1920 to 1940

The land boom of the 1920s saw the Branigar Brothers of Chicago develop Gulf Hills north of Fort Bayou. This seven hundred-acre, resort-golf course-residential, complex commenced in 1926. C.W. Gormley and the Lyon-Hamill family of Chicago were responsible for residential estates at Belle Fontaine Beach and Fountainbleau respectively. The Hamills were also active in turpentine and naval stores and with D.J. Gay (1870-1949), they operated small turpentine still on Government Street from 1931 until the early 1950s. This operation sustained the economy at Ocean Springs, especially for Blacks, during the Depression years. Mr. Gay also donated land for the new High School on Government Street, which opened in September 1927. Jackson County's "Million Dollar Highway," a paved, two-lane road and part of the "Old Spanish Trail," was completed from Washington Avenue east to the Alabama State line in 1925. The War Memorial Bridge across the Bay of Biloxi dedicated in June 1930, connected Ocean Springs with Biloxi reducing the distance by seven miles. Highway 90 was re-routed at Ocean Springs in 1954.

Shearwater Pottery

In 1928, Peter Anderson (1901-1984) founded Shearwater Pottery on the Bay of Biloxi. His brothers, Walter "Bob" Anderson (1903-1965) and James "Mac" Anderson were an integral part of the artistic creativity, which allowed the pottery to grow to international acclaim. A museum to exhibit the works of Walter Anderson, a watercolorist, was opened at Ocean Springs in May 1991.


In 1939, Jackson County Beat Four Supervisor A.P. Moran (1897-1967) had the old Mill Dam Bayou dredged creating the Inner Harbor at Ocean Springs. An additional harbor was added in the western area, which was dredged during WWII to shelter a crash boat squadron operated by the Army Air Corps. Their function was to rescue downed pilots in the Gulf of Mexico that might crash on training flights. In the 1950s, Supervisor Moran extended the harbor north to Kensington and east to Pine Drive creating the Kensington harbor basin, the most northerly part of the Inner Harbor. The Inner Harbor Park was built in June 1983. World War II (1941-1945) initiated another economic surge at Ocean Springs.