In 1909 the trolley car that ran between the Mandeville lakefront and downtown Covington opened up for business. The trolley would roll out onto a pier that jutted out into Lake Pontchartrain, steamboats carrying passengers from New Orleans would dock, and passengers would board the trolley right at the end of the pier, then be carried back onto land and onwards to Abita Springs and Covington.
The name of the company operating the trolley was originally the St. Tammany Railway. It was later lengthened to the St. Tammany and New Orleans Railway and Ferry Co., as boats were added.
It was a great system, and hundreds of visitors would utilize the trolley car to finish their trip to the Abita Springs and Covington hotels of their choice.
Here is the original printed map of the trolley motor car route. There were actually two rail lines going from Mandeville to Covington. The trolley car route was different than the railroad track route, and they crossed over each other just west of Abita Springs. The train tracks went straight down to Mandeville from Abita Springs, swung by the Mandeville depot, then headed for Slidell.
On its way down to Mandeville, the trolley route passed through Abita Springs and headed southward, but veered to the west between North and Soell Streets on a diagonal route to head for Helenberg subdivision and Ozone Park. Once it left there, it headed south but as it pulled into Mandeville it zigzagged back and forth from block to block until it got to the lakefront and pulled out onto the pier.
The Original Source Map
In a stack of old documents recently found in Covington, researchers discovered the original hand-drawn map from which the above printed map was made. Here is a copy of the original trolley "motor car" route map. Some areas are shaded red, yellow or brown to indicate large property holdings along the way.
Here are four sections of the above map enlarged for detail.
The trolley route is a marked by triple parallel lines from the top right
Helenberg was a subdivision developed by the owner of the trolley line