The Biloxi Waterfront lies directly on the Mississippi Sound, with barrier islands off the Coast and into the Gulf of Mexico. Old Biloxi was part of the First Permanent Settlement in 1699 by French Colonists in French Louisiana. The name of Biloxi in French was Bilocci, a transliteration of the term for the local Native American tribe in their language. In 1720, the administrative capital of French Louisiana was moved to Biloxi from Mobile. Due to fears of tides and hurricanes, the capital of French Louisiana was later moved to New Orleans, nearly 125 miles up the Mississippi River from the Gulf Coast.
British rule ensued from 1763 to 1779, followed by Spanish rule from 1779 to 1810. Despite this, the character of Biloxi remained mostly French. Mississippi, and Biloxi with it, was admitted as a state to the union in 1817. During the 19th century, Biloxi became known as a summer resort, with Summer homes built by well-to-do farmers and merchants.
The Biloxi Lighthouse is the best-known local landmark. It was built in Baltimore and completed at the site in May 1848; it is one of the two, out of twelve, surviving lighthouses along the Mississippi Coast.
The First Cannery was built in 1881 to process seafood, an economic development that attracted new immigrants from Europe to work in the seafood factories processing shrimp and other local fish harvested by shrimp boats and oyster luggers.
Casinos date back to the 1940s with open, but technically illegal, gambling which ended in 1950. With the introduction of legal gambling in Mississippi in the 1990s, Biloxi became an important center in the resort casino industry.
21st century Biloxi’s Economy is based on the Seafood Industry Tourism and Gaming
The Story of Mobility in America
Maritime Museums in Historic Towns
The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum was established in 1986 to preserve and interpret the maritime history and heritage of Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It offers exhibits on shrimping, oystering, recreational fishing, wetlands, managing marine resources, charter boats, marine blacksmithing, wooden boat building, netmaking, catboats/Biloxi skiff and shrimp peeling machines.
The Wade Guice Hurricane Museum features 1400 square feet of exhibit space and a state of the art theatre. The Art gallery will feature regional and national maritime artists with exhibitions rotating throughout the year.
The Museum has brought life to local maritime traditions by replicating two 65′ two-masted Biloxi Schooners that sail on the Mississippi Sound and waters of the north central Gulf of Mexico almost daily. The Museum also conducts yea- round educational programs and a summer Sea-n-Sail Adventure Camp which teaches youth about local maritime heritage.
The Biloxi Cast Net has been used Locally to Catch Seafood for nearly Three Centuries
Connect for Travel to Biloxi and Mississippi