Shadow Steeds of the Crescent City

Tour curated by: Lacar Musgrove, University of New Orleans

The Highwheel Bicycle Era in New Orleans, 1881-1891

Locations for Tour

In 1881, the New Orleans Bicycle Club formed in a building at Commercial Street and St. Charles, inside the jewelry and pen shop of A. M. Hill. A. M. Hill arrived in New Orleans at nineteen years old, following the end of the Civil War. He had been…

Early on Easter morning 1886, around a hundred people gathered at the Henry Clay Statue outside A. M. Hill Jewelers at St. Charles and Canal. Hill stood dressed in a riding outfit of brown corduroy and knee britches. Charlie Fairchild, Hill’s…

On a crisp Thanksgiving Day in 1887, a crowd gathered beneath the bare branches of the sycamore trees in the center of Canal Street. Bisected by multiple street railway beds and flanked by the lace-ironwork balconies of multi-story buildings, the…

On a February night, a crowd lined St. Charles Avenue from Lee Circle to Louisiana Avenue, twenty-five blocks, to witness a procession of lanterns floating like a swarm of fireflies up the darkened street. First came the bandwagon, pulled along by…

In 1892, the New Orleans Bicycle Club celebrated the opening of their new clubhouse in the Garden District, at the corner of General Taylor and Baronne. The plans were drafted by W.C. Williams and Brothers and the building was constructed by G.C.…

In August of 1890, work was completed on the clubhouse of the Louisiana Cycling Club (LCC) at 1637 Octavia Street. The Queen Anne-style building still stands at that address. The party celebrating its opening was attended by 200 people and claimed to…

In the 1880s, along with the rise of spectator and participatory sports, cycling races appeared in New Orleans. The city's first bicycle club, the New Orleans Bicycle Club, formed in 1881. All members belonged also to the League of American…

In September of 1887, New Orleans cyclists held the 3rd annual meet of the League of American Wheelmen (LAW), Louisiana Division, at the Audubon Park Race Track. Originally a horse racing track, it was used for the new sport of bicycle racing. The…