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Hammond, Louisiana

City of Hammond CityThe Hammond Oak, located in the 500 block of East Charles Street Country United StatesState LouisianaParish TangipahoaArea 12.8 sq mi (33.2 km²)  - land 12.8 sq mi (33.2 km²)  - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km²), 0% Center  - coordinates 30°30′16″N 90°27′56″W / 30.50444, -90.46556Coordinates: 30°30′16″N 90°27′56″W / 30.50444, -90.46556 - elevation 43 ft(13.1 m) Population 17,639 (2000) Density 1,383.4 /sq mi(534.1 /km²) Settled 1818 Mayor Mayson Foster Time zone CST(UTC-6)  - summer (DST) CDT(UTC-5) ZIP code 70401, 70403 Area code 985Location of Hammond in Louisiana Location of Louisiana in the United States Website :

Hammond is the largest city in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. [1] [2] The population was 17,639 at the 2000 census. It is home to Southeastern Louisiana University, and the city was the home base for production of the first season of the television series In the Heat of the Night.



The city is named for Peter Hammond, a Swedish immigrant, who first settled the area around 1818. Hammond is buried on the east side of town under the Hammond Oak along with his wife, three daughters and a favorite slave.

In 1854, the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern Railroad (later the Illinois Central Railroad, now Canadian National Railway) came to Hammond, launching the city's continuing role as a commercial and transport center. During the American Civil War, the city was a shoemaking center for the Confederacy and it later became a major shipping point for strawberries, earning it the title of "the Strawberry Capital of America". Today, it sits at the intersections of Interstates 12 and 55.

Its 19th century shoemaking industry was the work of Charles Emery Cate, who bought land in the city in 1860 for a home, a shoe factory, tannery and sawmill. Toward the end of the war, Cate laid out the city grid, using the rail line as a guide and naming several of the streets after his sons. After the American Civil War, light industry and commercial activities were attracted to the town, and by the end of the century the town had become a stopping point for northerners traveling south and for New Orleanians heading north to escape summer yellow fever outbreaks.

Downtown Hammond railroad crossing

In 1953, John Desmond opened the first architectural firm in Hammond and was chief architect of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board for some two decades before he relocated exclusively to Baton Rouge.[3]


Hammond is located at 30°30′16″N, 90°27′56″W (30.504446, -90.465616)[4] and has an elevation of 43 feet (13.1 m)[5].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.8 square miles (33.0 km²), of which, 12.8 square miles (33.0 km²) of it is land and 0.08% is water.


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 17,639 people,[2] 6,251 households, and 3,706 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,383.4 people per square mile (534.2/km²). There were 7,014 housing units at an average density of 550.1/sq mi (212.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.43% White, 45.20% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.83% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.57% of the population.

There were 6,251 households, out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.9% were married couples living together, 20.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city of Hammond, the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 23.1% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years, which is 7 years younger than the state-wide median age of 34.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,067, and the median income for a family was $31,617. Males had a median income of $30,625 versus $18,533 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,145. About 24.9% of families and 32.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.7% of those under age 18 and 19.0% of those age 65 or over.

After the events of Hurricane Katrina in late August of 2005, Hammond saw its population nearly double overnight. As of December 2005, Hammond is now home to over 37,000 people.

The city of Hammond and Tangipahoa parish are now one of the fastest growing cities and parishes in Louisiana. There is an abundance of new development, both commercial and residential. Because of the close distance to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Tangipahoa parish is becoming one of the newest suburbs to both cities. It is conveniently located less than an hour from both of the major cities in Louisiana.

Local Schools

Southeastern Louisiana University is a large regional university based in Hammond and one of the city's largest employers. It was established in 1925 through the efforts of the educator Linus A. Sims, then the principal of Hammond High School. The city's public schools are part of the Tangipahoa Parish School System and include Hammond High School, Hammond Junior High, Eastside Elementary, Westside Elementary, Southeastern Louisiana University Laboratory School, and Crystal Academy (alternative school).

The Catholic Church operates two schools in the area: Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, which is just north of the city and Holy Ghost Catholic School (pre-kindergarten through 8th grades). In addition, Trafton Academy (pre-K through 8th) is a private school serving area students.



See also: Hammond (Amtrak station)

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, is a common sight in Hammond. The old station is still in use, and is located right in the middle of downtown.


Part of Hammond's success is due to its location at the junction of two heavily-travelled interstate highways: Interstate 12, which runs from Baton Rouge to Slidell and Interstate 55, which runs from Laplace (near New Orleans) to Chicago, Illinois. Hammond is 35 miles from Baton Rouge, 46 miles from New Orleans and 89 miles from Gulfport, Mississippi.

Two U.S. Highways serve the city. U.S. Highway 51 (Morrison Boulevard) parallels I-55 and goes through the city's western side, while U.S. Highway 190 (Thomas Street/Morris Avenue) parallels I-12 and goes through the city's commercial and downtown areas. U.S. 51 Business, which follows the original route of U.S. 51, starts off conjoined with U.S. 190 from Morrison eastward to downtown, where it then turns south along South Oak Street and SW Railroad Avenue. From Hammond, the highway continues to Ponchatoula.

Other highways serving the area include:

  • Louisiana Highway 443 (Morris Road)
  • Louisiana Highway 1040 (Old Baton Rouge Highway)
  • Louisiana Highway 1065 (North Cherry Street)
  • Louisiana Highway 1067 (Old Covington Road)
  • Louisiana Highway 3158 (Airport Road)
  • Louisiana Highway 3234 (University Avenue/Wardline Road; serves Southeastern Louisiana University)
  • Louisiana Highway 3260 (West Church Street Extension)
  • Louisiana Highway 1249


  1. ^ "Hammond, Louisiana (LA) Detailed Profile" (notes), City Data, 2007, webpage: C-Hamd.
  2. ^ a b "Census 2000 Data for the State of Louisiana" (town list), US Census Bureau, May 2003, webpage: C2000-LA.
  3. ^ | News | Architect Desmond dies — Baton Rouge, LA
  4. ^ US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990. United States Census Bureau (2005-05-03). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ US Board on Geographic Names. United States Geological Survey (2007-10-25). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.

External links

v • d • eMunicipalities and communities of
Tangipahoa Parish, LouisianaParish seat: Amite CityCities

Hammond | Ponchatoula


Amite | Independence | Kentwood | Manchac | Roseland


Tangipahoa | Tickfaw



Categories: Cities in Louisiana | Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana | University towns in the United States

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