vi·gnette  /vin'yet/  
Noun: A brief evocative description, account, or episode.
Verb: Portray (someone) in the style of a vignette.

The Day We Nuked Mississippi

At 10:00 a.m. on October 22, 1964, the United States government detonated an underground nuclear device in Lamar County, in south Mississippi.  Residents there felt three separate shocks, and watched as the soil rose and behaved like ocean waves.  Hunting dogs howled in terror, and two miles from the test site the blast shook pecans… (read more)

Lake Borgne

 ….when it extended to the south shore of Bay of St. Louis   “The French, thinking that it did not answer precisely the definition of a lake, because it was not altogether land-locked, or did not at least discharge its waters only through a small aperture, and because it looked rather like a part of… (read more)

Battle of Pass Christian – Bedsheet Surrender

Life was hard but not so hard as it might have been for Mississippi Coast Residents during the Civil War. The Union naval blockade certainly caused food and material shortages, but the blood and destruction that spread through Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and South Carolina mercifully was not to happen along the Coast. Suffering was… (read more)

The Battle of the Bay of Saint Louis

The War of 1812 is the last time that a foreign army invaded United States soil.  British forces arrived in great force along the eastern seaboard, and because of the importance of the port of New Orleans which controlled the Mississippi River, authorities knew it was only a  matter of time until British naval forces… (read more)

A Summer Camp for Jewish Orphans

Did you know that during the middle part of the last century Hancock County was home to a summer camp for Jewish orphans?  In 1918, the Jewish Federation of New Orleans purchased what was described as the magnificent J. P. Dart home located at then 984 South Beach Boulevard, the last property in Bay St.… (read more)

Richmond Barthé, Hancock County’s American Sculptor

“All my life I have been interested in trying to capture the spiritual quality I see in people, and I feel that the human figure as God made it, is the best means of expressing this spirit in man.”   —Richmond Barthé     A key figure in the Harlem Renaissance during the 1930’s, Richmond… (read more)

The Bay’s Early Movie Houses

The first picture show in Bay Saint Louis was the Bay Pictorium, which opened in 1905 on the water side of North Beach Boulevard, formerly known as Front Street.  Its owner/operator, W. A. Sigerson, advertised “a change of moving pictures daily, beautiful illustrated song, a first class electric theatre with admission of a nickel but… (read more)

The British Period 1763 – 1779

England’s defeat of France in the seven Years’ War brought an end to French rule in North America.  As a result of the peace treaty signed by George III and France in 1763, the Gulf Coast became a part of the newly-created province of British West Florida.  The Fleur de Lis was lowered and replaced… (read more)

The Old Time Church – Reflections of S. G. Thigpen

In the old time churches when I grew up sixty to seventy years ago [early 1900’s], the older people—the pillars of the church—sat up in the corner next to the preacher. The country church in my community had two front doors.  The men went in at one door and the women at the other, the… (read more)

Trains Come to the Coast

Plans for the 140-mile Mobile to New Orleans route of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad were laid in the early 1850’s.  The first surveyor of the route, Colonel A. A. Dexter, died after completing plans for the first 120 miles.  Subsequently, Lewis Troost replaced Dexter, and he recommended a route going southwest from Mobile to… (read more)

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Hancock County Historical Society
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