Madisonville

Madisonville is in St. Tammany Parish on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. It has a most colorful waterfront which features outdoor dining along the Tchefuncte River estuary. Madisonville is all about water and hosts the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, which puts on the Wooden Boat Festival each fall.

Madisonville offers a wide variety of houses in a wide variety of price ranges. For example, a three-bedroom, two-bath home in The Villages at Bocage is just $183,855. If you’re looking for something a little larger and more luxurious, a four-bedroom, three-bath house is available in Bedico Creek for $515,000.

Madisonville was founded by Jean Baptiste Baham in 1800, before theUnited States acquired this area, as the town of Coquille or Cokie because of the abundance of shells in the area, at the site of the Native American village of Chiconcte. The town was renamed in honor ofPresident James Madison circa 1811.

There is an historical marker next to the Tchefuncte River which includes a reference to General Andrew Jackson‘s stop here late in 1814, en route to the Battle of New Orleans. David B. Morgan and other Madisonville residents were among the American defense forces at New Orleans; several of the men are buried in the historic Madisonville Cemetery.

Madisonville was an important port, providing bricks and other products of the towns along the Tchefuncte River to New Orleans, in the decades before the Civil War. After the Unioncapture of New Orleans, this area remained under nominal Confederate control; and the cutoff of trade with New Orleans across “enemy lines” was devastating to the local economy, which did not recover for decades after the peace.

The opening of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and associated highways gradually brought Madisonville into the sphere of Greater New Orleans, in the second half of the 20th century.

Much of the town flooded with the Lake Pontchartrain storm surge of Hurricane Katrina, in 2005. The police station was destroyed by the flood waters, along with the lower floors of the fire station. A temporary police substation was built by a Madisonville-based company, T. Sturdevant Inc/dba Barnstormers. The ruined police station was repaired by town workers and reopened for use, while the substation was left intact and is still used as the main office of the Chief of Police.

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum cooperates in research with Southeastern Louisiana University and other educational institutions here. The Tchefuncte River Lighthousewas built in 1837 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The land route to the lighthouse was destroyed in 1965 by Hurricane Betsy, and it has since been accessible only by boat. Madisonville’s zip code is 70447.