Vignettes - People

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 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)

A Brief History of the Bay-Waveland Garden Club

According to the history of the Bay-Waveland Garden Club, the idea for the club emerged in the de Montluzin Drugstore during discussions of how the towns of Bay Saint Louis and Waveland could beautify and promote private and commercial gardens to attract people to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  The Rotary Club was a “men only”… (read more)

The Influenza Epidemic of 1918

The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed an estimated fifty million people worldwide.  In fact, one-fifth of the world’s population was affected, and this disease killed more people than any other illness in recorded history.  Erroneously referred to as “Spanish” flu because Spanish newspapers initially reported its pervasiveness, it was not confined to this one country. … (read more)

Notes on the Yellow Fever Epidemic

From “The New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal” July 1851 by A.P. Merrill Notes taken by Emma Clay of Medical Officer with 8th U.S. Infantry who was not named. An epidemic occurred not named but believed to be Yellow Fever. At the time of the appearance of this epidemic I held a commission in the… (read more)

The James Copeland Gang

Many people express the opinion that crime is more prevalent now than ever before in the history of Hancock County.  At first glance this might appear to be true, but investigation shows that conditions are different.  When one examines the available records of crime more than a century ago and makes a comparison with today’s… (read more)

The Sisters of Saint Joseph

Their story began in Bay St. Louis, MS, on January 6, 1855, with the arrival of three sisters from France at the request of Father Buteux, the pastor of Our Lady of the Gulf Church.  “They arrived on the day of the Epiphany—what a beautiful coincidence….Are not these sisters the star which comes to lead… (read more)

Henry Weston (1823 – 1912)

Did you know that this October 29th will mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Henry Weston, one of the most successful and well-known businessmen in the history of Hancock County? Born in Skowhegan Island, Maine, in 1823, Henry Weston moved to New Orleans in early 1846 looking for business opportunities and a healthier… (read more)

John Law (1672 – 1729)

Controller General of Finance who presided over the boom and bust of the Bank of France and the Mississippi Company in early colonial days.   FAILED MILLIONAIRE-FINANCIER John Law, mathematician, financial genius and gambler, is depicted in most history books as the arch villain who brought down the Louisiana colony with his wild schemes. He… (read more)

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Hancock County Historical Society
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