Square 1, 2000 Block

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Square 1, 2000 Block of Lakeshore Drive. Chāteau du Mugnier Condominiums. Bernard Marigny's first land transfer in his real estate venture that became Mandeville was to business partner, John Davis. A French-speaking émigré from Santo Domingo, Davis was an entrepreneur, bon vivant and owner of a theater, race track and two opera houses in New Orleans.

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On February 12, 1834, Davis purchased all of squares 1 and 10 (above Claiborne Street) for $1000, obliging himself 'to build by July 4 two wings on his plan of the Establishment of John Davis in Mandeville'. The Mandeville Hotel opened to much fanfare and promoted excursions on the Steamer Black Hawk to the new hotel and its 1500 foot wharf. The schedule advertised a one-way travel time under 2 hours with a price never to exceed one dollar.

After Davis' death, the expansive property became, briefly, the Mandeville College until a fire destroyed it in 1848. The large squares were quickly subdivided and sold.

Sophronie Claiborne, daughter of Governor C C Claiborne and wife of Mandeville Marigny, purchased the 3 lots that comprise this corner for $900 in 1849. In 1850, the property sold to Saint Victor Barrett for $2500 with buildings and improvements. The property would change hands 8 more times (1858-1872 to prominent Creole furniture maker Prudent Mallard) until 1890 and its acquisition with 'furniture and all moveables' by the Mugnier brothers for $2000.

With its storied restaurant, comfortable rooms, broad galleries, 3 cottages, elaborate gardens and 1500' wharf, the Mugnier Hotel attracted steady visitors from the steamy south shore.

In 1924, Joseph Pugh, husband of a Mugnier daughter, opened the new, modern St Tammany Hotel. It was celebrated for its fine dining, excellent accommodations and Saturday and Sunday dances until it was lost to a fire in the 1960s.

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