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All About Slidell, LA

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What is there to do in Slidell?

About Slidell

Located only 25 minutes from New Orleans, Slidell is a gem in southeastern Louisiana on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. There are many things that make Slidell such a great place to visit and also make it a great place to live, including:

In Slidell, square dancers gather, prize winning camellias are displayed and softball championships are decided. Visitors catch beads during Mardi Gras parades and cabbages during the St. Patrick's Day parade.

Acclaimed in Southern Living Magazine, the tree-shaded streets of e Towne are filled with visitors and vendors from throughout the south during the Antique District Street Fair in the spring and fall.

From boiled shrimp overlooking the marina to crawfish fettuccini by candlelight; from po-boys in the park to a snowball at the soda shop; red beans at the diner to gourmet coffee at a sidewalk table Slidell is a great place to eat. There's even a steak house so popular it doesn't even need a sign (Young's Steakhouse).

Live oaks drip with Spanish moss, loblolly pines stretch five stories tall, beds of Louisiana irises nod in the breeze, a graceful white egret tiptoes between the cattails. Photo opportunities abound. A hidden world can be discovered from a flat bottomed boat gliding through the dark waters.

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Five star shopping awaits at North Shore Square, the only regional mall that offers five department stores, plus over 80 specialty shops. You can shop till you drop.

Christmas Under the Stars twinkle in Griffith Park every evening for two weeks in December. Choirs sing carols, storytellers mesmerize the little ones, and a tiny train. The entire community gets involved. And Santa listens to all requests.

Slidell is on the way to anywhere. At the intersection of three major interstate highways, it's just the right place to stop and relax. Slidell is close to the technology at Stennis Space Center and Lockheed Martin Manned Space Systems, the glitz of New Orleans and the beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Slidell History

Slidell, Louisiana was founded around 1882 during construction of a major new railroad from New Orleans to Meridian, Mississippi, connecting there with Cincinnati, Ohio and eventually with New York, NY. The New Orleans and Northeastern (n.o.n.e.) Railroad established a building camp at first high ground north of Lake Pontchartrain which eventually grew into the city. Slidell was chartered as a town in 1888 by the Louisiana legislature.

Sometime prior to Slidell’s formal incorporation in 1888, its first streets were laid out in a grid pattern, mostly east of the railroad, running three blocks along the road by four blocks deep. Bonfouca Street, now Bayou Lane, lay in the short stretch between the railroad and the bayou. East of the tracks, the north-south streets were Bayou (now Front), First, Second, Third and Fourth. The east-west streets were Fremaux, Erlanger, Bouscaren and Cousin.

Erlanger, slightly wider than the others and designated as an avenue, was named by Baron Frederick Erlanger, head of the banking syndicate which financed the railway. Baron Erlanger named the town for his deceased father-in-law, John Slidell, who had been a prominent state, national and confederate political figure. Col. Leon J. Fremaux, a prominent Louisiana engineer and planner, drew the original plans for Slidell and named Fremaux Avenue for himself. Bouscaren Street was named for G. Bouscaren, the chief engineering officer of the railroad. Cousin Street took its name from the locally prominent Cousin family.

In the thirty or so years after its founding, Slidell developed a creosote plant, one of the country’s largest brick manufacturing facilities, a large lumber mill and a shipyard. The Slidell shipyard contributed significantly to the national effort in both World Wars. Slidell residents worked in New Orleans ship, tank and airplane construction during World War II.

In the 1960’s, Slidell began to assume its modern profile as the middle of three local sites in NASA’s lunar landing program: Michoud assembly facility in New Orleans, the computer facility in Slidell, and the Mississippi test facility in Hancock County, Mississippi.

Slidell is located at the southeastern tip of St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana's famous Ozone Belt. It is about three miles from the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and is surrounded by rivers and bayous. The largest municipality in the parish, Slidell has grown from a population of 364 in 1890 to 24,142 in 1990; Slidell's 1999 population is estimated to be 32,000. Today, Slidell continues to deal with urban planning and growth, of preserving a sense of present and past, while accommodating an ever increasing number of residents.

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