Ahoy, Matey! Pirate-themed fundraiser builds future for Historic Garyville

Published 1:17 pm Friday, April 15, 2022

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GARYVILLE — Ahoy, matey! Pirates are taking over The Bank on April 30 to promote and preserve the Historic District of Garyville.

Avast Ye The Bank will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at 139 Historic Front St. in Garyville. Pirate costumes are encouraged, and seating will be limited to the first 200 tickets sold.

Tickets are $50 per buccaneer and include beer, wine, food and live music from Peyton Falgoust Band. Featured grub includes spinach dip, crab and jalapeno boudin balls, shrimp alfredo pasta, fried fish, roasted garlic potatoes and pork roast catered by Fatty’s. A cash bar will also be open for mixed drinks.

Proceeds will support the future of the Historic District of Garyville. This includes repairs to the historic Garyville Timbermill Museum that sustained damage during Hurricane Ida.

During the storm, the west-facing portion of the Timbermill Museum’s wraparound porch was completely lifted and removed. The entire roof was damaged, causing some leaks into the building.

However, the restoration of the Timbermill Museum is only one part of a larger vision for Garyville.

While it’s still too early to share the specifics, The Bank owner R.J. Ory said advocates of Historic Garyville have worked closely with state officials, St. John Parish leaders, and the River Parishes Tourist Commission while making plans for the future of the area.

The intent is to create a space that highlights the history and culture of Garyville, similar to the commercial historic district that has brought economic development to downtown Ponchatoula.

“There’s a lot we have been working on for the past year and a half, two years. We’ve put in for funding, but we don’t want to pull the trigger until everything is lined up. There’s a bright future for the area, and there will be a lot for the community to share in,” Ory said. “Garyville has a very unique history with the timbermill and the railroad industry. Now Garyville is kind of a blank slate, and there’s so much you can do with it because of the structures we have here. The bones are there. There are unique buildings and items that are valuable to the history of St. John Parish that deserve to be saved and restored.”

In 2020, Ory renovated the Gary State Bank and the adjacent historic general store into a 3,400 square foot venue offering event rental space for bridal showers, class reunions and other gatherings. The transformation has given new life to The Bank, which originally opened in 1908 near one of the most prosperous cypress mills in the world.

Last year, The Bank hosted a Bonnie and Clyde themed fundraiser for Historic Garyville.

“Everyone dressed up, and we all had a blast. About a month later, people were asking when we were going to do another one,” Ory said. “This time, we decided to do a pirate night.”

For more information about Avast Ye The Bank or to purchase tickets, contact Ory at 504-458-4730.