New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Search this site.View the site map.
 
 

1700s

Bienville founded the City of New Orleans at present site because of easy access to the Mississippi River through Lake Pontchartrain and Bayou St. John...
 


1718

Bienville founds the City of New Orleans Bienville founded the City of New Orleans at present site because of easy access to the Mississippi River through Lake Pontchartrain and Bayou St. John. The city was 'owned' by France. Shortly afterward, enslaved Africans arrive, adding to the mix of cultures in the Lake Pontchartrian Basin. Source: http://www.saveourlake.org/lessons/chpt10/index.htm#history

1718

1763 The Treaty of Paris results in Spanish ownership of New Orleans

1763-1810--New Orleans is Owned by Spain After a short revolution, in 1763, the Spanish government took control of the New Orleans area.

1763 The Treaty of Paris results in Spanish ownership of New Orleans

1779 to 1823, Fort St. John

Fort St. John/Spanish Fort is established.
At Bayou St. John and Lake Pontchartrain, the Spanish erected a fort (San Juan del Bayou)to protect the city from invasion via the lake. In 1823 the fort was decommissioned and sold to resort developers in the area. They renamed the area 'Spanish Fort'. Source: Historic American Buildings--American Memory-Library of Congress 1779 to 1823, Fort St. John - National Register of Historic Places Located at Bayou St. John near Robert E. Lee Blvd. it was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on November 2, 1983.1779 to 1823, Fort St. John - National Register of Historic Places Under Spanish rule in 1779, the fort was rebuilt and became known as Spanish Fort. Remnants of the structure still exist. Local folklore says that the voodoo queen, Marie Laveau, performed voodoo at the mouth of Bayou St. John on Lake Pontchartrain. Under Spanish rule in 1779, the fort was rebuilt and became known as Spanish Fort. Remnants of the structure still exist. Local folklore says that the voodoo queen, Marie Laveau, performed voodoo at the mouth of Bayou St. John on Lake Pontchartrain. Source: http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:56zbtuL-mss:pubweb.northwestern.edu/~baa328/project/bayou.html+%22bayou+st.+john%22+port&hl=en

1779 to 1823, Fort St. John

Hurricanes

October 7-10th, 1778: There was a great storm surge that destroyed the establishments of the Balize, Bayou St. John, and Tigouyou in the Louisiana with this late season hurricane. All structures were wiped out of existence. August 18th, 1779: A hurricane made landfall at New Orleans. At that time, Spain had declared war on Great Britain. Almost all of Bernardo de Galvez' ships (Governor of New Orleans) that were to be used to secretly seize the British post at Baton Rouge were grounded or destroyed, thus ruining his plans for invasion until the 27th. The only ship that escaped disaster was El Volante. Some of the ships were found in the middle of woods after the storm!...Wind and rain began on the night of the 17th. Full violence of the storm was attained by 3 am. All houses, piroughs, barges, and boats were decimated; fields were leveled and all crops, stock, and provisions were lost. These included an American Frigate, the Morris...During this storm, William Dunbar made observations that uncovered the true nature of tropical storms and hurricanes; that they had a progressive forward movement and that the winds revolved around a vortex at the center. His findings were presented to the American Philosophical Society in 1801. August 24th, 1780: A hurricane worse that the August 1779 storm swept over the province of Louisiana striking New Orleans; destroying crops, tearing down buildings and sinking every vessel and boat afloat on the Mississippi River and on area lakes...It was during this storm that Dunbar noted that tornadoes form around tropical storms and seldom lasted more than 5 to 10 minutes. This was of no comfort to the inhabitants of the area, who were distraught after these two storms and an excessively cold winter followed by a very rainy summer. These residents wrote the Spanish sovereign not to abandon the country regardless of the adverse blows of nature.

Hurricanes

1700s Old Basin Canal

The 'Old' Basin Canal built in the late 18th century by Governor Carondelet to link the city to the Lake. Originally called the Carondelet Canal. Mules pulled barges filled with people to the Lake. Source: New Orleans Public Library--Crescent City Memory Collection http://www.gnofn.org/~nopl/exhibits/ccmem/8.htm

1700s Old Basin Canal

1790 Alexander Milne arrives in New Orleans

Milne was born in Scotland in 1742. He worked as a footman for a duke, but reportedly left for America when he was ordered to powder his red hair. In 1790, he arrived in New Orleans where he established a hardware business. He also made a great deal of money from his brick-making business because New Orleans was in the process of rebuilding after the great fire of 1788. Milne used his money to buy large tracts of land along Bayou St. John and on the lakefront, believing that the swampland would one day be valuable. When he died at age 94, he owned 22 miles of property along the lake extending from Jefferson Parish all the way to the Rigolets. Milneburg, the town founded by the thrifty Scot, had as its main street Edinburgh named after the city in Milne's native land. But in 1923, the name was changed to Hibernia. He named other streets for cities as well such as Hamburg, Paris, Brussels, Havana, New Orleans, Madrid, Vienna and New York. Milneburg was the first summer resort established on the lakefront. There were seafood restaurants, picnic grounds and pavilions where dances were regularly held. It was also the terminus of the Pontchartrain Railroad, built in 1831, which ran some five miles down Elysian Fields Avenue. The town of Milneburg kept his name until it eventually became a part of the growing city of New Orleans. Source: http://www.bestofneworleans.com/dispatch/2001-11-13/blake.html The Milne Asylum was established by the charitable bequest of Alexander Milne, a Scottish immigrant of New Orleans. He bequeathed money and property for the establishment of the Milne Asylums in Milneburg, one for orphan boys, the other for girls. Papers include agreements and orders of appropriations from the estate of Milne for the Milne Asylums, certificates of fees paid by the asylums for goods and services, mortgage documents, and insurance receipts. Included are a request for the admission of a foundling to the asylum, the release of a boy to the asylum by his mother, and papers related to the title of land involved in the Milne bequest. The image is of Alexander Milne's tomb. Source: Milne Asylum papers, 1840-1856 http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/guides/frencoll.html

1790 Alexander Milne arrives in New Orleans

1700s The French establish Port St. John and a fort

Bayou St. John is a small, sluggish channel that was once a major shipping route between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. Because of the river's constant geographical evolution, the stream is no longer directly connected to the river, the lake or any of the other bayous. But when the French arrived in the area, they used it as a trade route for trappers and merchants. The French established a landing at the headwaters of the bayou and named it Port St. John when the City of New Orleans was established at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1701, the French constructed a fortress near the mouth of the Bayou. Source: http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:56zbtuL-mss:pubweb.northwestern.edu/~baa328/project/bayou.html+%22bayou+st.+john%22+port&hl=en

1700s The French establish Port St. John and a fort

1759 map with road to Bayou St. John (and then to the Lake

1759 map with road to Bayou St. John (and then to the Lake

1768 map shows water route from the Lake to the River

Source: http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/maps/louisiana/statemap/lalms1768.jpg

1768 map shows water route from the Lake to the River

1770 Spanish Fort is Established

Postcard depicting Spanish Fort

1770 Spanish Fort is Established

1770 A postcard depicting Spanish Fort's Establishment

1770 A postcard depicting Spanish Fort's Establishment