Madisonville, Louisiana

Coordinates: 30°24′26″N 90°09′42″W / 30.40722°N 90.16167°W / 30.40722; -90.16167
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Madisonville, Louisiana
Town of Madisonville
Madisonville Town Hall
Madisonville Town Hall
Location of Madisonville in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Madisonville in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
Madisonville is located in Louisiana
Location in Louisiana
Madisonville is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 30°24′26″N 90°09′42″W / 30.40722°N 90.16167°W / 30.40722; -90.16167
CountryUnited States
ParishSt. Tammany
Named forJames Madison
 • MayorJean Pelloat
 • Total2.55 sq mi (6.60 km2)
 • Land2.53 sq mi (6.54 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)
7 ft (2 m)
 • Total850
 • Density336.37/sq mi (129.88/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code985
FIPS code22-47560

Madisonville is a town in St. Tammany Parish in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The population was 748 at the 2010 U.S. census,[2] and 857 at the 2020 U.S. population estimates program.[3] It is part of the New OrleansMetairieKenner metropolitan statistical area. The ZIP code is 70447.


Madisonville was founded by Jean Baptiste Baham in 1800, before the United 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 of US President James Madison around 1811.[4]

Madisonville was a notable 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 Capture of New Orleans by the Union Army, 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, on August 29, 2005. The police/fire station and the town hall were damaged by the flood waters. The town flooded again in 2012 during Hurricane Isaac. Town buildings were again repaired but the police station was moved to a historic building at the intersection of Covington, St. John and Cedar Streets. The fire station later moved to a new building on Hwy. 22 just west of the town center.

Jahncke shipyard[edit]

Frederick (Fritz) Jahncke emigrated to New Orleans from Hamburg, Germany in 1870. After working as a mason, he started a business that built the first sidewalks in New Orleans. Jahncke expanded; using a rented steam-driven hydraulic suction dredge, his firm was the first to extract sand and shell from the Tchefuncte and other rivers to make concrete used in expanding New Orleans.

Jahncke purchased a half-interest in the Baham Shipyard, entering into shipbuilding. In 1905 he purchased the remaining interest, acquiring land for yards, as well as warehouses, docks, storage facilities and equipment. He died in 1911 and the company passed to Ernest Lee, Paul F. and Walter F. Jahncke. In 1917, the company started building five wooden ships for the US Navy for World War I. Two ships were completed – the SS Bayou Teche, which was launched in March 1918, and the SS Balabac on September 29, 1918. The war ended November 11, 1918, and three of the ships were not completed. The SS Abbeville was completed on January 19, 1919, and the SS Pontchartrain on April 6, 1919. The last ship was hauled across the river and burned. Part of the hull is still visible at low tide.[5]


Madisonville's waterfront, viewed from the drawbridge on LA 22, features outdoor dining along the Tchefuncte River estuary.

The town of Madisonville is located on the banks of the Tchefuncte River, near where the river enters Lake Pontchartrain. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.51 square miles (6.51 km2), of which 2.49 square miles (6.46 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.06 km2), or 0.86%, is water.[6]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
Madisonville racial composition as of 2020[8]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 741 87.18%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 38 4.47%
Native American 4 0.47%
Asian 12 1.41%
Other/Mixed 21 2.47%
Hispanic or Latino 34 4.0%

At the 2020 United States census, there were 850 people, 333 households, and 201 families residing in the town. At the 2000 United States census,[9] there were 677 people, 302 households, and 186 families residing in the town. The population density was 277.0 inhabitants per square mile (107.0/km2). There were 346 housing units at an average density of 141.6 per square mile (54.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 85.67% White, 10.04% Black, 0.74% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 1.77% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.51% of the population.

There were 302 households, out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 19.2% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 29.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,625, and the median income for a family was $57,083. Males had a median income of $41,042 versus $19,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,114. About 4.5% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.3% of those under age 18 and 17.8% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]

Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum[edit]

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum

Madisonville hosts the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, which sponsors the Wooden Boat Festival each fall.[10]


Madisonville's Tchefuncte River Lighthouse (1837) on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain[11]

The Tchefuncte River Lighthouse is owned by the Town of Madisonville and is operated by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Southeastern Museum Conference, a gift from the Southeastern Louisiana University Development Fund that included live-streaming security cameras and on-site information about lake levels and wind and wave action by the Department of Computer Science, as well as contributions from private groups and individuals.[12] The Tchefuncte River Lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places July 14, 1986. It is only accessible by boat. The lighthouse keepers' cottage was removed to the grounds of the maritime museum where it remains.


Schools operated by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System in Madisonville[13] include:

  • Madisonville Elementary School (pre-kindergarten-2)
  • Lancaster Elementary School (grades 3 to 6)
  • Madisonville Junior High School (grades 7 and 8)

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Madisonville town, Louisiana". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  3. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2010-2020". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  4. ^ Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "Madisonville Historical Marker".
  5. ^ Jahncke shipyard Retrieved 2017-01-06.
  6. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Madisonville town, Louisiana". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  10. ^ Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum site, accessed 29 September 2015.
  11. ^ Brenda Brown Finnegan, Lighthouse Digest.
  12. ^ Lighthouse funding- Retrieved 2017-01- 06
  13. ^ "School Directory". St. Tammany Parish Public School System. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  14. ^ Kemp, Larry (2018). Early Jazz Trumpet Legends. Rosedog. p. 133. ISBN 9781480976375.
  15. ^ Mariani, John (June 3, 2019). "Remembering Leah Chase, Guiding Light of Louisiana Cooking (1923-2019)". Forbes.
  16. ^ "Irv Stein". Baseball Reference. Retrieved December 22, 2020.

External links[edit]