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Saint Tammany Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting Saint Tammany Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1810
Named for Indian Chief Tamanend
Seat Covington
Largest city Slidell
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,124 sq mi (2,911 km²)
854 sq mi (2,212 km²)
270 sq mi (699 km²), 24.01%
 - (2000)
 - Density

267/sq mi (103/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

St. Tammany Parish Justice Center Covington, Louisiana

Madisonville's Tchefuncte River Lighthouse stands resolutely on the Saint Tammany northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. This lighthouse was built in 1837.[1]

St. Tammany Parish (French: Paroisse de Saint-Tammany) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana, in the New OrleansMetairieKenner Metropolitan Statistical Area. The parish seat is Covington.

In 2000, the population was 191,268. In 2004, the population was estimated to have grown to 212,000, and after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina the following year, the population was estimated by St. Tammany Planners to be about 264,000. Most new residents are thought to have come from St. Bernard Parish. If correct, these figures make St. Tammany Parish the fastest-growing parish in the state, overtaking Livingston and Ascension.

St. Tammany Parish is colloquially referred to as part of the "Northshore" or "North Shore" throughout metropolitan New Orleans, owing to its location on Lake Ponchartrain. It is the most affluent parish in the metro area, has a system of public schools, and is the most politically conservative parish in the New Orleans region.

The Moon Handbooks New Orleans: Including Cajun Country and the River Road, published in 2007, stated that people wanting to live in proximity to New Orleans without living in New Orleans will probably cause the population of St. Tammany Parish to increase.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Pre-history[edit | edit source]

In 1699, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, a French explorer, was the first European to visit the area of present-day St. Tammany Parish. While exploring lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas, Iberville wrote in his journal, "The place where I am is one of the prettiest I have seen, fine level ground bare of canes. The land north of the lakes is a country of pine trees mixed with hard woods. The soil is sandy and many tracks of buffalo and deer can be seen."

St. Tammany was originally inhabited by numerous Indian peoples, including the Colapissas, Bayou Goulas, Chickasaw, Biloxi, Choctaw and Pensacola nations (although, Frederick S. Ellis, in his book St. Tammany Parish: L’autre Côté du Lac, claims that the regionally prominent Choctaw tribe did not arrive in the area until after it had begun to be settled by Europeans).

West Florida[edit | edit source]

After the founding and development of New Orleans, French settlers began to enter the region. The primary industry was the production of pitch, tar, turpentine and resin from the forests.

After the French were defeated in the French and Indian War, St. Tammany (like the surrounding regions of the Florida Parishes) became part of English West Florida. Then, after Britain was defeated in the American Revolutionary War, West Florida was governed by the British and the Spanish. During the West Florida period, St. Tammany, like the rest of West Florida, attracted British loyalists who wanted to escape persecution in the 13 colonies. The West Florida period ended with the West Florida Revolt, which preceded West Florida's annexation by the United States.

Creation and naming of the parish[edit | edit source]

In 1810, President James Madison claimed West Florida as part of Louisiana and sent William C.C. Claiborne to claim the territory. Claiborne established the boundaries of the Florida Parishes. He created St. Tammany Parish and named it after the Delaware Indian Chief Tamanend (c.1628-1698), who made peace with William Penn and was generally renowned for his goodness.[3] Among the nine Louisiana parishes (counties) named for "saints" (see "List of parishes of Louisiana"), St. Tammany is the only one whose eponym is not a saint as recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, the ecclesiastical parishes of which formed the basis for civil parishes prior to statehood. In fact, Tamanend is not known to have been a Christian, and was certainly not a Roman Catholic. However, he became popularly revered as an "American patron saint" in the post-Revolutionary period (long after his death).

19th century[edit | edit source]

In the early 1830s, there were only two towns in St. Tammany: Covington, a retreat with summer homes and hotels; and Madisonville, a shipbuilding and sawmill town. The area south of Covington to Lake Ponchartrain's northern shore and extending eastwards to the Pearl River border with the state of Mississippi was known as the Covington Lowlands. This region included the present-day towns of Mandeville, Abita Springs, Lacombe, Slidell, and Pearl River. Mandeville was founded in 1834 and was developed as a health resort for wealthy New Orleanians, because it was believed that Ozone was both salutary and naturally emitted by the numerous trees in the area (both beliefs later proven false), giving rise to an early name for the region — the "Ozone Belt". Regular ferry service commenced across Lake Pontchartrain, and shortly thereafter another resort community was founded, Abita Springs. A railroad was constructed in the 1880s connecting Covington and Abita Springs to Mandeville, and to New Orleans, allowing for further growth, particularly in Abita Springs, where underground spring waters permitted supposedly healthful baths.

20th century[edit | edit source]

Round Trip Trolley Ticket on the St. Tammany and New Orleans Railways and Ferry Co., punched to be good on line between Mandeville and Covington, Louisiana, for date of December 30, 1915.

With the completion of high-speed road connections to St. Tammany from New Orleans and its older suburbs (Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the I-10 Twin Span), the parish began to develop as a bedroom community. Suburban sprawl first took root in and around Slidell, Louisiana, in the eastern part of the parish. Though the Causeway was completed in 1956 and linked suburban Metairie with western St. Tammany, growth in and around western St. Tammany towns like Mandeville, Covington and Madisonville only gathered momentum in the late 1960s. While St. Tammany was sparsely populated and almost wholly rural in the 1950s, its population exceeded 200,000 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's landfall in 2005.

A major event in the parish's transition from a bedroom community of commuters to a more diverse and independent economic unit occurred in 2008 with the relocation of Chevron's regional corporate headquarters from downtown New Orleans to an office park outside of Covington.

