began more than a hundred years ago as a string of fishing and
hunting camps lining the 17th Street Canal and Lake
Pontchartrain. The earliest structures were wooden huts raised
on stilts. The canal provided a harbor for fishing boats. The
people who lived along the canal and out on the lake were
squatters who made their living from fishing, crabbing,
hunting and trapping, as well as from the rental of boats, the
sale of tackle and bait, and the entertainment of vacationers.
along this area originally occurred in the mid-19th century
with a commercial wharf and resort called Lakeport. Steamboats
docked at the entrance to the New Basin Canal (now
Pontchartrain Blvd.) and at the terminus of the Jefferson and
Lake Pontchartrain Railroad where Bucktown is today. The
railroad ran along what is now the Orleans-Jefferson Parish
boundary at the 17th Street Canal. Dug as a drainage canal
along the upper boundary of the Town of Carrollton, it was
originally called the Upperline Canal.
The Jefferson and
Lake Pontchartrain Railroad, 1853-1864, was an extension of
the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad (today the St. Charles
Avenue streetcar line). At the lake end of the railway were a
hotel, restaurants, a bowling alley, dance hall, picnic
ground, pleasure garden, and bathing facilities. The place
later became a famous amusement park known as West End (of
Just across the 17th Street Canal, at
Jefferson Parish's East End, the rustic fishing village called
Bucktown developed during the late 19th century. By the early
20th century, wooden camps built on stilts with wide galleries
covered by shingle or tin roofs lined the canal. There were
also stores, a schoolhouse, and a jail, as well as saloons,
gambling houses, dance halls and clubhouses for sportsmen.
Bucktown's restaurants were notable attractions, serving
plentiful seafood from the lake and wildfowl and game from the
surrounding swamps and marshes.
the days of Prohibition, Bucktown was known for its
speakeasies, houses of prostitution, and gaming dens. Gambling
was legal in what was known as 'the free State of Jefferson.'
Bucktown was a rowdy, wide-open place where the barroom brawls
were common. The settlement is said to have been named for the
young bucks who came there looking for a rough time. There are
other stories about the origin of the name. Some say that the
village was named for the good deer hunting in the area.
Others say it was named for a local fisherman, Oliver 'Buck'
the unrestrained gaiety, Bucktown was one of the places where
jazz was born with such tunes as the 'Bucktown Bounce' by
Johnny Wiggs and the 'Bucktown Blues' by Jelly Roll Morton.
exposed to violent storms and the resulting damage contributed
to its picturesque, ramshackle appearance. The fishing village
survived the hurricanes of 1915 and 1947, as well as the
encroachment of urban suburbs.
Until the recent years, the 17th Street
Canal at Bucktown was home to a fleet of about one hundred
shrimp boats. Yearly on the 4th of July, a festival was held
for the Blessing of the Fleet. Through the years Bucktown
remained a center where fresh seafood could bought from local
fisherman. Deanie's was the first market to be built in
Bucktown and one of the firsts to sell boiled seafood for
retail sale in New Orleans. Deanie's has grown into more than
a market. Today, Deanie's continues the Bucktown tradition of
serving the finest seafood through our market, restaurant and