St Tammany Parish History, Attractions And Tourism
St Tammany Parish LA is one of the fastest growing Parishes in the state of Louisiana and also a major hub for tourists and travelers. Generally referred to as “Northshore” or “North Shore”, it is located next to the scenic Lake Pontchartrain. St Tammany Parish falls in a highly affluent demographic and is also famous for its checkered history. Interstate 12 runs the length of the parish from Madisonville to Slidell LA. This is a great area to stay if visiting New Orleans and its French Quarter. There are plenty of hotels and campgrounds to accommodate all in the cities along Interstate 12 which runs the length of St Tammany. Looking for the “taste of New Orleans” you can find it here at our many fine seafood restaurants like Rips On The Lake and Orlandos Seafood Restaurant. Make sure you bring your children to the Global Wildlife Center pictured below where they can feed and pet many different wild animals.
History Dates Back To The 17th Century
The French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville was the first European to visit present day Saint Tammany Parish in 1699. He described in his journals that the lakes that surround the area were among the finest and one of the prettiest places he had seen, with level ground and beautiful lakes. Prior to this, there had been colonies of Indians here with the tribes of Colapissas, Bayou Golas, Chickasaw and Biloxi being the prominent ones. However, there is very little documented history of this period. Among European settlers, the first people here were the French. They started businesses and industries that revolved around products obtained from the forests.
The 18th century saw the onset of the French and Indian War which led to the West Florida becoming a part of the British Empire. The period after the American Revolutionary War saw a number of British loyalists settling down here to escape persecution in the 13 colonies. By the end of the 18th century, the area had been annexed by American forces and became a part of the United States of America.
President James Madison claimed West Florida as a part of Louisiana in 1810 and created the present St Tammany Parish. It was named after an American Indian leader, Tamanend, who had concluded peace talks with William Penn and was generally respected by American diplomats. It is the only parish in Louisiana that is not named after a Roman Catholic Saint.
In the early years of the parish, there were only notable towns: Covington (the present day parish seat) and Madisonville (a shipbuilding town). The 1830’s saw the creation of the town of Mandeville, which was initially a recreational spot for wealthy New Orlenians. Many people believed that ozone was emitted by a number of trees in the area, and that it had miraculous curative properties. The influx of visitors due to this led to a regular ferry service being founded on the Lake Pontchartrain. Many new resorts started coming up in the region and the Town of Abita Springs was founded around this period. Construction of a railroad in the 1880’s connected all the towns to each other and fueled further development.
High speed road connections led to the growth of the entire parish and urban communities started springing up. The city of Slidell, on the eastern side of the parish, is one of the first examples of suburban sprawls in the region. The western towns started seeing fast development in the 1950’s. The late 1950’s period saw more urbanization, though the parish continued to be mainly rural.
By the early 2000’s the population of St Tammany Parish had grown to a sizable 2,00,000. It was also one of the worst affected areas in the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005. Many towns were flooded and there was major destruction of infrastructure during the floods that followed. As of 2014 though, the region is back on its feet, with business and communities prospering better than ever before.
UPDATE: 2017 things are booming!! We boast the best hospitals, public schools, new housing and major shopping centers make this a great family friendly place to live and retire in. Tight restrictions in Mandeville, Madisonville and Covington makes this area of Saint Tammany Parish worth the cream of the crop.
Saint Tammany Parish Bright Future
St Tammany Parish is also known as the North Shore as in the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. This area is connected to the Greater New Orleans area by the 24 mile long Lake Pontchartrain Bridge plus the twin-span on the east side going from New Orleans to Slidell. The Lake Pontchartrain Bridge is a nice scenic ride on a clear day. At the 12 mile point you can see both shorelines of the north and south. The whole area of the I-12 or Interstate 12 corridor is booming with an explosion of building of commercial shopping centers that are of the latest design. The history of Saint Tammany Parish has made it what it is today, a wonderful place to visit and live.
St Tammany Parish State Parks On Hwy 22 East And West Of Mandeville
Fontainebleau State Park stretches over 2,800 acres of ground, is located just east of Mandeville on Hwy 22. The park has a beautiful setting along the northern banks of Lake Pontchartrain. Newly renovated cabins overlook the lake. Fish and crab steps from your cabin. Water is only 1 to 3 ft deep by the cabins making it great to swim and canoe.
Fairview Riverside State Park has nearly 100 peaceful acres of land along side the Tchefuncta River where you can fish, conoe and go boating. There is a free boat launch at the park. Watch the skiers go by as you sit and fish. Great place for a canoe. This park has definitely earned its name due to its beautifully maintained grounds and its prized location on the lazily twisting Tchefuncta River just east of Madisonville on Hwy 22. Tour the Otis House and the olde sawmill.
Sunset Park And Fishing Pier At The Mandeville Lakefront
Interstate 12 runs through the whole Parish. Come visit St Tammany Parish and have a great time.
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