Madisonville lies along the Tchefuncte River which has played a large part in the history and growth of the city.  Themadisonville-lighthouse-2 Tchefuncte River is named after the Native American Tribe, the Tchefunctas, who resided in this area for centuries.

Still standing is a lighthouse that was originally built near the mouth of the Tchefuncte River in 1838. The lighthouse was built to help guide vessels in Lake Pontchartrain into the Tchefuncte. It was badly damaged during the Civil War and later dismantled, but a new lighthouse was constructed on the original foundation using some of the bricks from the first lighthouse.

The town of Madisonville took over ownership of the lighthouse from the Coast Guard in 1999, and a group of volunteers interested in renovating the Tchefuncte River Lighthouse held its first meeting on March 18th, 2003 in the museum. This now permanent committee is working on fundraising and restoration efforts and on finding a practical and affordable way for visitors to access the tower.