The western part of St. Tammany Parish is comprised of five distinct cities and townships, all with a unique style and way of life. We recognize that where we live is a jewel to be treasured by residents and visitors alike. We do not take for granted our rivers, lake, the waterfront areas, parks and recreational facilities and shopping areas, to name just a few of the gems of our communities.
Art, government, nature and commerce converge at the point of three rivers known as Covington. The hub of the Abita, Bogue Falaya and Tchefuncte rivers, Covington became known as the official port of St. Tammany in the late 1800s. Today, it is the seat of St. Tammany Parish government, as well as an artist's haven boasting eclectic shopping and sidewalk cafes seasoned with turn-of-the-century charm. The city's well-defined historic business district is comprised of 28 oak-shaded squares with antique ox lots' that provide off-street parking. Fine art galleries, antique shops, home furnishings stores and boutiques make downtown Covington a unique shopping district offering nostalgic respite and cutting edge flair.
In 1834 Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville bought 5,000 acres and founded the city of Mandeville. The city flourished when wealthy New Orleanians began to build resort communities along its lakefront in the 1800s. Now as the host city of Lake Pontchartrain, this progressive burg strives to make the most of its natural assets, while carefully planning and balancing growth. Sailboats and yachts are regular features on its lakefront horizon. Nearby Fountainebleau State Park offers residents the great outdoors in their own backyard. Upscale shopping districts and some of the best eateries around, make fashionable Mandeville a perfect setting for both stately and modest homes in magnificently designed subdivisions and gated communities.
The area now known as Abita Springs was home to native Americans as far back as 2,200 years ago. The plentiful game, fish, spring water and ozone air made this area suitable for a comfortable life. In fact, the modern town was built around artesian spring wells that were long believed to have medicinal properties. Today Abita Springs' charming downtown nestled against the Tammany Trace still invites visitors and residents to gather and enjoy refreshment, relaxation and a breath of fresh air.
Located in the northernmost region of St. Tammany, Folsom offers a small-town lifestyle in the midst of expansive ranches, magnificent country estates and serene riverside retreats. Still a rural community, its rolling terrain supports a flourishing thoroughbred horse industry. Folsom is also the nursery center of Louisiana and home to the Global Wildlife Center, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.
Home to the nationally recognized Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum and host to the annual Wooden Boat Festival, Madisonville draws nautical devotees from across the country each fall. The town was originally named "Cokie, derived from the French word "coquille, which means shell. In 1811 the name of the town was changed to honor President James Madison. Boasting eight buildings on the National Historic Register, Madisonville is a delightful riverfront town situated along the banks of the picturesque Tchefuncte River.