Fort St. John (1)

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Fort St. John (1) (1701-1763, 1763-1801, 1803-1823) - Originally a French colonial fort established in 1701 near Lake Pontchartrain in present day New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. Came under Spanish control in 1763 and American control in 1803. Garrisoned during the War of 1812. Sold about 1823. Also known as Fort Pontchartrain, Fort St. Jean, Fort St. John of the Bayou, Fort San Juan del Bayou and Spanish Fort.

Fort St. John Ruins
Fort St. John Ruins
Fort St. John (1) Plan

Fort St. John History

Fort St. John Restoration Ruins

The French established Fort St. John about 1701 at the mouth of Bayou St. John, where it flowed into Lake Pontchartrain. The fort was originally called Fort St. John of the Bayou or Fort San Juan del Bayou, later shortened to Fort St. John. The Spanish took control of New Orleans in 1763 and rebuilt the wooden French fort using masonry and brick about 1779. The French regained control of New Orleans in 1801 but sold it in1803 to the Americans in the Louisiana Purchase.

The fort was occupied by Americans about 1803. It was garrisoned during the War of 1812 prior to the Battle of New Orleans. The troops were removed in 1814 for the Battle of New Orleans when it became clear that the British would not attack from Lake Pontchartrain. The fort was decommissioned in 1823 in favor of the new Fort Pike (1) that guarded the Rigolets Pass. The property was sold in 1823 to Harvey Elkin, by act of Congress. He constructed Bayou St. John Hotel. It subsequently passed into the hands of John Slidell and then into the hands of the Canal Street, City Park and Lake Railroad Company, and in 1877 was sold to Moses Schwartz, who, in 1878, operated the property successfully as an amusement park. and in the 1880s the site became a popular amusement area that lasted through the 1920s. (LHQ II.3, p269)


Current Status

A roadside marker and the ruins of the small brick fort remain in present day New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana.


Location: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana.

Maps & Images

Lat: 30.0232576 Long: -90.0831279

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