West End bridge across New Basin Canal,
with hotel in background, 1901.
Boat pulling logs on New Basin Canal; Southern Yacht Club on right; West End on left; the canal
was filled in in the late 1940's
Above, West End Hotel & Restaurant, 1901,
below, West End, 1915.
Lake House Restaurant at West End,1890's
Known as the New Canal Lighthouse, this well known landmark was constructed in 1838 to mark the entrance to the New Basin Canal at Lake Pontchartrain.  The lighthouse survived for 167 years, but sadly fell victim to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Thanks to the efforts of the Save Our Lake Foundation, a replacement, modeled after the old lighthouse, has been completed.  It is now the the New Canal Lighthouse Museum and Education Center.
West End Summer Resort, New Basin Canal at Lake Pontchartrain
West End Resort Pavilions, 1901, by Mugnier
Bridge over New Basin Canal
at West End Resort, ca 1890
   Construction began on the West End Summer Resort (first known as New Lake End) in 1871, at the site where the New Basin Canal met Lake Pontchartrain.  In the early 1900's, an amusement park was added.  It was a popular and fashionable resort, where New Orleanians retreated from the city in the summer to catch lake breezes and enjoy dining at the hotel's fine restaurant or to be entertained by band concerts at the open pavilions.  Boating was a popular pastime, as well, and the Southern Yacht Club, formed in 1849, was located across the canal from West End Resort.  West End Resort and Park closed in the 1920's, after a land reclamation project destroyed many of its structures.
West End Amusement Park, 1915
West End Resort Pavilions, 1915
Southern Yacht Club, pictured above on New Basin Canal at West End, in 1901; the Southern Yacht Club is the 2nd oldest yacht club in America, having been formed in 1849.  The building pictured above was built in 1899; it was replaced in 1949 and that building, with several renovations, stood until 2005, when it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
The link to this page is:  http://old-new-orleans.com/NO_West_End.html

Back to
  Old New Orleans

Whispers - Home

Click on photo below to see larger image.
   The New Basin Canal, also, known as the New Canal, was dug as a shipping channel from the lake to the center of New Orleans in the 1830's, mainly by Irish immigrants.  They paid dearly for the privilege of earning one dollar a day in this dangerous, back-breaking work.  No official count was kept, but estimates go as high as over 20,000 Irish laborers losing their lives in the construction of the New Basin Canal.  Many were simply buried in the levee or roadway fill next to the canal.  Several years ago, the Irish Cultural Society placed a large Celtic cross nearby to memorialize the workers who lost their lives.
This postcard of the West End was dated December 6, 1906 and read:  "You
speaking of snow storms sounds rather strange to we people down here.
Haven't had the slightest frost this season."
The bar at Bruning's Restaurant, early 1900's, by Mugnier.  With many thanks to Jerlyn Werner Courtney for identifying this location and for sharing information about Bruning's, which, for so many years, was a familiar landmark at West End:  "The restaurant was named Bruning's because my Dad, Gus Werner, married Cap. Bruning's daughter and took over running the restaurant after the death of his father-in-law.  The long bar shown in [these photos] was made by Brunswick Manufacturing in 1849."  Jerlyn's family, also, owned The Bounty Restaurant at West End.  Members of Jerlyn's extended family lost 18 homes in the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans, after the levee failures of 2005.
Above & below, the hotel and restaurant at West End, ca. 1930's.
Left, a pass for the New Orleans Railway
& Light train to West End, ca. 1911:
"Good only for free transportation on
West End train City-to-Half-Way-House."