CHAPTER 13 – HOSPITALITY
Hospitality: a tradition in the American South. The Mississippi River was the Internet of its day. Travel up the river from New Orleans helped spread genteel society throughout the region and into cities like St. Louis. For instance, the term “belle of the ball”comes from the French word for beautiful. Balls, a New Orleans tradition since 1718, would become the height of ante-bellum fashion. Fictional Scarlett O-Hara would be remembered as a “Southern Belle”long after this era passed.
Rich details of Louisiana’s “high life”including the fleur de lis would become part of respectable society everywhere. Grand hotels would fold their napkins into a fleur de lis design that was introduced at the St. Louis Hotel in the French Quarter and perfected at the St. Charles Hotel in the American District.