Madisonville was founded in 1800 as the town of Cocquille at the site of the Native American village of Chiconcte, then in 1810 it was renamed in honor of the President of the United States James Madison. Situated along themadisonville-bar Tchefuncte River, Madisonville served as an important port, transporting bricks and other products made in the villages along the Tchefuncte to New Orleans.

During the Civil War, Madisonville remained under confederate control, even after New Orleans fell to the Union. Transporting goods across enemy lines proved difficult and Madisonville and surrounding areas suffered economically, which lasted for decades after the Civil War ended.

The growth of Madisonville, and all of the Northshore communities of Lake Pontchartrain, took off when the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway opened in 1956. This brought the Northshore communities within the sphere of New Orleans, both economically, culturally, and more.

In recent years, growth was spurred by Hurricane Katrina. With many families losing their homes on the Southshore, they sought higher land to make a new life, but remain within the New Orleans area. Even with this growth, Madisonville remains a vibrant, yet peaceful community, rich in history and culture.