Timeline of The Village That Became Long Beach

Pre 1774: Indian Village, presumably Choctaw, one of about 15 tribes in the state.

1774: Bear Point is shown on a British map.

1781: Title to Cat Island was given by the Spanish to Nicholas and Marianne Ladner, French Swiss residents of many, many, years, who raised a family there.

1788: Weary of enduring hurricanes on the island, the Ladners petitioned the Spanish government before moving to the mainland and eventually built a house with 2 tall chimneys, at the mouth of Bear Point bayou close to Douglas Avenue.

1799: Nicholas Ladner died before the couple received title to the Bear Point property and Marianne moved to Deer Island to live with other family members.

1810: The Spanish government finally issued title to Mrs. Ladner. Known as “the Widow Ladner Claim” and left to son Claude, it included a large part of the community.

1814: Tax Rolls recorded eight families living at “The Chimneys”.

1817: Mississippi became a state.

1841: Harrison County was created. The first map of it lists CHIMNEY POINT, called The Chimneys, (remainder of Ladner home after fire) and used by boaters as reference points. The family had no idea of the legacy their home left. Think of this when dining at the namesake Chimneys Restaurants, which later moved to Gulfport.

1842: Old Pass Christian Road, a former horse and buggy path, became a public road.

1846:  John J McCaughan, who moved over from Mississippi City, listed houses and vacant lots for sale at The Chimneys, in the New Orleans Commercial Bulletin. He may have built his home, which he named Rosalie, at about this same time.

This same year McCaughan also became a Representative from Harrison County in the Legislature.

Early 1850’s: George Scott built a home on his property and also cleared and graded a road from about where the railroad would later be built, all the way to the beach. Scott Ave was the only street between Menge Ave in “The Pass” and Texas St in Mississippi City to be cleared that far.

1852: J J McCaughan, a widower and father of two, married a second time to Miss Maria Hovenden Regnault of Mobile.

1854: Mail was dropped off by schooner at the McCaughan home, so a post office developed and John J was appointed U S Post Master. Soon the village began to take on the name of his home, Rosalie.

The family welcomed their first child, a son, William.

1856: Second son, Harper, was born and John J also became a State Senator.

1860: Sadly J J McCaughan died unexpectedly while on a business trip and was buried in Louisiana, just after the birth of new baby son, Hovenden, who only lived a few years.  The Federal census that year listed six families living at Rosalie.

1861-65: Area drastically affected by Federal Blockage of Southern Ports during the Civil War. The Scotts left the area temporarily during the war and their home was lost to fire at some point.

1867: A wagon train of engineers and surveying crews came to the coast in preparation for the new railroad through Mississippi that would connect New Orleans and Mobile.

1870: The New Orleans, Mobile & Chattanooga Railroad opened on October 28th. George Scott, mill owner, donated land and timber for a small stop on Scott Avenue (present day Girard) and the railroad.  Rosalie soon became known as Scott’s Station.

1871: The new railroad became the New Orleans, Mobile & Texas Railroad.

1875:  The Methodist Church, the first in the village, was commissioned in an abandoned box car previously used as a goat shelter. Mrs. Fannie Donovan began Sunday School outdoors, under the shade trees!

Robert and Eliza Boggs moved to the area and built a home on the beach which was the beginning of a long standing family compound. The village Indians advised them to build a little further back.

1878: A Railroad & Township map lists the cities of Biloxi, Handsborough, Mississippi City, Scott, and Pass Christian.

1880’s: The first black residents began coming to the Coast. Taylor, Williams, Lyons and other families. Some were involved in the turpentine business.

1881: The Louisville & Nashville Railroad, commonly called L&N, acquired the tracks here on the coast and began a daily commuter service which inspired New Orleanians to begin spending weekends or entire summers at Scott’s Station for rest and relaxation. Summer homes began springing up on the beach for this purpose.

The Antioch Baptist Church was organized that year as the Bethel Baptist Church.

