Pictures 48, 49, and 50.

In 1871 as in 2005, New Orleans was subject to severe flooding.  The 1871 flood was caused by a huge rainfall and winds which blew the excess water into the city's drainage system, finally breaching the levees at Hagan Ave.  An artist from Every Saturday magazine, visiting the city at that time, provided several poignant pictures of homes, families, and busnesses in severe distress.  The top picture shows Canal Street at Claiborne.  The line of trees shows us where the neutral ground, with its four tracks, is under water, which appears to be about knee deep in the street.  On the right, we see a stagecoach trying to get around, but most people are using boats or improvised rafts.  There is a boy in the center foreground who is simply playing with his toy sailboat in the floodwater.  The middle picture shows a horsecar whose letterboard says Carondelet St.  This identifies the location as either St. Charles Street or Carondelet Street, probably only a few blocks up from Canal Street.  The bottom picture is again on Canal Street, looking toward the river, near the NOCRR horsecar depot, which was located on the site of the present Canal Station.  We see one horsecar behind the columns fronting the car barn, at the left.  The railroad ties in the center of the picture show how the horsecar track was devastated by the flood.  The steeple of Christ Church, at Canal and Dauphine, can be seen in the center distance, and the twin exhaust stacks of a paddlewheel steamboat are visible just beyond the church steeple. Alfred R. Waud, Every Saturday, July 8, 1871




Previous Picture | Next Picture