The Jugs Social Club-Krewe of NOMTOC

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is nomtoc-pic.jpg
The Krewe of NOMTOC celebrates 50 years of parading as it rolls through the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans Saturday, Feb 22, 2020. (Photo Credit: David Grunfeld, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

The records of the Clerk of Civil District Court’s Office, which date back to the 1700s, represent the rich history of New Orleans and its diverse communities. Our archives can be used for property, family history, architectural, and landscaping research.

When one thinks of New Orleans, one of the first things that comes to mind is Mardi Gras. Over the years, Carnival has become one of the most recognizable celebrations in New Orleans and Louisiana culture. The New Orleans Mardi Gras Season begins on January 6th, known as Twelfth night or the Feast of the Epiphany for many Christian denominations. The celebrations last through Mardi Gras day, the date of which changes from year to year depending on the Christian liturgical calendar and the position of the holy day of Ash Wednesday.2

The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced back to Medieval Europe to celebrations in both Rome and Venice. The tradition travelled to France in the 17th and 18th centuries and then spread to the French colonies. On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived on a plot of land south of New Orleans and named it Pointe du Mardi Gras when he and his men realized that it was the eve of the holiday. In 1702, Bienville established Fort Louis de la Louisiane, now Mobile, Alabama, and in 1703 the settlement celebrated America’s very first Mardi Gras. Bienville founded the City of New Orleans in 1718 and by the 1730s, the festival of Mardi Gras was celebrated openly throughout the city. A century later, New Orleans Carnival celebrations featured street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback riders. The concept of floats and masked balls were introduced in 1856 and the first recorded evidence of Mardi Gras “throws” came in 1871.3

However, from these early years up until the 1990’s, Mardi Gras was an extremely segregated event. Krewes, events, and parades were often divided along color lines, with African Americans being barred from joining many of the traditionally white krewes and prevented from having their own krewes parade along the same routes as the white ones. In fact, it was not until Emancipation, the end of the Civil War and the passing of the 13th Amendment that African American people were even legally allowed to congregate without intense supervision or participate in Mardi Gras festivities. 4 Due to these restrictions, many communities rallied together to form their own traditions and solidified themselves as culture bearers for the City of New Orleans.

In celebration of Black History Month and the Mardi Gras Season, The Clerk of Civil District Court’s Office would like to highlight a selection of our city’s culture bearers. While looking at the history of these groups, we would also like to highlight our collection of notarial records, such as acts of incorporation, property sales, and property transfers, that illustrate how these groups formed and interacted with their communities. In this blog, we will highlight The Jugs Social Club-Krewe of NOMTOC.

The Jugs Social Club-Krewe of NOMTOC

In the spring of 1951, nine young African American men from Algiers on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans Parish, came together to form the Jugs Social Club. The original founding members were Ernest Brunet Jr., John Brunet Sr., Larry Bowie, Paul Richard, Alton Richards, Morris Richards, Harris Martin, Alverez Philips, and Harold Ramson. The founders of the Jugs Social Club wanted to establish a Mardi Gras organization and have entertainment be its primary function.

On September 6, 1969, four members of the Jugs Social club appeared before Notary Calvin H. McBride to officially incorporate-nearly eighteen years after its founding.

Articles of Incorporation. McBride, Calvin H. 1969 September 6. Recorded in Conveyance Office Book 2160.

According to Article I, as seen above, the corporation’s official name was to be “The Jug’s Social Club-Krewe of NOMTOC. The name NOMTOC means “New Orleans’ Most Talked of Club” and highlights the group’s wish that the organization be primarily for entertainment purposes. Article III of the incorporation highlights other objectives and purposes of the club, which were “1) to foster and promote fellowship and understanding and to engage in such social functions as may be undertaken by the corporation, 2) Such other purposes in connection therewith and incidental thereto as may be undertaken by the corporation, 3) To engage in, encourage and promote the Mardi Gras and the Carnival Season including the sponsoring of and production of a Carnival Ball and Street Parade.”

In 1969, along with their official incorporation, The Jugs Social Club-Krewe of NOMTOC also was granted a permit to hold a parade, which was held during the Mardi Gras season of 1970. At the time the only other African American Mardi Gras parade running was the Krewe of Zulu, on the east bank of the Mississippi River. NOMTOC was the only one running on the west bank, which brought a lot of pride to the members and the community of Algiers. The first parade in 1970 contained only six floats, six bands, six marching units, one horse group and a motorcycle squadron. 6

On March 17, 1995, The Jugs Social Club, as represented by President Warren J. Green came before the notary Brenda H. Fontenot to purchase four lots of land, with all the buildings and improvements, in Square 169 of the Fifth District, with the municipal address of 1905 Newton Street. This property was purchased for $48,300 from Jane Penisson Kennedy.

