For nearly 100 years, summers in New Orleans meant spending time at Spanish Fort, a resort area built near the spot where Bayou St. John meets Lake Pontchartrain. It originally was home to what the French called Fort St. Jean (Fort San Juan to the Spanish) and was designed to protect the area from Native Americans, pirates and even the British during the War of 1812. Remnants of the original fort can still be seen near Beauregard Avenue and Lakeshore Drive. It was decommissioned in 1823, and the land was sold to Harvey Elkin, who built a hotel and garden. Later owners added an amusement park, casino, restaurants and a concert spot, establishing the area as "the Coney Island of the South." It played an important role in the development of jazz, with many early musicians playing there. Playwright Oscar Wilde even lectured there during a visit in 1882. The area closed in 1926.