Donations of desserts for the dessert table would be greatly appreciated. 

If you know someone who would like to join GHS, please invite them to this event.


Thursday, March 12th, 2015 - Monthly Meeting

The program for the GHS March 12, 2015 meeting is entitled 'Remembering Gretna in the 1950s'. We have a great line-up of story-tellers who will share their memories. Story-tellers offering to share their memories are: Dave Neeb, Ray Markase, Buddy Gegenheimer, Joe Toomy, Judy Lotz, Babson LeBlanc, Paulette Murphy, Irvin Schwarz, and Terry Lacoste. Garland Gaspard will be preparing shrimp stew to serve at this meeting. 

Thursday, March 26th, 2015 - 10th Street Cafe Rebate
423 10th Street, Gretna

Please join us on Thursday evening, March 26, 2015 at the 10th Street Cafe. On that night, the GHS will receive back 10% from the meals purchased by GHS members. Just be sure to mention you're with the GHS for us to get the credit.

This fund raiser in the past has been a profitable event for us.

GHS Receives Gift

At the January 8th general membership meeting, Dr. Mary Grace Curry, founding president of the Friends of the Louisiana State Fire Museum, presented a check to the Gretna Historical Society in the amount of $2,558.76, thus closing the Fire Museum books.

Dr. Curry founded the Friends of the Louisiana State Fire Museum in September 1987, after the station was declared the state fire museum with the help of then State Representative Joseph F. Toomy. The Friends remained active for many years, but membership dwindled after the death of many of its charter members. Thus, Dr. Curry closed the books and transferred the funds to the Gretna Historical Society. Thank you Mary.

The Louisiana State Fire Museum is housed in the station of the David Crockett Fire Company No. 1. The fire house, built in 1859, houses the 1876 steam fire pumper. The David Crockett Fire Company No. 1 was organized in 1841, and today is proudly the oldest continually operating volunteer fire company in the United States.

Dr. Curry requested that the check be applied to the Hook & Ladder Cemetery Fund that was created from proceeds of the past two cemetery tours.

President's March Message

Our Society is incredibly fortunate to have so many members who contribute so much by volunteering their time and talent to make our events so memorable. The Valentine's Day Wedding is just one example. In addition to all the volunteers pictured, Jill Ott made in our own blacksmith shop the iron stanchions that decorate the fountain area, and Wanda Markase decorated them with bows and ribbons.

Cooks Garland Gaspard and Blaine Daigle not only provide great food for us at every meeting, they represented our Society in the soup cook-off and won third place.

Garland also has a great team of volunteers working on restoring the Ignatius Strehle house to its former glory.

There isn't enough space to list everyone's contributions to our Society, but I am very grateful for them. When you have a chance, please thank our volunteers for their great work. Volunteers are who make us the wonderful Society we are.


Thursday, April 9th, 2015 Guest Speaker -- Grenta native Kim Guise

Our April guest speaker is Gretna native Kim Guise, Curator/Content Specialist at the WWII Museum. Kim will talk about the SS Gretna Victory Ship that launched in January 1945, in Richmond, California, at San Francisco Bay. The SS Gretna was sponsored by Mrs. Mary 'Mamie' Fortmayer Bozzelle of Gretna who had eight children serving in WWII. Mrs. Bozzelle played the piano and organ at St. Joseph Church in Gretna. She was a well-known musician who played piano for many school and church festivals throughout the West Bank. 

Sunday, April 19th, 2015 - GHS Annual Spring Tour of Homes - 1 PM

This year's tour includes five residences and a former church turned into a upscale salon. Also included is a sneak preview of the city's Heritage House in its present stage of renovation. Among the homes featured are a vintage corner grocery converted to a residence; an historic Creole cottage newly renovated; two neighboring historic homes recently restored; and a contemporary home adorned with paintings and art objects. Tickets may be purchased the day of the tour at the Gretna Historical Society Museum Complex, 209 Lafayette St. For info call Stephanie Dieterich at 504-366-7026.