Though 613 Rue Royale is named for Emma and Bertha Camors, sisters who once owned a notions and fancies shop here, the Court of the Two Sisters has a long and interesting history.
The lovely three-story building sits on “Governor’s Row,” the 600 block of Royal Street that was once home to five governors, two state Supreme Court justices, a future justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and a future President of the United States. 613’s own resident was Sieur Etienne de Perier, the royal governor of colonial Louisiana between 1726 and 1733. Such a famous block lent itself to rumors, and it’s said that the outrageous Marquis de Vaudreuil—the colonial governor who turned New Orleans from marshland into a “petit Paris”—also once lived here.
Emma and Bertha belonged to a proud, aristocratic Creole family; their “rabais,” or notions, outfitted many of New Orleans’ high society women in formal gowns, lace, and perfumes imported from Paris. With a larger courtyard than its neighbors, the residence lent itself to visitors, and the sisters’ shop received many.
Marriage, reversals of fortune, widowhood—nothing could separate the two sisters. Indeed, as the Picayune was to report, the sisters died within two months of each other in the winter of 1944. They lie side by side at St. Louis Cemetery No. 3, united in death as in life.