At 478 square miles, Hancock County is the smallest and most western county of the three. The closest to New Orleans, it maintains a decidedly Crescent City flavor in its food, architecture, music and festivals.
Bay St. Louis
Bay St. Louis is known for its heritage, good music and thriving antique community. As early as 1851, Bay St. Louis based its economy on tourism. The wealthy settlers of New Orleans and Natchez built great mansions and spawned the need for first-class hotels on the beach. Dubbed the Riviera of America, this coastal area provided a virtual fun-land paradise for their family and friends to enjoy. This charming little community still thrives on tourism.
Waveland was originally considered a suburb of New Orleans due to successful New Orleans merchants who lived there year round or built palatial summer homes.
Today, the town now boasts shopping centers, movie theatres and plent of family entertainment. Buccaneer State Park, with its big wave pool, is located near Waveland.
HARRISON COUNTY: Dedicated To The Best Law Officer I have ever come across in my line of work Sheriff Larkin Smith will always be remembered for his love of community and his dedication to family and his fellow officers and the County he served.
Harrison County is the central of the three coast counties, and within its 581 square miles are five incorporated cities and the largest population of the three coastal counties. With numerous golf courses, a 26-mile beach, family attractions, charter boats, 11 casinos and many hotels, Harrison County has a little bit of everything.
Biloxi celebrated its 300th birthday in 1999. On the sandy shores of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Biloxi stands as one of the oldest cities in the United States. It boasts a fascinating history, having first been settled by the French looking for the mouth of the Mississippi River. About 54,000 people live in the city, which features an Air Force base, sport and commercial fishing fleets, casinos and resort attractions, and a picturesque lighthouse. The social calendar is filled with plenty of festivals, parades and fishing rodeos.
The city of D’Iberville was incorporated in 1988, but its community roots date back to the landing of D’Iberville in 1699. It ‘s a quiet, growing community with a long history of boat building and commercial fishing.
From its simple, humble beginnings as a lumber and port city, Gulfport has evolved into a diversified community. With about 6.7 miles of man-made white sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, Gulfport is one of the fastest growing areas in the state, due in part to recent gaming activities. Home of the annual “World’s Largest Fishing Rodeo,” Gulfport is a residential community that is blessed with a strong business center. The downtown area provides a strong mercantile center. In December, 1993 the City annexed 33 square miles north of Gulfport, making it the second largest city in Mississippi with a land area of 62.37 square miles and a population in excess of 70,000.
Long Beach was named for its long white sand beach in 1882. It is a popular residential community. Its highlights include the 500-year old Friendship Oak on the U.S.M. Gulf Park campus.
The first legally noted settlers, when the United States opened the Coast to citizens, were James M. Dale and his wife, Agnes. They purchased land in April, 1820, which has been known for over eighty years as Wilson Farm Nurseries. Other land owners in the area were Captain Gayne Hibbey, a ship Captain who was supposed to have buried treasure near his home, and Sue and John G. Land who purchased land in the Landon area in 1873.
Joseph T. Jones, a New York financier, built the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad, completing it to Jackson in 1882. In 1917, a school was built on land donated by William Thompson and was named Orange Grove, for the orange groves in the neighborhood. Orange Grove has continued to grow and thrive, and has become an area rich, not only in economic potential, but in community spirit and pride.
North of Orange Grove is the community of Lyman. Named for Lyman Reeves, who moved his family there in 1885, Mr. Lyman built a sawmill, a small store and a Methodist Church, which remains today.
This town is one of the original six “sister cities” founded by the French. It is a residential community with pristine beaches, a harbor and friendly downtown area. The “Pass”, as the city is referred to locally, is situated on U.S. Highway 90 and encompasses an area six miles in an east to west direction. The dominant influence on the early history of Pass Christian was French. In fact, the name is still pronounced with a French flair, as Pass Christianne. Many of the earliest residents in what later became The Pass were some of the early Bay St. Louis settlers or heirs. Because the French had settled in this area, many families from south Louisiana moved in and became permanent residents. During the early 1800s, the area had no formal government administering to the people. It wasn’t until 1838 that the first city government for Pass Christian was chartered and officially recognized by the State Legislature. The fishing industry, primarily shrimping and oystering, has been and still is one of the most significant and colorful elements of Pass Christian’s economic life.
At 736 square miles, Jackson County is also the eastern-most coastal county. Jackson County has four incorporated cities, a port, and is one of the state’s most industrialized counties. There are plenty of rivers, bayous and wetlands, and no casinos. For over 128,000 people, this scenic county on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico has a rich and storied past, a proud present and a promising future. Jackson County was discovered in April of 1699 by French explorer Pierre LeMoyne D’Iberville. Named for President Andrew Jackson, the County began to grow and prosper with each town and village that developed.
Just a few miles west of Pascagoula is Gautier, one of Mississippi’s newest cities and oldest communities. The city, incorporated in 1986, offers amenities for a full and productive life with nearly 18,000 residents populating a recently increased area. Gautier, a rapidly growing community, boasts the county’s only shopping mall, The Singing River Mall. This modern 600,000 square-foot facility features 4 department stores, 9 movie screens and over 50 specialty shops and restaurants.
