Around Lake Pontchartrain

1699 Exploration

Pre History
1699 Exploration
1701 Fort St. John
1703 Trappers on the Bayou
1718 New Orleans is Founded
1732 Native Americans
1735 Native Americans
1759 Map of the Portage
1763 Spanish Rule
1768 Map of the Water Route
1770 Spanish Fort Postcards
1778 Hurricanes
1779 Spanish Rebuild the Fort
1780 Hurricane
1784 Custom House
1795 Carondelet Canal
1803 Madisonville
1808 U.S. Restores the Fort
1811 Bayou St. John Light
1803 Louisiana Purchase
1814 Madisonville
1815 Steamboat Travel Begins
1816 Bayou St. John a Port
1820's Concert Hall & Garden at Spanish Fort
1823 Spanish Fort on the Bayou
1828 Map
1837 Hurricane Destroys the Bayou St. John
1838 New Canal Light
1830 Pontchartrain Railroad
1868 Submarine Find
1868 receipts for the Jewess and Frances
1831 New Basin Canal
1832 Port Ponchartrain/Milneburg Light
1838 Port Ponchartrain Surveyer
1838 New Canal/West End Light
1839 Milneburg
1839 Milneburg
1839 Pontchartrain Railroad
1840 By 1840, New Orleans had become by far the wealthiest and was ranked as the third most populous
1849 Southern Yach Club
1849 Southern Yacht Club
1850 Louisville & Nashville Railroad
1850 West End, Lakeport, Bucktown
1852 Uncle Tom's Cabin
1858 Harper's Magazine
1859 Bruning's
1859 Corpheous
1860's Hurricanes
1861 Most citizens have access to the Lake
1861Bayou St. John's Port, Lake Port (West End), and Port Pontchartrain (Milneburg Port)
1863 Madisonville
1863 Woodcut Civil War engraving
1863 Civil War Military Map
1865 - Civil War Order
1866 - The Little Blue Train
1868 Map
1870 Milneburg Port declines but Jazz flourishes
1870 The Smoky Mary begins
1870 West End
1870 The Lake House is destroyed in a fire
1871 Land is reclaimed at West End
1873 - Plan plan for the redevelopment of the south shore
1873 Spanish Fort
1874 Mark Twain writes about Spanish Fort in Life on the Mississippi
1874 Mark Twain writes about West End in Life on the Mississippi
1875 Rowles Stereograph Photograph titled 'Protection levee Lake Pontchartrain'
1879 Illustration from The Nathanial Bishop book
1880 Smokey Mary
1880 - Alligators at Spanish Fort
1880 - Casino at Spanish Fort
1880 - Opera House at West End
1880 Fountain West End
1880 Hotel West End
1880 West End Pavillion
1880s - Water Polo at West End
1880s Bird's Eye View- New Basin Canal at West End
1880s Bridge over New Basin Canal at West End
1880s Pavilion at West End
1880s Spanish Fort at Bayou St. John
1883 Point-aux-Herbes
1884 - Concert Hall at Spanish Fort
1888 (Papa) Jack Laine forms his first brass band
1890 - 1920 Buddy Bolden's Band plays
1890 Ferdinand (Jelly Roll) Morton is born
1890's West End Garden Amusement Park
1890s - Spanish Fort Train
1890s Ferris Wheel at West End
1890s view of Bayou St. John
1890's Bucktown
Lake Pontchartrain at West End
1891 Painting-the Lake and Milneburg
1892 Map
1893 Woman Lighthouse keeper at Milneburg shelters storm victims
1894 - La Belle Zoraide by Kate Chopin
1895 Lumber Schooner, New Basin Canal
1896 - The first movie in New Orleans was shown at the Lake
1897 - A Night in Acadie by Kate Chopin
1897 - Athénaïse by Kate Chopin
1899 - The Goodness of St. Rocque by Alice Dunbar
1895 Cape Charles Car and Passenger Ferry
1900's Milneburg Walk
1910 Bayou St. John Sailor Girl
1919 Spanish Fort Ad
1929 Port Pontchartrain/Milneburg Light decommissioned
1940's Dig
1960s Kiddieland
August 2005
1. Bayou St. John
2. Milneburg/Pontchartain Beach
Military Installments
Shushan Airport
3. Hayne Blvd. and Beyond
Lincoln Beach
Chef Pass/Fort McComb
Fort Pike & The Rigolets
"Pointe Aux Herbes"
4. Northshore -- Fontainbleau, etc.
5. Western Shores -- Pass Manchac
The German Coast
6. Engineering Marvels -- Spillway
7. Bucktown
8. west end
General Area

Lake Pontchartrain

Traveled on by Iberville, 1699 and named for the French minister of Marine. Indians called it Okwa-ta, wide water. First port of embarkation was at the site where bayou St. John flows from this lake. It was the first water route to the city of New Orleans.

Historic marker located at St. Bernard and Lakeshore Ave., New Orleans

The Old Portage

Short trail from Lake Pontchartrain to river shown by Indians to Iberville and Bienville, 1699. Winding trail used by early travelers to city. From Bayou St. John it lead to N. Broad, Bayou Road, Vieux CarrÈ to Mississippi River at site between Dumaine and Gov. Nicholls Streets.

Historic marker located at Moss and Graude Streets, in New Orleans

New Orleans

First sited as Indian portage to Lake Pontchartrain and Gulf in 1699 by Bienville and Iberville. Founded by Bienville in 1718; named by him in honor of the Duke of Orleans, Regent of France. Called the Crescent City because of location in bend of the Mississippi.

--Historic marker located in City Park, New Orleans.




We begin where New Orleans began; where Bayou St. John met Lake Pontchartrain. It was to here, in 1699, that members of the Biloxi and Bayogoula tribes led French explorers, under the command of Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d'Iberville, from their settlement near the Mississippi River. The location of the city was chosen because the Bayou would allow navigational access from the river to the lake and finally to the Gulf of Mexico. One might say that New Orleans was founded due to this short cut. Bayou St. John meets the Lake, probably 1948. On the right of the old bridge is the Coast Guard Station (now gone) and the area known as the 'Old Beach,' the original home of Pontchartrain Beach. Above the Old Beach is Lake Vista, after the streets were built, but before homes went up. At the right of the Bayou is open ground which became Lake Terrace. (Courtesy of New Orleans Public Library.)

Note the relatively straight walls of the canal near the lake as opposed to the winding shore of the Bayou. Where the two meet was the original lake shore before land was reclaimed during the 1920's and 1930's. It was to this point that Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d'Iberville was led by helpful Native tribesmen.

"On March 9, our Indian guide points out a fine path-which leads to a small bayou we will call Bayou St. Jean. He tells us that the Indians use this path and bayou to travel from the Mississippi River to a lake Iberville will call Pontchartrain. When the French missionary Father DuRu later visits this area, he notes, 'There are parrots by the thousands; their plumage is marvelous, but they are far from being as good (to eat) as they are beautiful.' Later we will settle this site because of its path/bayou connection between the river and Lake Pontchartrain. We will call it New Orleans", said Iberville.


Iberville named 'Lake Pontchartrain' in honor of Louis Phelypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, chancellor of France, minister of finance, and Minister of the Marine


Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville
Artist: Rudolph Bohunek

Source: cabildo/cab3.htm

1770 Spanish Fort is Established


1863  Woodcut Civil War engraving

1850s West End & Lakeport development begins

The Lake