Madisonville's original name of Chocquille was renamed in honor of President James Madison in 1810. In the years before the Civil War, Madisonville was an established port supplying bricks and building materials to the small towns cropping up around New Orleans. Unfortunately, the onset of the Civil War restricted trade between Madisonville and New Orleans, thus derailing the local economy. As a result, Madisonville developed into a scenic resort town rather than a busy port. The recent development of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and other major roadways has made Madisonville more accessible and thus more attractive to home buyers.
Public schooling is under the jurisdiction of Saint Tammany Parish Schools. The district operates more than 50 campuses and serves an enrollment in excess of 35,000. Both Madisonville elementary and junior high schools are located in town, while high school students may attend Covington High School, Fontainebleau High School, or Mandeville High School. Area colleges and universities in the area such as Southeastern Louisiana University, University of New Orleans, Southern University at New Orleans, and Delgado Community College, among others, are ready to serve the higher learning needs of students and adult learner.
Residents of Madisonville looking to spend some time in the outdoors will want to head out to Lake Pontchartrain. Here at the lake or at the basin, residents and visitors can engage in a number of activities, including picnicking along the shores of the lake, fishing at the basin, kayaking through the bayou, and swimming at the beach. A number of events are also held at the lake such as the Wooden Boat Festival, Annual Back to the Beach Festival, car and bike shows, fishing rodeos, and beach sweeps.
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