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The City of Covington was originally founded in 1813, as the Town of Wharton by John Wharton Collins, a New Orleans merchant.  The tract of land on which the town was built, one of the final Spanish land grants, was issued to Jacques Drieux in 1803.  Collins purchased the tract from Drieux for $2,300 and dedicated the Town of Wharton on July 4, 1813.  At that time, Collins laid out the town’s unique design, a grid of squares containing central squares called “ox lots” which were accessed by alleys and used for holding the Oxen while trading of wares occured.  Collins named the district the “Division of St. John.”  Over Collins’ strong objections, the town was rededicated in 1816 as the City of Covington under charter by the state legislature to honor General Leonard Covington, a hero of the War of 1812.
The division of St. John now forms Covington’s downtown and St. Tammany Parish’s center of government.  The activities and turn-of-the-century ambiance of this historic district are the heartbeat of the city.  Here visitors can discover treasures from all over the world in upscale shops and elegant art galleries, dine on excellent local cuisine and enjoy many special entertainment events. The "ox lots" are now be used as public parking for visitors and town home owners.