St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana

St. Tammany Parish (French: Paroisse de Saint-Tammany) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 233,740,[3] making it the fifth-most populous parish in Louisiana. The parish seat is Covington.[4] The parish was founded in 1810.[5]

Saint Tammany Parish
Parish of St. Tammany
St. Tammany Parish Justice Center
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana

Louisiana's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 30°24′N 89°58′W
Country United States
State Louisiana
FoundedOctober 27, 1810
Named forIndian Chief Tamanend
Largest citySlidell
  Total1,124 sq mi (2,910 km2)
  Land846 sq mi (2,190 km2)
  Water279 sq mi (720 km2)  25%
  Density210/sq mi (80/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
  Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st

St. Tammany Parish is included in the New OrleansMetairie, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area. St. Tammany Parish is one of the fastest-growing parishes in the state, along with Livingston and Ascension.[6]

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 Pontchartrain. It is the most affluent parish in the state, has a nationally-recognized 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.[7]



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

After the 18th-century 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 France was defeated in the French and Indian War, St. Tammany (along with the other future "Florida Parishes") became part of British West Florida. During this period, the area comprising today's St. Tammany attracted British loyalists who wanted to escape persecution in the Thirteen Colonies. After Great Britain was defeated in the American Revolutionary War, West Florida was governed by the Spanish. The West Florida period ended with the West Florida revolt, which precipitated annexation by the United States.

Creation and naming of the parish

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.[8] Among the nine Louisiana parishes (counties) named for "saints" (see "List of parishes in Louisiana"), St. Tammany is the only one whose eponym is not a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, the ecclesiastical parishes of which formed the basis for the state's civil parishes. 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"[9] in the post-Revolutionary period (long after his death).

Under Spanish rule, the area east of the Tangipahoa River, which would become St. Tammany Parish (and later Washington Parish to the north), was known as the St. Ferdinand District. Due to the fact that Ferdinand was also the name of the disputed King of Spain at the time, it was deemed that the new parish should have a more "American" sounding name.

19th century

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 Pontchartrain'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 by Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville 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

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 Bridge), 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.

21st century

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 effects

Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall in eastern St. Tammany Parish. The western eye wall passed directly over St. Tammany Parish as a Category 3 hurricane at about 9:45 AM CST, August 29, 2005.[10] The communities of Slidell, Avery Estates, Lakeshore Estates, Oak Harbor, Eden Isles and Northshore Beach were inundated by the storm surge that extended over 6 miles (10 km) inland. The storm surge impacted all 57 miles (92 km) of St. Tammany Parish's coastline, including Lacombe, Mandeville and Madisonville.[11] The storm surge in the area of the Rigolets Pass was estimated at 16 feet (4.9 m), not including wave action, declining to 7 feet (2.1 m) 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 bridges 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Highway 190 from Lacombe east to the state line.[12] 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.[13] Radio communications among first responders functioned throughout the rescue period, but the 9-1-1 system was not operational for ten days.[14] 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 cleanup continued into 2007, with over 6.6 million cubic yards (5 million m3) collected.[15] 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.[16]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 1,124 square miles (2,910 km2), of which 846 square miles (2,190 km2) is land and 279 square miles (720 km2) (25%) is water.[17] It is located to the north of Lake Pontchartrain.

Major highways

Adjacent counties and parishes

National protected areas

State protected areas

State parks


Historical population
Est. 2018258,111[18]10.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
1790-1960[20] 1900-1990[21]
1990-2000[22] 2010-2014[3]

At the 2000 census,[23] 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.


St. Tammany Parish has heavily favored Republican politicians. The last Democratic presidential candidate who carried the parish was John F. Kennedy. In 2008 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.[24]

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[24]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 73.1% 90,915 22.3% 27,717 4.6% 5,760
2012 75.0% 84,723 22.8% 25,728 2.2% 2,451
2008 75.8% 83,078 22.5% 24,596 1.7% 1,868
2004 74.7% 75,139 24.5% 24,665 0.8% 788
2000 70.7% 59,193 27.1% 22,722 2.2% 1,822
1996 60.1% 44,761 32.6% 24,281 7.4% 5,484
1992 56.5% 37,839 29.5% 19,735 14.0% 9,347
1988 69.9% 38,334 28.5% 15,638 1.6% 851
1984 76.2% 38,664 23.1% 11,719 0.8% 392
1980 63.7% 27,214 33.2% 14,161 3.1% 1,323
1976 50.4% 15,822 46.8% 14,691 2.8% 886
1972 74.1% 15,438 19.0% 3,949 6.9% 1,438
1968 23.3% 4,846 21.4% 4,445 55.3% 11,470
1964 54.1% 7,883 45.9% 6,694
1960 25.8% 2,850 46.8% 5,179 27.4% 3,034
1956 51.9% 3,965 44.2% 3,373 3.9% 301
1952 44.6% 3,598 55.4% 4,465
1948 15.7% 790 23.1% 1,164 61.2% 3,087
1944 16.9% 703 83.1% 3,450
1940 13.0% 668 87.0% 4,475
1936 14.6% 594 85.4% 3,477
1932 5.3% 178 94.6% 3,206 0.2% 5
1928 34.3% 945 65.7% 1,811
1924 20.5% 269 73.9% 969 5.6% 73
1920 22.2% 276 77.8% 967
1916 10.7% 95 87.7% 782 1.7% 15
1912 3.7% 30 82.3% 668 14.0% 114


St. Tammany Parish Public Schools operates the public schools in the parish. They are consistently rated as among the highest-performing in the state.

The parish is the eponym of Saint Tammany Hall on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University, in neighboring Tangipahoa Parish.

Covington and Slidell host the North Shore campuses of Delgado Community College.

National Guard

The 1021st Engineer Company and 2225th Panel Bridge Company of the 225th Engineer Brigade and the 1084th Transportation Company reside within Saint Tammany Parish. The 1021st is a "vertical" construction company based in Covington and the 2225th Bridge Company and 1084th Trans. Co. are in Slidell. All are part of the Louisiana National Guard.





Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also


  2. Brenda Brown Finnegan, Lighthouse Digest.
  3. "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  4. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. "St. Tammany Parish". Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  6. "Projecting Louisiana's Future".
  7. Moon Handbooks New Orleans ... - Google Books. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
  8. Blake Ponchartrain: New Orleans Know-It-All, 2 May 2006 Archived 6 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 14 November 2008.
  9. Charles W. Jones: Knickerbocker Santa Claus, October 1954, Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  10. 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.
  11. "FEMA: Hurricane Katrina Surge Inundation and Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps". 2009-06-04. Archived from the original on 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
  12. St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center Parish Status Update, Tuesday, August 30, 2005 9:00 AM. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  13. "State of the Parish" Speech, October 27, 2005, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  14. St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center Parish Status Update, Thursday, September 8, 2005 5:00 PM. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  15. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2009-09-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "State of the Parish" Speech, October 27, 2005, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  16. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2016-07-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)"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
  17. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  18. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  19. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  20. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  21. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  22. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  23. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  24. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2018-03-08.


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