Original Yacht Club
Click play for audio of history:
1635 Lakeshore Drive. Mandeville Yacht Club, 1893-1903. Bernard Marigny, heavily in debt, surrendered a large section of his new real estate venture, Mandeville, to Citizens Bank. An 1849 auction of these properties was held in New Orleans. Athalie Drouillard, a wealthy free woman of color (designated as fwc in English documents or fcl in French ones, this was an important legal definition providing for the right to buy and own property during slavery), purchased some or all of 30 squares. Three days later she sold square 5 to Victor Feste, a New Orleanian and dry goods purveyor who, during the same year, built this unique structure.
With its imposing gable front, wrap-around gallery and unusual street-side proportions, this seems a peculiar house indeed. However, when viewed from the side, the gable roof supported above a gallery stretching across a range of rooms, assumes a familiar look and its Creole roots are evident.
In 1893 the Mandeville Yacht Club took possession of the property. With a reported 200 members, regattas were regularly conducted on Lake Pontchartrain. There was an earlier yacht club in Mandeville. The first regatta was reportedly held on July 27, 1888 with boats named Pansy, Imelda, Edna, Virgie, Nellie J and Aida. By 1903, the Yacht Club located here was facing foreclosure and closed its doors.