Biloxi (Bill-ux-ee) is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, United States. Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County. It was first settled by French colonists.
The city is part of the Gulfport-Biloxi metropolitan area and the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. Pre-Katrina, Biloxi was the third-largest city in Mississippi, behind Jackson and Gulfport. Due to the widespread destruction and flooding, many refugees left the city. Post-Katrina, the population of Biloxi decreased, and it became the fifth-largest city in the state, being surpassed by Hattiesburg and Southaven.
The beachfront of Biloxi lies directly on the Mississippi Sound, with barrier islands scattered off the coast and into the Gulf of Mexico. Keesler Air Force Base lies within the city and is home to the 81st Training Wing and the 403d Wing of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Biloxi is home to several casino resort hotels, with 24-hour gambling, concert entertainment shows, and several restaurants.
In the center of what fisheries biologists term “The Fertile Fisheries Crescent”, Biloxi offers some of the finest sportsfishing along the entire northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Spotted seatrout, red drum, Spanish and king mackerel, flounder, snapper, grouper, sharks, and more are all available to anglers during the fishing season. It is not known how Hurricane Katrina affected this ecosystem. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biloxi,_Mississippi)
SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES
OLD BILOXI CEMETERY
The Old Biloxi Cemetery has grave markers from the early 1900s to the late 1900s. The cemetery is popular with people who are interested in seeing the styles used in older grave markers.
At Biloxi Beach, visitors can spend a day in the sun, swim in its mild waves, and enjoy surf fishing. The beach has several wooden piers to fish and enjoy the surrounding ocean views from.
BILOXI VISITORS CENTER
New arrivals can find lots of useful information at the Biloxi Visitors Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. Located on a scenic strip of Route 90, the Center is only hundreds of yards from Biloxi’s beautiful lighthouse.
Biloxi, Mississippi’s Confederate heritage is commemmorated at Beauvoir, the former home of the Secessionist President Jefferson Davis. Beauvoir also contains Davis’ library. It is a popular attraction, especially in Christmastime.
Made of cast-iron, the Biloxi Lighthouse was built in 1848. First operated by civilians and then the Coast Guard, the light house is now open to the public for tours.
The Biloxi Public School District is a leader in education. The district, which saw an $80 million investment in new schools and upgrades to existing schools in the past 15 years, is one of only about a dozen statewide to receive the highest academic accreditation by the Mississippi Department of Education.
In 2011, the Washington Post said that Biloxi High School was one of the best schools in the country in preparing its students for college. Indicators tied to the No Child Left Behind Act show that Biloxi students are performing “above” or “well above” the national average at each elementary school. Scores on the state’s required Subject Area Tests (Algebra I, Biology I, English II and U.S. History) in grades 8-11 validate that not only are students passing the standardized tests at a very high rate, but with some of the highest test scores in Mississippi.
Extensive extracurricular activities and state-of-the-art educational and athletic facilities enhance students’ opportunities for a well-rounded educational experience. In addition to traditional college preparatory classes, Biloxi High School annually offers more than 100 courses in business, performing arts, foreign languages, technology, and vocational skills. Advanced placement courses also are available to challenge qualifying students.
Biloxi is a medium-sized coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of Mississippi. With a population of 45,637 people and 15 constituent neighborhoods, Biloxi is the fifth largest community in Mississippi.
Biloxi real estate is some of the most expensive in Mississippi, although Biloxi house values don’t compare to the most expensive real estate in the U.S. 9.73% of the workforce is employed in the armed forces, making the military a huge focus of life in Biloxi. Even though it is a military town, the civilian sector still plays an important role in the local economy. The Retail and Arts industries respectively employ 12.21% and 11.40% of the civilian workforce.
Biloxi is also nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Quite often, nautical areas such as these attract visitors and locals who come to enjoy the scenery and various waterfront activities.
The most common language spoken in Biloxi is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Vietnamese.
The population of Biloxi overall has a level of education that is slightly above the US average for all US cities and towns of 21.84%. Of adults 25 and older in Biloxi, 23.65% have at least a bachelor’s degree.
The per capita income in Biloxi in 2010 was $22,605, which is wealthy relative to Mississippi, and middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $90,420 for a family of four.
However, Biloxi contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.
In 1699 French colonists formed the first permanent settlement in French Louisiana, at Fort Maurepas, now in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and referred to as “Old Biloxi”. They were under the direction of Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. La Louisiane was separated from Spanish Florida at the Perdido River near Pensacola (this was founded by the Spanish 1559 and again in 1698).
The name of Biloxi in French was Bilocci, a transliteration of the term for the local Native American tribe in their language. (Labeled along with “Fort Maurepas”) on maps dated circa year 1710/1725, the name was sometimes used in English as “Fort Bilocci”.
In 1720, the administrative capital of French Louisiana was moved to Biloxi (or Bilocci) from Mobile (or La Mobile). French Louisiana, part of New France, was known in French as La Louisiane in colonial times. In modern times it is called La Louisiane française to distinguish it from the modern state of Louisiana.
Due to fears of tides and hurricanes, colonial governor Bienville moved the capital of French Louisiana in 1722 from Biloxi to a new inland harbor town named La Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans), built for this purpose in 1718–1720. New Orleans is nearly 125 miles up the Mississippi River from the Gulf Coast.
In 1763, following Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War/French and Indian War, France had to cede their colonies east of the Mississippi River, except for New Orleans, to Great Britain, as part of the Treaty of Paris. At the same time, the French colony west of the Mississippi, plus New Orleans, was ceded to Spain as part of the Treaty of Fontainebleau.