Pearl River, Louisiana

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Pearl River, Louisiana
Pearl River Municipal Complex
Pearl River Municipal Complex
Home of the Honey Island Swamp
Location of Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Coordinates: 30°22′16″N 89°45′04″W / 30.37111°N 89.75111°W / 30.37111; -89.75111Coordinates: 30°22′16″N 89°45′04″W / 30.37111°N 89.75111°W / 30.37111; -89.75111
CountryUnited States
ParishSt. Tammany
Incorporation (Village)May 24, 1906
 • MayorDavid McQueen (R) (Reelected 2018) (R)
 • Chief of PoliceJack Sessions (R) (Elected 2018)
 • AlderwomanBridgett Yates Bennett (2014-present) (R)
 • AlderwomanAngel Galloway (I)
 • AldermanJoe D. Lee (R)
 • Total3.76 sq mi (9.74 km2)
 • Land3.69 sq mi (9.54 km2)
 • Water0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)
26 ft (8 m)
 • Total2,506
 • Estimate 
 • Density708.28/sq mi (273.46/km2)
Time zoneUTC−06:00 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−05:00 (CDT)
Area code(s)985
FIPS code22-59445

Pearl River is a town in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 2,506 at the 2010 census.[3] It is part of the New OrleansMetairieKenner Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Pearl River is located at 30°22′16″N 89°45′4″W / 30.37111°N 89.75111°W / 30.37111; -89.75111 (30.371096, -89.751139).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 3.5 square miles (9.0 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 2.27%, is water.[5]


The community that is today Pearl River was originally known as Halloo, a moniker it reputedly garnered from loggers yelling to one another as they labored along the nearby Pearl River. The town was founded in 1859. Early Halloo was a small railroad town, located at the junction of the Northeastern and Poitevent and Favre's East Louisiana Railroads. In 1886 a train station was constructed at the site, and two years later Samuel Russ Poitevent (June 4, 1852 - June 3, 1904), established the first store in the village. The community's name was first changed from Halloo (1859) to Pearl (1878), later to Pearlville (1881), and eventually Pearl River, in 1888, after the train station built in the town.

On July 13, 1898, the 200 citizens of Pearl River voted to petition the state of Louisiana for incorporation as the "Village of Pearl River", a request which was granted nearly a decade later, on May 24, 1906, by governor Newton Crain Blanchard, with G.W. Fuller as the first mayor. The village slowly modernized over the course of the next half century, acquiring the land for a courthouse in 1935 and a town hall ten years later. Pearl River Junior High was opened in 1963, but the building was made into a police training academy in 2005. In 1964, the village insignia was replaced, as the newly minted "town" laid claim to 1,500 residents, a designation that lives on today, in the town of about 2,500. In 1968 Pearl River High School was established on Taylor Drive. School Board Members Robert Harper and Sigvart Halvorsen were responsible for establishing the school. Mr. Rowley as principal. The school is now a major success with over 700 students total. Mr. Mike Winkler is the current principal.

Mr. James "Jim" Lavigne (1940-2018) served as Mayor of Pearl River from 1991 to 2014. Mr. Lavigne served as Mayor longer than anyone in Pearl River before. He lost the mayoral election in November 2014 to David McQueen. The former Mayor died on March 17, 2018 at 78 years old. Memorial services were held at DT Williams Funeral Home, Pearl River's only open funeral home.

J.J. Jennings is the current Chief of Police; he was elected in November 2014, ending Bennie Raynor's long running position for the spot. Raynor, who was elected Pearl River Chief of Police in 1982, held the position for 32 consecutive years. Raynor, decided to retire during the 2014 elections. As of August 9, 2018, the 2018 candidates running for Chief of Police is 20+ years police officer & incumbent JJ Jennings, business owner & life-long resident of Pearl River: Ronnie Marshall, Pearl River Police Sgt. Collada, and former Pearl River Police officer Jack Sessions.

As of August 1, there are just two 2018 candidates for Mayor of Pearl River. First is Pearl River life-long resident, business owner & incumbent David McQueen. The other candidate is substitute teacher & current Alderwoman, Lora Curtrer.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)2,610[2]4.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 1,839 people, 708 households, and 513 families residing in the town. The population density was 737.7 people per square mile (285.2/km2). There were 788 housing units at an average density of 316.1 per square mile (122.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.38% White, 1.36% African American, 0.92% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.65% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.07% of the population.

There were 708 households, out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 24.0% 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 2.60 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $31,296, and the median income for a family was $40,647. Males had a median income of $31,855 versus $19,637 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,542. About 12.0% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 17.5% of those age 65 or over.


Residents are zoned to St. Tammany Parish Public Schools schools.

Riverside was first opened in 1987 and originally only had grades PreK through 3rd grade. Mrs. Mary Lou Jordan served as Principal of the school from 1994 until her retirement in June 2018. Mrs. Jordan started at Riverside its opening year as a second grade teacher. Mrs. Patti Holden was given the title of Principal following Mrs. Jordan's retirement.

Creekside was opened in 2003 when the town decided to turn Pearl River Junior High into a police training academy. Lisa Virga has been the principal since 2006. Adam Barrois has served as the Vice Principal since 2011.

Pearl River High School was first opened in 1968 with Robert Harper and Sigvart Halvorsen, School Board Members responsible for establishing the school. Mr. E.W. Rowley served as principal until 1982. And PRHS would see 5 more principals through its time. Mr. Michael "Mike" Winkler has served as principal since 2000. Linda Fussell has been a vice president since 2011. Clark Hershey has been the other vice principal since 2016.

Notable people

  • A. G. Crowe, a native of New Orleans, served 8 years in the Louisiana House of Representatives and 8 years in the Louisiana Senate (2000-2016) as well as a Member of the St. Tammany Parish School Board.
  • Owen Hale, former Drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd[11]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Pearl River town, Louisiana". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Pearl River town, Louisiana". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "U.S. Census website". Retrieved 2015-06-16.
  8. ^ Riverside Elementary Boundary. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools.
  9. ^ Creekside Junior High Boundary. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools.
  10. ^ Pearl River High School Boundary. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools.
  11. ^
  • Ellis, Dan (1999). Slidell: "Camellia City". Pass Christian, Mississippi.