Surrounded by six parishes -- Orleans, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, St. John the Babtist, St. Charles, and Jefferson.
Second largest salt-water lake in the United States (the Great Salt Lake is the largest.
630 square miles
an average depth of 12-14 feet
40 miles wide and 24 miles south to north
The south shore -- New Orleans, Metairie and Kenner.
North shore -- Mandeville and Madisonville.
Northeast -- Slidell.
Pontchartrain is an estuary which connects with the Gulf of Mexico via Rigolets strait (known locally as "the Rigolets") and
Chef Menteur Pass into Lake Borgne
Fresh water from the Tangipahoa, Tchefuncte, Tickfaw, Amite, and Bogue Falaya Rivers, and from Lacombe Bayou.
Lake Maurepas connects with Lake Pontchartrain on the west via Pass Manchac.
The Industrial Canal connects the Mississippi River with the lake at New Orleans.
Bonnet Carré Spillway diverts water from the Mississippi into the lake during times of river flooding.
The lake was created 4,000-2,600 years ago as the evolving Mississippi River Delta formed its southern and eastern shorelines
with alluvial deposits.
Its Native American name was Okwata ("Wide Water").
In 1699, French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, renamed it Pontchartrain after Louis Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain,
the French Minister of the Marine, chancellor of France and minister of finance during the reign of France's "Sun King," Louis
XIV, for whom Louisiana is named.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway was constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, connecting New Orleans (by way of Metairie) with Mandeville
and bisecting the lake in a north-northeast line. At 24 miles (39 km), it is the longest bridge in the world.
Over 125 species of fish
Lake Pontchartrain, at 164,000 hectares, is the largest oligohaline estuary
in the southeastern U.S.
It is shallow, less than 15 feet in most places.
2nd Railroad in the U.S.
The Pontchartrain Railroad was the 2nd railroad
line operating in the United States. It connected the city with the Lake.
AMTRAK 58 -- a.k.a. the 'City
of New Orleans' travels 79- mph through algae-spotted swamps, over stout wooden trestles, and beside Lake Pontchartrain's
lapping waters along one of the longest continuous curves on U.S. rails.
Early in the Civil
War, the Confederate government authorized citizens to operate armed warships as 'privateers.' A New Orleans consortium headed
by cotton broker H.L. Hunley gained approval for the operation of Pioneer, a 34-foot-long submarine designed and built by
James McClintock. The boat held three persons, one to steer and two to crank the propeller.
In a March 1862 demonstration
on Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain, a submerged Pioneer sank a barge with a towed floating torpedo. In April 1862, the U.S.
Navy captured New Orleans, and its builders scuttled Pioneer. Soon discovered, the boat was sold for scrap in 1868.
The photo shows A Civil War-era submarine that was long thought to be Pioneer but is not. This one was discovered in the
lake and raised in 1878 and is on display at the Louisiana State Museum. Its true origin remains a mystery.
Ellen Wilson kept the light
at Port Pontchartrain Light Station (Milneburg Light), Louisiana, from 1882-1896 Source: href="http://users.sitestar.net/~cypress/womtoc.htm">http://users.sitestar.net/~cypress/womtoc.htm
The shortest-lived rail ferry services in Louisiana
The shortest-lived rail ferry
services in Louisiana – and one of the oddest was that of the East Louisiana Railroad on Lake Pontchartrain. Between
1887 and 1892, the East Louisiana constructed its main line westward from the community of Pearl River –
where it connected with the New Orleans & Northeastern – to Covington, and also built a branch line from a
junction at St. Tammany down to Mandeville on Lake Pontchartrain.
Shortly after it began operating, the
East Louisiana obtained trackage rights over the NO&NE between Pearl River and New Orleans. The NO&NE had opened its
line from Meridian, Mississippi to New Orleans on 1 November 1883 when it completed its lengthy trestle over the eastern end
of Lake Pontchartrain. In New Orleans, the East Louisiana built a depot between the south end of the NO&NE yard and the
Mississippi River, at the corner of Press and Royal Streets.
Although the NO&NE trackage rights gave the East
Louisiana a quick and convenient entry into the Crescent City, the little railroad wanted a route of its very own; so, on
15 Novenber 1895, it purchased the New Orleans, Spanish Fort & Lake RR. The NOSF&L was a 'street railroad' which ran
from the intersection of Basin and Canal Streets (later the site of the New Orleans Terminal Company's Terminal Station) out
to Spanish Fort, where Bayou St. John flows into Lake Pontchartrain.
The East Louisiana also purchased a 10-year-old
ferry, the CAPE CHARLES, and began service between Mandeville and Spanish Fort. This new operation allowed the railroad to
offer its very own service from the heart of the New Orleans business district to Mandeville and Covington, but the 25-mile
voyage across Lake Pontchartrain took several hours, and the ferry was more expensive to operate than a train!
the exact duration of this service isn't known, the ferry was sold to the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad in 1986
or 1987 and rebuilt into a dredge for use at Gulfport, Mississippi. The East Louisiana sold the NOSF&L to the New
Orleans & Western Railroad on 1 July 1897, and the line out to Spanish Fort was abandoned in 1904. Based on the purchase and sale dates of the NOSF&L, it would appear that the ferry service lasted less than two years.
This 1935 POST CARD OF 'PONTCHARTRAIN BRIDGE, NEW ORLEANS, LA.' Back reads 'THE NEW $5,500,000
PONTCHARTRAIN BRIDGE SPANS LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN FROM POINTE / AUX HERBES, SOUTH OF NEW ORLEANS TO SLIDELL ON THE NORTH SHORE.
THE BRIDGE WITH IT?S APPROACHES, IS THE LONGEST OF IT?S KIND IN THE COUNTRY. THE ACTUAL SPAN, ENTIRELY OF CONCRETE, IS MORE
THAN 5 MILES IN LENGTH AND OFFERS A CHANCE FOR A BEAUTIFUL, COOL DRIVE OVER THE WATERS OF LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN. IT BRINGS NEW
ORLEANS SUBSEQUENTLY CLOSER TO THE NORTH AND EAST.'
In 1956, The Causeway captured
the title. When the second span of the Causeway was completed in the late 60's it became the 'World's Longest Bridge'.
This postcard reads (on back) Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, World's Longest Bridge.
Connecting New Orleans with the highlands to the north. It was completed in 1956. The Greater New Orleans Expressway System.
We're trying to figure out which side of the Lake this photo depicts and which camp in included in the picture.
Elvis was in the building...
Elvis Presley's movie
"King Creole" included scenes filmed at a New Orleans lakefront camp. We're not sure which camp this was.
-- The $10,000 fish
THE CERAMIC JAX BEER MUG READS
"1958 AWARD PRESENTED TO A TRUE FOLLOWER OF ISAAC WALTON AS A WINNER IN THE "JAX" GOLDEN GILL FISH HUNT".
As the story goes (I can't verify this) THE JACKSON BREWING COMPANY TAGGED FISH,
It wasn't originally
The beloved Prom Night Headquarters--The Bali-Hai was
originally opened as "The Beach-Comber" in 1959. One year later it was re-christened "The Bali-Hai.
My best memories are of riding in the Polynesian pick-up truck (all decked out in a formal)while anticipating sharing a
Tiki Bowl and Poo-Poo Platter.
$10,000 fish Jax Beer Fishing Contest THE CERAMIC JAX BEER MUG READS "1958 AWARD PRESENTED TO A TRUE
FOLLOWER OF ISAAC WALTON AS A WINNER IN THE "JAX" GOLDEN GILL FISH HUNT". As the story goes (I can't verify this) THE JACKSON
BREWING COMPANY TAGGED FISH,