Clermont Harbor, Mississippi
My wife’s grandparents live in coastal Mississippi in a tiny town called Clermont Harbor. The eye of Hurricane Camille made landfall there in 1969 and didn’t leave much standing. Our grandparents successfully evacuated in advance of Katrina, but we’re worried for them. They are getting older and, having grown accustomed to evacuations from New Orleans and Mississippi, we fear that they don’t understand the severity of this latest storm. There are no reports from Clermont Harbor right now, but nearby Bay St. Louis is in tatters. The house we care about and which contains so many of my wife’s childhood memories is only a block from the water. Even if the house is still standing, the long-term disruption of our grandparents’ daily routine — such a sustaining force for them — is what will hurt the most.
We feel so helpless up here in Chicago.
Our thoughts go out to Robyn and her exteneded family. I imagine they will need help sifting through whatever is left. Don’t hesitate to call if you need a helping hand. I can get my parents to watch the girls for a few days…
I’m not sure what you have heard about Clermont Harbor since your post on Aug. 30th. My inlaws have a house about 3 blocks from the beach in Clermont Harbor. It has been the sight of many family gatherings over the past 25 years. My husband and I went on Saturday, 9/3 to salvage what we could and we came away with a garden sign and football. I’m sorry to say that there is not a structure left standing in the community of Clermont Harbor south of the railroad tracks. It is nearly impossible to find anything amidst the rubble.
My mother is a native of New Orleans and my father from a small town LaSalle, Ill. They, after Katrina have returned to the safety of his northern roots leaving behind my mother’s long family history in the Clermont Harbor area; since the great depression. Largely middle class and hard working people, my parents raised all 5 of their kids and retired to the peace and quiet of country town; only to have their hard work and limited resources literally ripped from them. My father is disabled from a spinal cord injury and although my mother, age 65, still works as a bookkepper, it is certainly time enough for her worries, both financial and as caretaker, to begin to fade as they enjoy the retirement life they so much have earned. However, the insurance company has another game or challenge for them. They have been instructed by their adjuster to provide as much information supporting their claim that trees, 175 MPH winds amd rain destoyed their home before the storm surge could sweep it all away. Ardous challenge considering nothing but a few bricks are left of their home and tidal surges are said to have been up to 30 feet in their neighborhood. This task charged to a minimally computer literate couple, with no home or electricity, no possession left in the world except a stray dog and cat whom they rescued, and a car. Internet would be out of the question.
What concerns me is the prospect of their life becoming an endless struggle for survival while the very land developers with whom my parents fended off during their civic association meetings in Clermont Harbor now have a huge edge and large tax gain benefits to offer the county and state. Who do you think will win? The poor, elderly and family vacation bound looking for their version of the american dream without the half a million dollar beach home price tag or developers of any kind in which the state and county and align themselves?
How is the imminent domain going to affect hundreds of families from Clermont to St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana? Another issue entirely.
At last, a plea, anyone with the information, contacts, or research, know-how, please send us as much information to fight and fend off these negligent insurance adjusters. Might we join togther as a citizen, property owner, and neighbor and prevent the years and decades suffering that will result from the selfish presidence that is at risk to be set to result.
My email address is email@example.com
I also lost our beloved summer house on Oak Street. I’m from Kenner and raised my four kids with almost every weekend trips to our version of paradise for 24 years. I’ve been going to CH for 47 years. We would spend time at my parent’s friend’s house.
Luckily we had flood insurance. The payment won’t replace the house but it will guve us a good start. I know it will never be the same but we will be there making new memories with my grandchildren.
I lived in Clermont Harbor on the beach. I definitely feel for your family. Even though its a year later, I will pray for your family.
ORIGANLY A NATIVE OF METAIRIE, LA. MY PARENTS WOULD VISIT FRIENDS IN CLERMONT HARBOR IN THE 1930’S AND BY 1940 MY DAD ACQUIRED PROPERTY ON THE BEND OF POINTSETIER ST.AND BUILT A SMALL CAMP, AS IT WAS CALLED IN THE DAY. MY EARLIEST RECOLECTIONS WAS BEING PUSHED IN A CARRIAGE ALONG THE SANDY STREET. MY BROTHER AND I WERE FORTUNATE TO HAVE LIVED IN BOTH WORLDS.THE BIG CITY, NEW ORLEANS AND THE COUNTRY. EVERY WEEKEND AND DURING THE SUMMER WE WOULD SPEND OUR TIME THERE FLOUNDERING AT NIGHT AND CRABING ALONG THE SEA WALL OR FISHING IN THE MANY BAYOUS AND ALONG THE SALT WATER MARSH OUT FROM BAYOU CADDY. TO EARN MONEY MY BROTHER AND I WOULD CRAB AT ONE OF THE CULVERTS LOCATED BETWEEN BANKSTONS PEER AND BAYOU CADDY CATCHING BETWEEN ONE AND TWO HAMPERS (OLD APPLE BASKETS) AND SELL THEM GOR 75 CENTS A HAMPER. DURING THIS TIME, THE 1940’S AND 1950’S YOU COULD USE A CAST NET AND CATCH ALL THE SHRIMP YOU WANDED. WE WOULD USUALLY PUNCH HOLES IN A CAN OF DOG FOOD WITH A CHURCH KEY AND TOSS IT OUT INTO THE GULF. AFTER ABOUT HALF AN HOUR THYE SHRIMP WOULD APPEAR. RAT REDS AND SPECKELED TROUT WERE PLENTIFUL ALONG THE COAST. IT WAS A KIDS PARIDISE. AS I REMEMBER WE HAD NO LOCKS ON THE DOORS.IN THE EARLY FIFTIES MY DAD BAUGHT ANOTHER PIECE OF PROPERTY ON THE SAME STREET NEXT TO THE TOUNGLETS (SP) AND ACROSS THE STREET FROM McVOYS ABOUT A BLOCK FROM THE BEACH. TIMES WERE GOOD..
