Shady Pond Farm was homesteaded in the late 1800's. And in 1925, forty acres of the original homestead was sold to Miss Norma Badon (aka Norma Wallace); New Orleans' infamous "Madam" in the French Quarter. She purchased the property to be used as a retreat and summer home from the City for "her and the girls".
In late 1999, many of the details of Norma's time at Shady Pond came to light in the Last Madam, A life in the New Orleans Underworld a biography by Christine Wiltz. Christine based the book on tape recordings Norma made before her death. Local tales about Norma's aggressive behavior pale when compared to the story of an attempt to murder the Madam in the main house at the Farm. The aggressor in that incident was 'Golf Bag' Sam Hunt so named because he carried his weapons in a golf bag. With deep ties to Al Capone's mob in Chicago, 'Golf Bag' Sam was to always be taken seriously according to Christine's recap of the audio tapes. Norma and Sam were very much in love but he had become jealous of her friendship with other men. And he knew of only one way to deal with such a situation. Norma foiled the murder attempt herself, quite a gal. This was the first time that Sam tried to kill her, but it would not be the last.
To learn more about Norma and the oldest profession, pickup a copy of The Last Madam, A Life in the New Orleans Underworld. Published by Faber and Faber, Inc. New York, it is available online or at your favorite bookstore. Or, visit The Last Madam on the Web.
In 1945, Miss Badon sold the farm to Dr. and Mrs. Eugene Woodward. "Doc" Woodward used the present Christmas tree fields as an air strip to land his plane when commuting to and from New Orleans. In 1955 the farm was sold by the Woodwards to Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Gernon, Sr., Clarke's mother and father.
The present site of Shady Pond Farm has been used as a dairy, for raising Hereford cattle and horses, as a seed plantation for Bahia grass, and now as a Christmas Tree Plantation.
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