Hurricane Katrina 2005[edit | edit source]

Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall in eastern St. Tammany Parish. The western eye wall passed directly over St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane at about 9:45 AM CST, August 29, 2005.[4] The communities of Slidell, Louisiana, Avery Estates, Lakeshore Estates, Oak Harbor, Eden Isles and Northshore Beach were inundated by the storm surge that extended over six miles inland. The storm surge impacted all 57 miles of St. Tammany Parish’s coastline, including Lacombe, Mandeville and Madisonville.[5] The storm surge in the area of the Rigolets Pass is estimated 16 feet, not including wave action declining to 7 feet at Madisonville. The surge had a second peak in eastern St. Tammany as the westerly winds from the southern eye wall pushed the surge to the east, backing up at the bottleneck of the Rigolets Pass. The Twin Spans of I-10 between Slidell and New Orleans East were virtually destroyed, and much of I-10 in New Orleans East was under water. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and the Highway 11 bridge, connecting the north and south shores of Lake Pontchartrain, were open only to emergency traffic. Initial search and rescue operations were conducted south of Highway 190 from Lacombe east to the state line.[6] Fire District No. 1 and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office evacuated over 3,000 people from flooded homes and rescued about 300 people in imminent danger.[7] Radio communications among first responders functioned throughout the rescue period but the 9-1-1 system was not operational for ten days.[8] Utility services were not available anywhere in the parish. Generator power was available for hospitals and a special needs shelter. Hospitals were running at capacity on generator power. The hurricane force winds toppled trees and telephone poles parish-wide, blocking all transportation routes. Land debris clean up continued into 2007 with over 6.6 million cubic yards collected.[9] Debris cleaning in waterways continued at least through 2009. Hurricane Katrina damaged 48,792 housing units in St. Tammany Parish from flood waters, high winds, or both.[10]

Geography[edit | edit source]

The parish has a total area of 1,124 square miles (2,910 km2), of which 854 square miles (2,210 km2) is land and 270 square miles (700 km2) (24.01%) is water.

Major highways[edit | edit source]

Adjacent parishes and natural features[edit | edit source]

National protected areas[edit | edit source]

State protected areas[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 13,335
1910 18,917 41.9%
1920 20,645 9.1%
1930 20,929 1.4%
1940 23,624 12.9%
1950 26,988 14.2%
1960 38,643 43.2%
1970 68,585 77.5%
1980 110,869 61.7%
1990 144,508 30.3%
2000 191,268 32.4%
Est. 2006 230,605 [11] 20.6%
St. Tammany Parish Census Data[12]

At the 2000 census[13], there were 191,268 people, 69,253 households and 52,701 families residing in the parish. The population density was 224 per square mile (86/km²). There were 75,398 housing units at an average density of 88 per square mile (34/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 87.03% White, 9.90% Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.61% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. 2.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 69,253 households of which 39.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.40% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.90% were non-families. 19.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.15.

Age distribution was 28.40% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 29.90% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 10.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.40 males. The median household income was $47,883, and the median family income was $55,346. Males had a median income of $41,876 versus $25,996 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $22,514. About 7.60% of families and 9.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.80% of those under age 18 and 10.10% of those age 65 or over.

2008 and 2004 election results[edit | edit source]

St. Tammany Parish has heavily favored Republican politicians in recent years, and 2008 was no exception. In that year's presidential election, John McCain received 76% of the vote (83,078 votes). Democrat Barack Obama received 23% (24,596) votes. In the 2008 U.S. Senate election, although Democrat Mary Landrieu won the election, she lost St. Tammany Parish. Her challenger, Republican John Kennedy, won 61% of the vote (65,150 votes). Landrieu received 36% of the vote (39,429 votes). In 2004, Republican George W. Bush won 75% (75,139 votes). Democrat John F. Kerry won 24% (24,662 votes). The reason behind McCain winning St. Tammany Parish by a larger percent than Bush is perhaps due to the post-Katrina relocation of numerous, typically Republican St. Bernard Parish residents to St. Tammany Parish (so-called "St. Tammanards").[14]

Municipalities[edit | edit source]

Map of St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

Cities[edit | edit source]

Towns[edit | edit source]

Villages[edit | edit source]

Census-designated places[edit | edit source]

Unincorporated places[edit | edit source]

Education[edit | edit source]

Saint Tammany Hall (background) is the first building students pass on going through the main entrance to Southeastern Louisiana University.

St. Tammany Parish Schools operates the public schools in the parish. The parish is the eponym of Saint Tammany Hall on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Brenda Brown Finnegan, Lighthouse Digest.
  2. ^ Moon Handbooks New Orleans ... - Google Books. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  3. ^ Blake Ponchartrain: New Orleans Know-It-All, 2 May 2006, Retrieved 14 November 2008.
  4. ^ [1] Richard D. Knabb, Jamie R. Rhome, and Daniel P. Brown, National Hurricane Center, “Tropical Cyclone Report Hurricane Katrina”, 23–30 August 2005. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  5. ^ "FEMA: Hurricane Katrina Surge Inundation and Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps". 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  6. ^ [2] St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center Parish Status Update, Tuesday, August 30, 2005 9:00 AM. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  7. ^ [3]"State of the Parish" Speech, October 27, 2005, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  8. ^ [4] St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center Parish Status Update, Thursday, September 8, 2005 5:00 PM. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  9. ^ [5]"State of the Parish" Speech, October 27, 2005, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  10. ^ [6]"Current Housing Unit Damage Estimates, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma", February 12, 2006, Analysis by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Policy Development and Research
  11. ^ United States Census Bureau. "St. Tammany Parish Quickfacts". Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  12. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Louisiana Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ David Leip. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Geology[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 30°24′N 89°58′W / 30.40, -89.96

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