Ocean Springs Mississippi History
Ocean Springs, MS is a city located in Jackson County. When the French constructed Fort Maurepas in 1699 in what is now called Ocean Springs, Ocean Springs was called ‘Old Biloxi’ when it was the French Seat of Government in the Louisiana Territory. In 1720, the capital was relocated to ‘New Biloxi, which is modern day Biloxi.
In the 1830’s, Ocean Springs reputation as a health vacation resort and spa began to grow dramatically as the result of the reputation of the healing water that was obtainable in the many fresh water springs. There were multiple daily steamboat landings and departures at Ocean Springs that delivered thousands of residents and vacationers to Ocean Springs 180 years ago. A lot of this visitation came from residents of Mobile, AL and New Orleans, LA. In fact, as they did in Pass Christian, MS, many affluent New Orleans family’s constructed beautiful summer season homes in Ocean Springs. The men who owned the thriving businesses in New Orleans frequently started to commute to New Orleans via steamboat. During the night timber pine knots and pine sap was set on fire on top of huge oyster shell beacons which were established on the raised bluffs that are situated above the Ocean Springs shoreline. These beacons guided steamboats to the landing areas during the night. Ocean Springs was a pioneer in developing medical tourism industry in the U.S..
Because of the advent of the passenger railroad in the 1870’s, Ocean Springs became a favorite summer vacation retreat for affluent New Orleanians as well as tourists from the mid-west drawn to The Ocean Springs Hotel and Spa in particular. A well known New Orleans doctor believed the local springs had therapeutic characteristics.
In 1853, Old Biloxi changed its name to Lynchburg followed by incorporation in 1892 with a name change to Ocean Springs because of the famous hotel resort named The Ocean Springs Hotel names for the area’s health-giving waters and abundant springs.
From 1885 in to the 1930’s, Ocean Springs was a hub for delivery of citrus fruit and pecans from the many outstanding orchards that were developed in this community. The Local American Indians presented the first French settlers to the pecans that grew in the open in this location. Pioneers in the commercial pecan industry, attempted propagation by way of grafting. This effective propagation technique led to the initial development of what became the famous and incredibly popular paper shell pecan referred to as Success. This specific strain of Pecan continues to be very popular today.
The soil that is found in Ocean Springs is ideal for the cultivation of pecans. Trees and shrubs that were cultivated here started to produce pecans in the third and fourth year. The yields these pecan trees and shrubs produced increased annually until a 12 calendar year old pecan tree averaged a 40 to 50 lb. harvest. These pecan trees and shrubs continued to bear this rate of abundant synthesis for many, many decades. Other areas in the Southern United States started to obtain pecan grafting wood as well as purchase trees and shrubs from Ocean Springs nurseries. Today, the choice paper shell brand of pecans are cultivated throughout the Southern U.S.