Take a self-guided walking tour of historic Covington, Louisiana, featuring 12 locations from Bogue Falaya Wayside Park at the edge of the Bogue Falaya River to the south, the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center to the north, Lee Lane to the east and Massachusetts Ave. to the west. Below is a brief description of the tour. See map photo in this listing, and read all about each location's history, at http://covingtonweekly.com/historicwalkingtour.
1. Covington was an important trade center, linking the river to the lake and New Orleans. The river was dredged to allow schooners and steamers to travel up the river to the Columbia Street Landing, where vessels would dock.
2. Strolling along moss-draped oaks on Rutland Street to Lee Lane, you will find many eclectic shops tucked in quaint Victorian cottages, restored in the 1970's.
3. The Tammany Trace is over 25 miles of paved historic railroads converted to scenic trails wrapping through the Parish.
4. Covington Cemetery No. 1 is located in the lot betweet Florida, Kirkland and Columbia streets. This spot was picked by Covington's founder, John Wharton Collins, who is buried at the corner of Kirkland and Columbia Streets.
5. Continuing up Theard Street, we run into the Trace running behind the Old Train Depot, built in 1921.
6. Further up Theard Street is the location of the old Covington Firehouse, built in 1940. Completely rebuilt, this is now the home of the Firehouse Event Center. Just behind it is the recently restored old Covinggton Waterworks, builit in 1930.
7. This ara, laid out in 1813 as the Division of Commerce and Virtue, once featured a tree-lined neutral ground based on the same street plan as Canal Street in New Orleans.
8. Between Theard St. and Jefferson Avenue sits the C.J. Schoen building, the original location of Covington High School, now the administrative complex for the St. Tammany Parish School Board. Built in 1914, it is the oldest building still in use by the Parish.
Several local historic schools still remain in operation to this day, such as St. Paul's High, est. 1899, St. Peter's Catholic School, est. 1878, and St. Scholastica Academy, est. 1903.
9. The Southern Hotel first opened in 1907 and reopened in 2014, restored back to a luxurious boutique hotel.
10. Just up Boston Street is one of the original old courthouse locations, set back behind 250+ year-old historic oaks that pre-date the town. The current structure on this property was built in the 1960's.
11. Across Boston to the south is the Frederick building, and across Columbia from it is the old Covington Bank & Trust. These buildings were badly damaged in the fire of 1912 and were restored/rebuilt.
12. HJ Smith and Son's General Store & Museum first opened its doors in 1876. Along with Kentzel's Printing and the St. Tammany Farmer publisher, is is one of the oldest continually operating businesses in Covington.
The Covington Trailhead Museum & Visitors Center (419 N. New Hampshire St.) offers more information on the local history with photographs and documentary film.
The historic walking tour is produced by Covington Weekly, a free, advertising-supported newsletter focused on the local news, businesses, events, history and wildlife of Covington, Louisiana. Read now at www.CovingtonWeekly.com