Well, This is Nice

Local resident Carol Lapari asked, "What happened to the city's Christmas stars in front of the old courthouse?" Patrons at Del Porto asked the same question. Sadly, I replied the old stars had run their course. Many didn't work at all and of those that did, did so poorly. Additionally, the electrical wiring in the trees (dating back to the mid-20th century) had become a hazard.

If you recall, we decided to rebuild the Farmer's Market gazebo rather than purchase a new one. Public Works did a great job (in-house), saving us a few Benjamins. We allocated those savings to new electrical in the live oaks, new year round up-lighting and new stars … spindles / sprinkles / spritzers (I've used all of those names ; ).

Public Works Director Jim O'Berry, Matt, James, Brett, Parks Supervisor Brett, Facilities Director Amy Tucker, my wife Karen and her Mom, Diane Kramer, teamed up to re-do the entire magic in two weeks. And no, Pudge, it didn't cost that much. Much appreciation to the team that helped light up our downtown … and perhaps added a few smiles.

Matt, James and Brett

Diane K : )

Well, This was Nice:

Christmas in Covington

Huge thanks to the Lollipop Dancers, organizers of our first ever (at least in my memory) Christmas parade, to Kiwanis of Covington and their high school Key Club members that entertained the youngsters with arts and crafts and to Eric Dunavant and Paradiem for the Christmas tree.

Candlelight caroling was led by Crispin Shroder (Southern Hotel on Wednesday nights : ).

Sarada Bonnet of our Cultural Events department worked with Public Works, Facilities and PD to organize a splendid event … and thanks to the Fire Department for delivering Santa Claus to the Trailhead. It was a very nice day.

More Niceness

Playmakers Theater

Scan for Tickets

Mama (spoken in a Forest Gump accent) would take me to Playmakers when I was a youngster. It was always a great treat. My #3 son and #4 son performed there many times with the terribly missed Frank Levy. It eventually led to my #3 son's childhood acting career and today, adult career as a documentary film editor / creator. Take a child to Playmakers.

America's 2nd oldest continuous amateur theater … in our own back yard:

Much More Niceness

Millage Renewal

In the recent election, the citizens of Covington voted overwhelmingly to renew our tax millages. In a time of so much anti-tax sentiment, my administration, the Council and I are very grateful for this vote of confidence. We will continue to strive to be good stewards of our resources, to be fiscally responsible and responsive to the needs and the future of our little city. With Appreciation, Mayor Mark

A Community That Cares

Some of our residents are challenged each month to pay their water/ sewer / trash bill. A couple of years ago I asked our citizens for help (and I received it : ).

On the "Past Due" line of the bill, the $-25.00 represents the monthly contribution of an unknown benefactor.

If you are so inclined, let's set up a $25.00 / month payment for a utility customer in need. This monthly credit will make a real difference in someone's life … someone you will never meet nor know. Since the inception of this program, the number of "cut-offs" the city has been forced to do has dropped significantly.

If interested you can e-mail me at mayormark@covla.com (or reply to this e-mail).

This is Nice

Tuesday, December 20th

Volunteers Needed

It's a Good Thing

Time to dust off your Santa hats because it's turkey distribution time.  Unlike in past years, Covington Rotary is not delivering the packages. Recipients will come to one of the three distribution sites for pick up.

Distribution time and place:


Saturday, December 17, 2022 9 AM - 12 PM (volunteers arrive at 7AM)

Franklinton East Fairgrounds

Behind rodeo arena

Saturday, December 17, 2022 1 PM - 4 PM (volunteers arrive at 10 AM)

Elizabeth Sullivan United Methodist Church

510 Ave B, Bogalusa, LA 70427


Tuesday, December 20, 2022 1 PM - 5 PM

Northshore Food Bank - Pre-Loading

125 W 30th Ave, Covington, LA 70433

Wednesday, December 21, 2022 9 AM - 12 AM (volunteers arrive at 7 AM, may be pushed to 8 AM depending on how much is completed at pre-load)

Northshore Food Bank

125 W 30th Ave, Covington, LA 70433

Although we need quite a few volunteers, the number per site is limited.

Please Click Here to Register. Thanks : )

Choo Choos

20th Century Trains
by Matt Hardey

The rail line to Hammond was called the Baton Rouge, Hammond & Eastern. It was owned by the Illinois Central or a predecessor, the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad. 

It was graded and built circa 1907. The crew was supervised by a fellow named Davidson. His son, Tom, still lives in Hammond. The Y&MV thought was that the line would generate business from the Covington and Slidell areas to Hammond and points north, but it never panned out. It was a financial flop from the onset. Freight and passenger traffic was never a significant factor on the railroad. The railroad operated it until some time around the onset of the depression. 

About that same time, the Goodyear family purchased the East Louisiana Railroad running from Bogalusa to Covington (and other points) from the Poitevant and Favre families and renamed it the New Orleans Great Northern. It was expanded by NOGN to run north to Jackson, MS and south over leased trackage rights from Slidell into New Orleans.

The timber business in St. Tammany and Washington parishes for which the NOGN was built played out in the late 1920s. Nobody ever bothered to replant the trees! The line failed in 1929 and was sold to a predecessor of the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio (GM&O) which was subsequently acquired by the Illinois Central in the late 1960s.

The line from Hammond to Covington was leased by the Illinois Central group to Crown Zellerbach Corporation or its predecessor to haul pulpwood from the area near Albany to the mill at Bogalusa. That traffic died out in the 1960s and the line from Hammond to Covington was abandoned and later pulled up for scrap.

Goodbee Station

This locomotive frequently serviced the line and is now on display at the fairgrounds in Franklinton.

The steam locomotives ran until about 1940 and not long after that they were replaced by diesel locomotives. Crown Zellerbach #303 pictured here hauls an empty pulpwood rack westbound toward Hammond from Slidell. This operation persisted until the late 1960s or early 1970s.

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Please place small branches in trash bins

and bag leaves for Wednesday pick-up.

Rooted in History, Focused on the Future
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