Denim & Diamonds Celebration March 3 pushing Reserve renaissance

Published 12:04 am Saturday, February 24, 2018

RESERVE — A night of dining and dancing goes a long way to revitalizing the rich, historic culture of the Reserve community.

The Godchaux-Reserve House Historical Society is hosting its second annual “A Denim & Diamonds Celebration Under the Stars” fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. March 3 on the St. John Theatre grounds, 115 W. Fourth St. in Reserve.

The evening kicks off with a live historical tribute to three prominent owners of the Leon Godchaux House, detailing the importance of the structure to the community with actors and a narrator.

Food and drinks are provided, and four-piece cover ensemble Harold Warren and the Innervision is slated to perform. Attire is dressy casual.

Tickets can be purchased at for a minimum donation of $50 per person. Checks can be made payable to GRHHS and mailed to P.O. Box 2129 Reserve, LA 70084.

Each ticket purchase enters guests into a drawing to win a framed print of the Godchaux-Reserve House.

All proceeds benefit the Godchaux-Reserve House restoration, step one in a series of endeavors to revitalize Reserve as a central point of commerce and tourism.

The Historical Society has a vision to develop a tourist complex offering tours detailing the history and culture of life along the Mississippi River, according to Stephen Guidry, president of GRHHS.

Other goals include locating and purchasing furnishings original to the house, acquiring the “Leon Godchaux Grammar School,” developing a River Walk near the levee frontage and securing weekly dockage of Delta passenger excursion.

President-Elect William Howard Taft and staff visit Reserve in 1909.

Board member Julia Remondet said Denim & Diamonds gives the public a better idea of why the Historical Society is so passionate about preservation.

The night also functions as a family reunion for Reserve natives who attended Leon Godchaux High School and fondly recall a time when the small town was the center of St. John the Baptist Parish. Remondet hopes the fundraiser sparks inspiration to improve Reserve.

“If you want people to take pride in their area and keep things clean, you have to give them something to be proud of, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Remondet said. We think it’s important for the community to know what Leon Godchaux did for the area. He built schools; swimming pools; tennis courts; social clubs; anything you could think of. You came here for everything, and we want to bring some of it back.”

Guidry said the historic aspect of the House is worth preserving, adding the sugar industry in Reserve was innovative and revolutionary enough to draw a visit from President-Elect William Howard Taft and staff in 1909.

“Leon Godchaux farmed 30,000 acres with no machinery, only mules and horses, at a time when the average farmer oversaw 400 acres,” Guidry said.

For more information, call Guidry at 504-415-6524, Remondet at 504-41-5379 or email