1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Biloxi

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BILOXI, a city of Harrison county, Mississippi, U.S.A., in the south part of the state, on Biloxi Bay, a branch of the Mississippi Sound, which is a part of the Gulf of Mexico. By rail it is 80 m. N.E. of New Orleans and 61 m. S.E. of Mobile, Alabama. Pop. (1880) 1540; (1890) 3234; (1900) 5467 (949 being negroes and 455 foreign-born); (1910) 7988. The city is served by a branch of the Louisville & Nashville railway, and by an electric railway extending to Bay St Louis, through Gulfport (pop., 1900, 1060; 1910, 6386), 13 m. S.W., the port of entry of the Pearl River customs district, whose exports, chiefly timber, lumber, naval stores and charcoal, were valued at $8,392,271 in 1907. Biloxi is both a summer and a winter resort, particularly for the people of New Orleans and Mobile, and has a fine beach, extending for about 12 m. around its peninsula, and bordered by an automobile drive; along the beach are some attractive residences, hotels and boarding houses, and several sanatoriums. The city’s principal industries are the canning of oysters, shrimp, fish, figs and vegetables, and the manufacture of fertilizers and flour. A beautiful thin faience with remarkable metallic glazes is made here. The municipality owns the water-works, the water being obtained from artesian wells. Pierre le Moyne d’Iberville (1661-1706) in 1699 built Fort Maurepas across the bay from the present city; and the settlement there, called Biloxi after the Biloxi Indians, was the first to be established by the French in this region. In 1702 this post, known as Old Biloxi, was abandoned, and the seat of government was removed to the Mobile river. In 1712 a settlement was made on the present site, being the first permanent settlement within what is now the state of Mississippi. Many of the early settlers were French Canadians, who came down the Mississippi to join the new colony. Biloxi was again the capital from 1719 until 1722. It was incorporated as a village in 1872, and was chartered as a city in 1896.