I lived in Clermont Harbor in 1962-63 on Clermont Blvd. Neighbors were Patsy & Bobbie Brown, the Lenfant kids, Annabelle Proctor & her son Dick. The 2 stores near the railroad were Garcia (Floyd – Get Ms. Kemp some gas!) and Ladner’s Grocery & Bar (previously owned by Uncle Lester Haverty). Clermont is gone, I now live in Idaho, but took my wife and 4 year old son down last December. If I can exchange any stories about the “Charaacters” that made CH such a great place to be 9 years old. Names come back to me, Mr. Lennie Rupp, Francis Carr, Mr. Green & Sterlings, Doris Johnson on her bike, the old guy on Forrest Street who would give you a quater for any eel you caught. Many times my wife advises me to write down all of the great stories about CH/the Bay. Does anyone remember that kid that dies at the Holy Cross summer camp in Waveland in 1963 with the same circumstances at The Crocodile Hunter – puncture thru the heart. I miss crabbing on the seawall, Jackson Ridge dump, listening to Fats Domino on the outside loudspeakers at Lenfant’s. The entire area is in our prayers and if I can do anything to preserve the past, please call on me.
i remember annabell,,,her daughter ann an son richard,,,we had a camp next door to her,,,,it was destroyed in camile,,,,it was the grand camp an we all spending the summer there,,,,i live here now,,,volunteers built a cottage for me on forrest,,,,just wondering if anyone would have known my grandfather john r grand that bought the property next to annabell….
I remember many of the same things from my summers in Clermont Harbor in the 60s. Thanks for verifying for me that Lester Haverty used to own Ladner’s Grocery. Francis Carr worked for my grandmother for a while after my grandfather died. He was Wilfred Guerin, who sold real estate in Clermont Harbor and was majority owner of the Clermont Harbor Hotel when it burned. Do you remember Paul Le Blanc? I sued to rent bikes from him and ride all over. Remember the pier in front of Lenfant’s? It went in Betsy. Remember the old concrete railroad stop? How about the ice house next to Garcia’s? The old post office? What was that gift shop? Was it Annabelle’s?
My grandmother owned a tiny cottage just across the tracks from Garcia’s and Ladner’s. We spent many wonderful summers there. My beloved prints of Ladner’s and Garcia’s were lost in Katrina. Would anyone out there know the name of the artist so that I could replace them? They meant a great deal to me.
So very touching to read of the place my mother grew up Her name was Grace Anna Garcia, she was born in1925.. and died here in PA just last dec.6th 2008 she was the daughter of Harry F. and Blanche Johnston Garcia. I grew up hearing so many wonderful stories of Clermont Harbor=and the many personalities there. Crabbing with her brother Marvin.. and watching Chick Caddy jump the trains …the blind delivery boy and the friends with names like Zuzu, Ceilya, and Lolesse…
I looked it up to see if i could find ANYTHING=and it was so touching to read all of your remebrances i wonder if this phrase means anything to any of you ..old enough ..perhaps. “Will the last one out of Clermont Harbor please turn out the light?“one of my great uncles. God bless you all !
I remember the “Will the last one out of Clermont Harbor please turn out the light” phrase. There was a house on the Lower Bay Road that even had a sign with the phrase.
We are now back in Clermont Harbor and have started to make some new memories.
I recently saw an antique desk that had an old label in the top drawer that stated that the desk was from the collection of “H.T. Carr of Clermont Harbor, MS”.
The desk is early 19th century. The label appears to be early to mid 20th century.
I was hoping to learn more about H.T. Carr. Does this ring a bell for anyone?
I to grew up in Clermont Harbor weekends and summers were the best , we had a house on pointsett street named Just Phyllis and Lisa , my sister actually married one of those Lenfant kids , he was the son of the owner of Carmel Seafood in Lakeshore, what a great place Clermont Harbor was , I remember Paul Lablanc and Mrs Glayds and Mr Floyd Garcia and Harold and Lilians
Your sister married Jerry – I would see them in Diamondhead before Katrina. We now live in MI but would love to rent a place in Clermont this summer – if we do you are invited to come and eat crabs and drink beer! God Bless! firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in Clermont Harbor my entire life until I married and moved to New Orleans for about ten years and I know live on Lower Bay Road. I loved the laid back living and going to hang out at the Clermont Harbor pier, and doing crafts at the Methodist church on Clermont Boulevard. I use to work at the snowball shop at Lenfants. Those are some wonderful memories. My parents owned Harold and Lillians and the Garcias were my stepdad Harolds family. Ann Proctor and Ann Lawton and the Kemp family were my best friends.
I grew up in Clermont Harbor and remember the great place it was,and loved every day I lived there.
Although I only lived in Clermont for 3 years, I still miss those days. I remember you and your younger sister, Marilyn and your motherm Miss Lillian, with grat fondness. I was eating a snowball in front on Lenfant’s when Uncle Jay told me that Marilyn Monroe had died. My seven year old son loves to hear me tell stories of crabbing and fishing off the seawall and about the old guy who lived behind the Jackson Ridge dump. As long as these memories are shared, then Clermont will live on!!
Jim (Jimbo) Kemph
Just found this site about the Hurricane. I was looking for information about Garcia’s Grocery and found this. I was friends with your sister Margie. We all grew up in CLermont. My father had a T V repair service on the Main drag in Clermont. Ann Procter, Ann Lawton, Maria Peterson..and Margie all friends that roamed the streets of Clermont.. Used to love that place.