Oscar Wilde In America


DETAiled verification of Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour of North America

New Orleans

Louisiana


 Spanish Fort Casino Pavilion

Monday, June 26, 1882


The House Beautiful

Verification

Newspaper report

The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, LA), June 27, 1882, 3


Newspaper advertisement

The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), June 23, 1882, 2

The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), June 26, 1882, 2

The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), June 23, 1882


Wilde did not stay three days at Spanish Fort as stated. He departed the following day for Mobile where lectured on June 28.


Venue


Spanish Fort* Casino Pavilion

Spanish Fort Resort, Lake Pontchartrain at Bayou St. John, New Orleans, LA


Built: 1881 (Moses Schwartz)

Destroyed (fire): October 14, 1906


* Spanish Fort was a small village with pleasure gardens which had grown up around the site of an old colonial fort originally built by the French in 1701 and rebuilt by the Spanish in 1779.


Related

Old New Orleans

Accommodation


No record has been found of Wilde's accommodation in New Orleans on this occasion. On his first visit to New Orleans ten days earlier, Wilde had stayed at the famous St. Charles Hotel. It is quite possible he stayed there again.


However, the news clipping opposite indicates that Wilde intended to reside at Spanish Fort and, if so, he would have stayed at the Spanish Fort Hotel. This seems likely.


Spanish Fort Hotel

Spanish Fort Resort, Lake Pontchartrain at Bayou St. John, New Orleans, LA


Built: 1824, as Pontchartrain Hotel (Harvey Elkins)

Renamed: c. 1835 as Spanish Fort Hotel (John Slidell)

Ownership: various subsequent owners until Moses Schwartz at the time of Wilde's visit.

The City of New Orleans c. 1885 with the Mississippi River in the foreground, and Lake Pontchartrain on the horizon. Spanish Fort is on the lake in the distance, a five mile journey by steam train from the depot at Canal and Basin Streets, price fifteen cents.

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Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2020