Stu Pospisil Omaha World-Herald
‘Mascotte’ means good luck charm in French. It was popularized by the start of the comic opera “La Mascotte” in 1881. “Mascotte” entered the English lexicon soon after, and every sports team was to have one.
What could have used a lucky charm was the failed factory town of Mascotte. Born in 1886-87, his life in the Omaha suburbs was short.
A World-Herald headline in 1915 proclaimed:
âThe dismal deserted village of Comic Opera Town / Nebraska – Mascotte, on the back door of Omaha, once looked promising as a manufacturing center – it is now a village of ruins.â
The World-Herald sent one of its best writers, Miles Greenleaf, to see what was left of Mascot:
“A few wooden stilts, three or four broken down and unoccupied cottages, a dented flag pole along the Missouri Pacific, and a handful of former citizens are all that is left of the town that was to be the manufacturing suburb of Omaha. . “
On either side of Little Papillion Creek – south of what is now Grover Street west of 60th Street – the main street was Rocco Avenue, and the east-west streets were called Lorenzo, Bettina, Pippo, and Frederic.
The names of the streets came from “La Mascotte”. The story of the three-act opera is about a farmer who is a mascot, someone who has the mystical power to bring good luck to those around her only as long as she remains a virgin. It opened in Paris in December 1880.