About Covington, Louisiana
Covington is the parish seat of Saint Tammany Parish,
located on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain in southeast Louisiana. It is situated at the confluence of the Bogue Falaya River and the Tchefuncte River. Covington is part of the New Orleans Metropolitan
The official population of incorporated Covington was 8,765 in 2010. However there are many more homes and businesses outside the city limits that use Covington as their address and the residents there
will tell you that Covington is their home!
The first known European to settle the area was Jacques Drieux in 1800, when
most of Louisiana was still a French colony. However, the Northshore was then part of the Spanish territory of West Florida which included that part of
Louisiana north of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas all the way west to the Mississippi River including what is now Baton Rouge. Monsieur Drieux
actually obtained his land grant on the Northshore from the Spanish who controlled the area until September 1810. In September 1810, residents of the
Northshore revolted against Spanish rule creating the Republic of West Florida. The republic lasted 74 days with its own flag and even electing a president
before being forcibly annexed by the United States in December 1810.
In 1813, John Wharton Collins established a town where Covington stands
today and named it Wharton, after his middle name. John Wharton Collins' grave can still be seen in the city cemetery directly across from the Covington Police Department.
Covington is Founded!
The city was formally incorporated in 1816 but as Covington, not Wharton. No one is sure how or why the city name was changed to Covington. The two most popular theories are that the town was renamed after
General Leonard Covington, a hero of the War of 1812, or after a popular whisky at the time known as Blue Grass whiskey that was made in Covington, Kentucky. Either way, the town where the Bogue Falaya River
and the Tchefuncte River meet was now Covington!
Covington became the Saint Tammany Parish seat in 1829. It quickly became the center of commerce,
industry and government on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Principle industries on the Northshore
included lumber, pine-related products, brick production and agriculture. Products produced in the area were
transported down the Bogue Falaya River and Tchefuncte River and then across Lake Pontchartrain to New Orleans.
By the late 1800s, tourism became popular in Covington. Bathing in the ozone waters of the Northshore was
considered a relief if not a cure for tropical diseases that were devastating New Orleans at the time such as
yellow fever. Hotels and restaurants sprang up in downtown Covington to accommodate the tourists from the Southshore.
A Small Town Success Story!
Like many small towns across America in the late 20th century, downtown Covington began a steady decline
in prosperity even while new, affluent developments were quickly growing just outside of town. However, by the beginning of the new century, things were looking up for Old Covington!
Thanks to the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, St. Tammany Parish's population growth had continued to boom throughout the late 20th century despite the woes of Old Covington and it's struggling downtown district.
Eventually, population growth in St. Tammany Parish reached levels necessary to support Covington's
struggling retailers. In January 2005, the Times Picayune even reported a "business boom" in Covington.
And then Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005 and the relatively undamaged Covington became more desirable than ever before as a safe, quality place to live in the New Orleans Metropolitan area. Many more
residents of the Southshore moved across Lake Pontchartrain after the storm and Covington came back stronger than ever!
Covington is Back in Style!
Once again, Covington has become a tourist destination in Southeast Louisiana with restored historic homes
and buildings, award-winning restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and specialty shops and special events that
attract many thousands of visitors annually. The Covington Three Rivers Art Festival is a major regional
festival that attracts more than 200 artists and 50,000 visitors to the city each November. The Covington
Farmer's Market is one of Louisiana's premier farmer's markets. Covington is also the center of the medical and legal professions in Saint Tammany Parish.
More popular than ever as a place to live and work, Covington has become a living example of an old American small town that has been revived and is now thriving once again in the 21st century!
For more information about Covington visit the official website of the City of Covington.