Act of Sale. Fontenot, Brenda H. 1995 March 17. NA#1995-12344
Legal Description of 1905 Newton Street. Act of Sale. Fontenot, Brenda H. 1995 March 17. NA#1995-12344

This property would become the headquarters for the organization. In the legal description above, a survey is mentioned, created by Dading, Marques & Associates, Inc dated for January 17, 1995. That survey was attached to this act of sale and can be seen below.

Survey of 1905 Newton Street. Act of Sale. Fontenot, Brenda H. 1995 March 17. NA#1995-12344
Headquarters of the Jug’s Social Club-Krewe of NOMTOC. 1905 Newton Street. Photo courtesy of Google Maps. Image Captured August 2019.

On February 12, 2004, the Jugs’ president, Warren J. Green came before Notary Deryle Bourgeois to purchase two lots of land in Square 168 of the Fifth District, designated at Lots N & O from Raymond and Stephen Lauden. The municipal address for this property is 1906 Newton Street and sits across from 1905 Newton Street, which the Jug’s Social Club purchased to use as their headquarters in 1995. A survey of the property, attached to this act, can be seen below. It indicates that the property was empty of any buildings at the time of purchase and it remains empty today.

Survey by Dading, Marques & Associates, Inc. Attached to an Act of Sale. Bourgeois, Deryle. 2004 February 12 NA#2004-09140
Photo of 1906 Newton Street Today. Image captured via Google Map August 2019.

After Hurricane Katrina, the Krewe of NOMTOC became the only parade to continue to run on the West Bank, as all other krewes either disbanded or moved to the East Bank. To many residents of Algiers, NOMTOC is “their” Mardi Gras and it has planted itself into the cultural fabric of the West Bank. The Jugs Social Club remains an active social aid and pleasure club. It holds back to school drives, Thanksgiving giveaways, health fairs and other outreach events. In addition to their community outreach programs, The Jugs Social Club often collaborates with the Mohawk Hunters, the oldest Mardi Gras Indian tribe in Algiers, for various events and celebrations. In 2019, Jugs also teamed up with the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club by welcoming Zulu to the West Bank to celebrate Zulu’s annual flag raising event. 7

This Mardi Gras, the Krewe of NOMTOC will roll on Saturday February 26th at 10:45AM. This concludes our series on a selection of New Orleans Culture Bearers. Please enjoy the Mardi Gras Season and be sure to check out some of these integral cultural organizations during your celebrations.

The Clerk’s Office has a rich amount of history pertaining to various different New Orleans culture bearers and carnival organizations. If there are any particular interests that you would like to learn more about, please contact the Clerk’s Office. We are happy to assist.

References:
  1. David Grunfeld, The Krewe of NOMTOC celebrates 50 years of parading” NOLA.com/ Times-Picayune, https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/local/nomtoc-becomes-second-carnival-krewe-to-cancel-2021-parade-mayors-office-says/289-63bf6480-ed4c-447c-9eb0-484b20540dc1
  2. Carolyn Heneghan, “A Brief History of Mardi Gras in New Orleans,” North America/USA/Louisiana, Culture Trip, accessed January 5, 2022. https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/louisiana/articles/a-brief-history-of-mardi-gras-in-new-orleans/.
  3. “Mardi Gras History,” Mardi Gras New Orleans, accessed January 11, 2022, https://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/history/.
  4. Nile Pierre and Hugo Fajardo. “Mardi Gras in color: revealing the historical divide of krewes,” The Tulane Hullabaloo, last modified January 31, 2018, https://tulanehullabaloo.com/35981/intersections/mardi-gras-color-revealing-historical-divide-krewes/.
  5. “About Us,” Jugs Social Club/Krewe of NOMTOC, accessed on January 10, 2022, http://nomtoc.com/index_files/Jugswebsite12018.htm.
  6. “Krewe of NOMTOC,” Mardi Gras New Orleans, accessed on January 11, 2022, https://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/parades/krewe-of-nomtoc.
  7. Monisha Jackson, “Jugs Social Club,” New Orleans Historical, accessed on January 11, 2022, https://neworleanshistorical.org/items/show/1458.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: