My Uncle Buddy, also known as Phillip Hountha, was in charge of the maintenance department for 12 years (1973-1985).
He attended Warren Easton High School where he was active running track (sprints) and playing trumpet in the band. After graduating, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and found himself in the Korean War! He and several other airmen manned a strategic radar sight on top of a mountain in the war zone. Their mission was to alert our forces when “incoming” enemy aircraft were approaching and to assist “friendly forces” aircraft in inclement weather or whatever they needed. This was a very important mission and vital to the war effort. Several times their radar site was attacked by Chinese and North Korean troops. They had to take up arms alongside our soldiers to repulse these attacks.
After a long year in Korea, Buddy returned to the United States after some much-needed leave was posted to another mountain top radar site in Minot, North Dakota. After fulfilling his military commitment, he returned home to New Orleans. He stayed at our family home in Lakeview and got a job at a company called “Hangers- Prosthetics”. The handmade arms and legs for handicapped people. A very unique craft indeed. He excelled at the trade and became their top employee. After several years the owner died and Buddy was offered the business. For some reason, he did not, or could not purchase Hangers.
Time passed and I eventually returned home after mustering out of the Air Force in 1971. My father was sick with cancer and I wanted to help out while waiting to catch on with an airline. Well, I never took that job and wound up running Gay 90’s Carriages, which eventually became Royal Carriages.
The person doing our repairs was also a driver. His name was Joe Davis. I decided we needed to upgrade our maintenance and hired Buddy. Joe Davis went back to driving carriages fulltime. Buddy took to his new job like a duck to water! He exceeded at everything and quickly became our go-to -guy!
He remained in our employ until 1984 when he was involved in a terrible head-on auto accident. While recovering he developed aggressive throat cancer and he lost his ability to work. Buddy died shortly after at 59 years old. A tragic ending to a good life!RIP Buddy, You are Missed!
So many individuals and businesses are affected by COVID-19 . Our business stopped operating on March 19 th, 2020, and we were forced to lay off our entire team of 46 people and 54 mules. Due to city regulations restricting "vehicles" from operating tours until Phase 3, we will be offering our tours in a different way. In lieu of Mule - Drawn Carriage tours we are now offering our award-winning tours as walking tours. You will be supporting our families 80-year-old, 3rd generation, veteran-owned business. Let our professional tour guides navigate your family or small group through several different historical areas of our beautiful city. Our new offerings will include :
Mules in the Marigny Creole Neighborhood Tour - Visit our stable and interact with our mules. Discover the intriguing history of the oldest existing stable in New Orleans. Tour the Faubourg Marigny, the 2nd oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, and see Frenchman St, the home of Charles Laveau , the father of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.
History and Haunts Tour - Experience for yourself the storied spectacle of the most haunted city in America. Hear eerie spirit tales of ghosts and voodoo that will shock and intrigue you.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 /French Quarter Tour - See unique and mysterious above-ground tombs... the resting place of Marie Laveau. Also, tour the world-famous French Quarter.
Our walking are $29.99 per guest utilizing small groups, no larger than 14 guests per tour. The tours are 1.5 hours long. All guides and guests are required to social distance and wear masks. Hand sanitizer will be provided.
Give us and yourself a reason to walk, let Royal Carriages' 80 years experience show you the history of New Orleans, the most authentic way you can.
It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to temporarily close the operation of tours beginning March 19th, 2020, and will reopen July 3th, 2020.
This is in keeping with the declaration by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards regarding containment of Covid19 – the Corona Virus. It is determined to be in the best interest of our guests and our employees.
Please check back with us for updates.
If you are scheduled between now and July 3rd, 2020 and would like to reschedule, please contact us at [email protected]
All of the mules and team members cannot wait to see you when we resume operations. In the meantime please support your local businesses and buy gift cards.
Royal Carriages cares deeply about your health, wellness, and safety. We’re in unnerving times, and we want to express our appreciation to our always thoughtful community as we work together to safely navigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
We know from many of you that getting away is often an important respite in the most stressful of times - whether during an intense period of work, school, or something else. If you're willing, well, and comfortable, we want you to know that we are here for you and welcome you to join us in the City of New Orleans whether you are a Native New Orleanian or seeing our city for the first time, and experience the simple joys of exploring our city.
Here are some of the things we are doing in response to the coronavirus:
We have intensified cleaning procedures to ensure our carriages are more deeply disinfected to prevent germs from spreading and to ensure your safety.
We are closely monitoring the guidance of local health officials and the CDC for our area. We are following all the recommendations to provide for our guest’s safety and comfort on our tours.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, we are forgoing our standard all sales final policy. If you have a reservation and feel sick or otherwise do not feel up to joining us, please reach out to us 48 hours prior to your reservation and we will provide you with a full refund and hope you can join for some fun in the future.
This week, Royal Carriages was featured on "Another Vieux: Singing In the French Quarter With Irma Thomas" featuring Sheba Turk on WWL TV.
It was a total joy having such a legend on a carriage ride with us, and we have to say that we learned a lot too!
Singing along and having a grand time, the weather was gorgeous and absolutely perfect for a New Orleans French Quarter Tour. We definitely had to pinch ourselves to make sure that such an illustrious day was real! But that's what it's like to live and breath New Orleans, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Big thanks to Sheba Turk, WWL TV, and the legend herself, Ms. Irma Thomas for choosing Royal Carriages for this wonderful excursion.
This was the BEST GHOST TOUR ever! Fiona is articulate, well-informed, enthusiastic and energetic! She was very charming and held your attention. The only thing more energetic than Fiona was her amazing and well-trained mule Chicory! Never have I seen a smarter mule! She knew how to navigate amongst all the people, cars and distractions that abound in the French Quarter. She followed every instruction to the letter - meaning she understood English and would without much effort on Fiona's part go exactly where she was told. We were very entertained and give this lovely lady and her beautiful mule 5 stars!