The History of Madisonville
Madisonville is located on the historic Tchefuncte River on Louisiana Highway 22 between Mandeville and Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Founded in 1817, the town is one of the oldest communities in Louisiana and is the oldest permanent settlement in St. Tammany Parish. The population of Madisonville is over 800 residents on the west bank of the Tchefuncte River about two miles north of Lake Pontchartrain. The Tchefuncte River's name is derived from the Choctaw word "Hachofakti", meaning chinquapin, which is a small oak tree. The current location of Madisonville began when the Spanish began to occupy the Florida Parishes. The earliest known settler was Juan Baham and his sons who came from Mobile, AL.
In the early days, it was the site of a Tangipahoa Indian village. The first French settlers called it Coquille because of the abundance of seashells. In 1817, upon incorporation, it was renamed Madisonville in honor of President James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. He is best known as the 'father of the Constitution' based on his tireless efforts at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and for drafting the Bill of Rights. History comes alive in Madisonville as we rediscover our romantic past in the expansion of the Northshore.