Had Amelia Boesch not married William Ahten in 1903 this book might not have been written.
Millie and Willy’s camp, the Amelia A along Hayne Boulevard, was the first to be owned in five generations of my family.
Although I have no recollection of Aunt Millie, some of my fondest memories are of times spent at camps and of the stories
about the lake told by her sister, my great-grandmother Augusta “Gussie” Boesch and my great-grandfather Edward
Knower – a story teller of major proportions. Through them and offshoots of family branches including members of the
Maylie, Mondello and Pohlmann families I learned to love and respect Lake Pontchartrain – how could one not do that
when embraced by family and the lake in a camp built just above its waters?
My lifelong friends, Eddie and Shirley Krass and their children, Blake, Julie, Amy, and Gail
shared countless days, invaluable work, and their outrageous sense of fun with us at the camp. I thank them and all friends
who helped and joined us in making glorious memories.
Dan Rein, former “Mayor of Little Woods” and his wife Annette, owners of the Hayne Boulevard camp “Six
Little Fishes” shared wonderful stories about life on the lake. I am indebted to them for that as well as for being
good neighbors on the lake who never failed to come to our rescue.
Finally, and most importantly, I thank Meredith and Vincent Campanella, my parents, for giving my children, my husband,
and me the opportunity to live on Lake Pontchartrain in a camp built in 1925. It was first named St. John’s Cottage,
then Lakecrest Cottage, and finally renamed for my family -- Camp-a-Nella. It was a treasure.
Information found here would not have been available without the work of writers,
photographers, historians, archivists, and local nostalgia buffs who researched the history of Lake Pontchartrain long before
I began this endeavor. Special thanks to Irene Wainwright, Archivist of the New Orleans Public Library, for assistance in
acquiring many of the photographs found here. Other photographic sources include the Library of Congress and the Louisiana
Digital Collection, among others. Much information about Jazz on the lake was gleaned from the Red Hot Jazz Archive. Family
photographs and invaluable information were generously shared by Connie Adorno Barcza, Dawn Bowers Benfield, Beth Fury, Henry
and Anne Harmison, Julie Krass Kroper, Jason Perlow, Amy Cyrex Sins, and Poppy Z. Brite