New Orleans Womens’ History Scavenger Hunt
New Orleans Womens’ History Scavenger Hunt
This scavenger hunt is designed for a class I am teaching about New Orleans history and culture, but can be a fun way to explore the French Quarter and learn a little. For the answers, email or text us. To learn more about this great neighborhood, book a tour or take one of our self-guided tours while you’re in town.
The hunt should take you about one hour. You’ll begin in Jackson Square and end at Café’ du Monde, where you can treat yourself to beignets and café au lait.
Jackson Square is flanked by two rows of red brick apartment buildings. They were built for a woman who was from New Orleans but had spent her adult life in France. When she came home, she decided to turn her hometown square into a beautiful square like the ones in Paris. She had her initials (AP) put in the ironwork of all the balconies. There are plaques on the buildings at the corner of Chartres and St. Ann and Chartres and St. Peter that tell you her name. What is it?
Go down either side of the Cathedral to the back. Behind the Cathedral, there is a fenced garden. It is called St. Anthony’s Garden. Directly behind St. Anthony’s Garden is a large bronze marker in the sidewalk. It commemorates a woman from New Orleans who started the first black order of Catholic nuns. She is a candidate for Sainthood. What is her name?
Facing the back of the church, turn left and walk down Royal Street. Turn right at Dumaine. At 632 Dumaine, there is a green and white building that looks different than the other buildings in the French Quarter. That is because it is one of the few remaining examples of French Colonial style. The property is now a museum owned by the State of Louisiana and is named for a woman who was a fictional character in a short story. What is the name of the museum?
Facing the green and white museum, turn right to go back to Royal Street. Turn right on Royal. At 912 Royal Street, there is a courtyard restaurant called Café Amelie. On the brick wall in front of the restaurant is a plaque saying that this address is the birthplace of the first American Princess of Monaco. She married Prince Albert of Monaco in 1889. What was her name?
Facing Café Amelie, turn left to continue down Royal Street. Turn right at Ursulines Street (1 ½ blocks). On the corner of Ursulines and Chartres (1100 Chartres), there is a large building with a low wall around it, a church, and a cross on top. It is the oldest building in New Orleans. It is now a museum, but it used to be a convent for an order of French nuns who came here in 1727 to educate the girls of Louisiana. What is the name of the order of nuns? (HINT: it’s the name of the museum)
Continue down Ursulines Street in the direction you were going. You are walking toward the French Market and the river. The next street is Decatur Street. Turn right on Decatur. About 1 ½ blocks up, you’ll see a golden statue of a woman on a horse. The statue was a gift from the people of France to the people of New Orleans in the 1950s. We have a parade every year on January 6th to commemorate this woman’s birthday. Who is she?
Continue walking past the statue up Decatur Street. Turn left at the corner of Decatur and Dumaine. In front of you, in an opening in the row of shops, there will be a fountain depicting men marching and playing instruments. Facing the fountain, turn left. You’re in a pedestrian mall called Dutch Alley. Ahead of you on the left is a sculpture of a woman sitting on a bench. In her basket on her lap she holds some of the items shoppers would have bought in the market. She has a Creole tomato, strawberries, bananas, a pecan, peppers, a squash we call mirliton, and okra. On the ground in front of her feet is a plaque that tells you her name. Who is she?
Go back to the Instrument Men fountain and continue past it. You’re walking between a wall on your left and the backs of shops on your right. Soon you will come to another fountain with a sculpture of a hippie girl relaxing by the fountain. There isn’t a name for this hippie girl, but you can take your picture by her. In the mural behind the fountain, there are several women selling things: pralines, fabric, seafood, coffee, and a woman in the background with a basket on her head. Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen, is selling gris-gris bags. These women were called marchandes and probably shaped our culinary culture more than anything else in New Orleans.
A few more steps and you’re at Café du Monde, the best place in town for café au lait and beignets. It’s been open since 1862, so chances are that if your grandmother came to New Orleans, she could have sat right where you are today and enjoyed the timeless pleasure of fried dough and chicory coffee with boiled milk.
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