When Joseph Rault arrived to New Orleans in the early 1800s, he was a Blacksmith who started his trade at 515 Bourbon Street. His wife, Julie Pere Rault, and himself had five children, three of which were sons all of whom worked with him as Gunsmiths, Blacksmiths and Locksmiths.
When the French Quarter became too rowdy for their family life, the Rault family moved to Magazine Street in 1857. The shop’s first location at 616 Magazine Street, which is now 2104 Magazine Street, was established in 1886.
The shop bounced around Magazine Street locations from 1887-1947 until it finally landed at 3027 Magazine Street. And this is where we stayed.
The shop has evolved since its establishment in the early 1800s. While the things we do in the shop have changed, one thing has stayed the same: we are locksmiths.
As time went on, Mr. Henri Rault took over the business. Henri was described as a colorful character who was a mainstay on Magazine Street.
While returning from the Picture Show, Henri Rault was accidentally hit by his neighbor driving a Model T Ford on January 22, 1936. Henri was killed on the corner of Magazine Street and Washington Avenue that day.
After Henri’s passing, his grandson Russell Staub and his daughter Isabelle Rault took over the operation. To this day, the stories of Russell’s shenanigans are told in the neighborhood. Russell took over full ownership in 1946 and was a fixture in Uptown New Orleans as a locksmith until his death in 1993.
Before his passing, the shop was sold to Jim Miller in 1990. Jim took on a building in despair but filled with old treasures from years long past. Jim Miller restored the building and the business to its original glory. He is the vision behind the centuries old business you see standing today.
H. Rault has a deep rooted history in the City of New Orleans. We’re known for our specialization in unique and antique hardware repair. We’re the second oldest operating locksmith shop in the United States and the oldest in Louisiana. We are the oldest operating business on Magazine Street. So, whether you’re looking for lock service or want to come check out our badass shop, we’ve been here, we’re still here and we always will be here.