Once called Mossy Point because of the many Spanish moss-draped oaks, this city of about 17,900 is situated where the Escatawpa River bends to join East Pascagoula. The Moss Point name became official when the booming lumber industry caused a post office to open up in 1867. In the early days, Moss Point was the biggest lumber exporter on the Coast, with a dozen sawmills and sailing ships of all sorts. It was incorporated in 1901.
Ocean Springs was the first French capital in 1699, although it was short-lived. The French picked this spot because it is the Coast’s highest point, and they named it Biloxi after the tribe of Indians who greeted them. The French later moved their capital to the Mobile area for political and geographic reasons. The community later took on the Ocean Springs name because of the mineral springs found there and used by Indians and early settlers. Be sure to visit the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, dedicated to the famous painter who called Ocean Springs home.
This historical waterfront community is home to the state’s largest employers Northrop Grumman and Chevron. A harmonious blend of industry and nature exist side by side with manufacturing and processing plants operating in a panorama of marshes and Spanish moss-draped trees. The city is the county seat and was named for a tribe of Indians, translated as “Bread People.
Please Vote It Does Count and when you fail to vote then a lot of people died in vain to get us this precious right to make our Voice Heard.
Mississippi’s moderate climate encourages outdoor activities year-round. As for the Coast, it has an average of 219 clear or partly clear sunny days, compared to the U.S. average of 213. But when it rains, it pours — an average of 59 inches of rain falls on the Coast each year, contributing to the area’s lush, semi-tropical vegetation. The average low temperature in January is 50 degrees; the summer’s high temperatures reach into the 90s.
The Mississippi Coast is fortunate to offer residents a wide range of quality health care facilities. The following is a brief list of the major hospitals in the area.
Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Biloxi, 153-bed acute care hospital, 24-hour emergency department, (228) 432-1571.
Memorial Hospital, Gulfport, 335-bed acute care hospital, 24-hour emergency department, (228) 867-4000.
Garden Park Community Hospital 24-hr emergency and acute care.(15200 Community Rd Gulfport MS) 228-575-7000
ALWAYS DIAL 911 IN CASE OF EMERGENCY PLEASE !
PUBLIC SCHOOL INFORMATION
Public schools in South Mississippi consistently rank in the top 15 school districts in the State and compare favorably with nationwide averages. Each community has its own school district and the counties operate schools outside the incorporated areas. There are also plenty of private schools located in the area. Call (601) 359-5615 or visit www.mde.k12.ms.us for a copy of The Mississippi Report Card.
Documents needed for school registration: certified copy of birth certificate with raised state seal, student transcript and report cards, social security number, immunization record and two proofs of residency. Children must be 5 years old before Sept. 1 to enter kindergarten and 6 years old before Sept. 1 to enter first grade.
Public School Districts
Bay St. Louis/Waveland, 201 Carroll Ave., Bay St. Louis, (228) 467-6621
Hancock County, 17304 Hwy. 603, Kiln, (228) 255-0376
Biloxi, 160 St. Peter Ave., Biloxi, (228) 374-1810
Gulfport, 2010 15th St., Gulfport, (228) 865-4600
Harrison County, 11072 Hwy. 49, Gulfport, (228) 539-6500
Long Beach, 111 Quarles St., Long Beach, (228) 864-1146
Pass Christian, 701 West North Street, Pass Christian, (228) 452-7271
Jackson County, 12210 Colonel Vickery, Vancleave, (228) 826-1757
Hancock Country Library System
Harrison County Library System
Jackson County Library System
The Mississippi Gulf Coast enjoys the presence of several of the state’s top employers representing industries from tourism to manufacturing. On the Gulf Coast, these employers are industry leaders such as Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Dupont, Triton Systems, G.E. Plastics, The Southern Company, Halter Marine, Friede Goldman, Oreck, the Coast’s casinos, and many more.
Since 1941, a strong military presence on the Mississippi Gulf Coast has contributed significantly to the economy. More recently, legalized dockside gaming has fueled growth, not only in the tourism industry, but all segments of the economy. Since the first legal casino opened on the coast in 1992, average annual incomes have risen from $16,215 to about $21,000.
Call or visit the chamber of commerce nearest you for more employment information or go online and get the latest from the official site of the Mississippi Development Authority at www.decd.state.ms.us.
Due to our buildings being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina the Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, Pass Christian, & Coast Chambers of Commerce are located at 12284 Intraplex Parkway, Gulfport, MS 39503. (228) 604-0014.
Biloxi Bay, (228) 435-6149
Orange Grove, (228) 832-3028
D’Iberville, (228) 392-2293
Hancock County Chamber, 302 Hwy 90, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520, (228) 467-9048
Jackson County Chamber,
Ocean Springs Chamber,
The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce has a dedicated group of business men and women that strive to make their Chamber all that it can be. This group is strictly a volunteer group that considers pushing the businesses in Jackson County forward and helping them be successful enough to continue doing what they do. The Ambassadors play a very important role in the operation of the Chamber. They act as a Public Relations arm that the Chamber uses to promote its many events and to improve the retention rate of membership. If any one has any interest in becoming an Ambassador, please contact Sherrell Harris at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jack Culpepper at 228-369-8200 or at email@example.com.
Rep. Steven Palazzo [R, MS-4]
Sen. Thad Cochran [R, MS]
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]