This 1863 map shows St. Tammany Parish and neighboring areas with key connecting roads. Click on the image to make it larger.
In the top left is Holmesville, Mississippi, a key community at the time and a hub of political influence. The railroad passed it by however, and it barely exists today. The road east to Columbia, Ms, is shown, but Tylertown hadn't made it on the scene yet.
The road between Holmesville down to Covington was a major trade route, supplying Covington with key produce and foodstuffs. On some early maps of Covington, Columbia Street is actually labelled as "Holmesville Road" in the area of the parish fairgrounds. A 1927 map of the area showed La. Hwy. 25 in front of St. Gertrude's Convent as The Holmesville Road. The goods from Mississippi were shipped by schooner and steamer from Covington and Madisonville down the Bogue Falaya and Tchefuncte Rivers across Lake Pontchartrain to New Orleans.
Turnpike Road heading northwest out of Madisonville was a well-travelled route at the time, and a road west towards Baton Rouge (now La. 22) was part of the early Spanish "King's Highway." The road heading east out of Madisonville only went to Lewisburg and Mandeville. From Covington the main road going eastward through Hickory across the Pearl River to Gainesville, Mississippi, seemed to be a major corridor. Abita Springs at the time wasn't big enough to be on the map.
From Gainesville the road continued on to Shieldsboro, which is today called Bay St. Louis. From Shieldsboro two roads headed southwestward, one going to Pearlington and the other hugging the coast and going across Pearl River Island just east of the Rigolets. That southern route would later become the route of the railroad tracks. The highway between Pearlington and the Rigolets would not be built until the late 1920's.
Of some interest is the road coming from Columbia, MS. (top, center), down to Fordeville, where Ford's Fort (The Ford Home) is located. It is now Sandy Hook, Ms. In 1814, this location played a part in Andrew Jackson's travels from Tennessee to New Orleans to take part in (and win) the Battle of New Orleans.
Although this map was made 50 years after he passed through, it may show the general track of the route he took southward, passing just west of Bogalusa, across the Bogue Chitto River at Isabel and into St. Tammany Parish, down Old Military Road (La. Hwy. 1082), then along Military Road (La. Hwy. 21) into Covington. Research is now being done to pinpoint Jackson's route because of its historic significance.
From Covington he went to Madisonville and took a boat across Lake Pontchartrain where he joined a large group of volunteers and engaged the British in the The Battle of New Orleans at Chalmette Battlefield, now a national historical park.
The pink fringed areas are Mississippi, and at this time St. Tammany extended all the way from Lake Pontchartrain northward to Mississippi. Washington Parish had not yet been created. The initials "C.H." in the middle of the map stand for courthouse and indicates where the parish courthouse was when it was located near Enon. This map was made only three years after Covington was founded, and the new town wasn't yet big enough to put on the map. Jack Terry sent me this map following up on our discussions on the 1814 Jackson trip.