1882: The Thomas Brothers, James and Woods, and their families arrived, bought property on the beach from William and Harper McCaughan and opened a fruit nursery. They also had the town platted and gave Scott’s Station a new name……Long Beach.

1884: Newness was still on the town name when Jim Thomas invited close friend, Jim Quarles of Tennessee, to move here. Quarles opened a school in his living room and built a store with post office space and became Post Master. This was the first school and store. This same year, the two men shipped green beans to northern markets thereby beginning the truck farming industry. A busy year for town history!

1886: Students outgrew the Quarles living room and a one room building was built on Jeff Davis Ave on property donated to the town by Harper McCaughan.

1890: The L&N Railroad built a depot on Jeff Davis Avenue facing the tracks, twenty years after the railroad opened.

Early 1890’s:  All Saints Episcopal Church organized and was active for some forty odd years. Afterwards the virgin pine and cypress lumber was sold to the Presbyterians, the stained glass to St Peter’s in Gulfport, the pews to Mt. Pilgrim, the organ to a church in Picayune. The beauty of the church lived on as it was shared by many.

1894: The Masonic Lodge and Order of Eastern Star organized

1895: The first library, the Garland Ferguson Library, opened. It was named for New Orleanian, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ferguson, whose maiden name was Garland. She helped the town ladies bring their dream to fruition.

That same year, Mrs. Uriel Wright, also on the library committee, organized the Whatsoever Circle of King’s Daughters and Sons, a humanitarian group that helped anyone in need. It provided years of unselfish service to the community when no other such aid was available.

The church of the black community, Mt Pilgrim Missionary Baptist, was built in 1895. In addition to spreading the word of God, the church has been the site of the Head Start Program and for meetings in the landmark decision of the City of Long Beach, to choose integrating all twelve grades of school in one year, in the desegregation program of the State of Mississippi.

1896: Jim Quarles donated land and timber for a one room school near the corner of Beatline and Pineville Rd. The school was named Quarles School in his honor.

1900: Charles Littlepage, who had moved from the U S to the British Honduras following the Civil War returned to the U S with his wife and children and settled in Long Beach.

1901: Charles Littlepage passed away and was the first person to be buried in the Long Beach Cemetery on Girard and Railroad Streets.

1903: Long Beach had just entered its quarter century as the Truck Farming Center of the Coast and was well known for its radishes, “the Long Beach Long Reds”.  It was also well known as the “Radish Capitol of America”.

1905: Governor James K Vardaman issued an incorporation proclamation for Long Beach on August 10 after Donatien and Anastasia Dubuisson had been persuaded to move their large family into Long Beach from Pineville to increase the head count to the required total of 900 residents.

Joel N Whitten, local grocer, was elected the first mayor.

On July 1, an Artesian Well Company was formed by 12 citizens for the use of the community. It was patronized until 1926 when a city system was built.

The Vincentians, a private order of Catholic priests from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, purchased 40 acres on the beach to build a church and living quarters for vacationing priests. They built a Gothic style church of virgin pine and Louisiana cypress. For living quarters they built a 40 room building, The Villanova.  St Thomas the Apostle Church, known as the church of 13 altars, was dedicated on Sept 23, 1905 and quickly became more than a church for vacationing priests.

1906: After 20 years, the school on Jeff Davis Ave was replaced with a new two story brick building, built for $7000.00.

Telephone service became available as did an electric power and light system provided by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Traction Company along with  the electric railway system which was not only very convenient, but also set off a real estate boom.

A request was denied to put a saloon in the town.  Long Beach was the only town between Bay St Louis and Biloxi that did not have one.  It was, however, blessed with many churches!

1908: At a city meeting in January, a petition for construction of a road on the north side of the L&N Railroad carried. It was named Railroad Street.

Having the new road may have been the impetus that L&N needed to build the first packing shed, just north of the track in front of the W J Quarles home. Shipping out in excess of 200 cars a year, the shed was an invaluable asset to the farmers.

1909: Two more churches opened during the 2nd week of April, the Long Beach Presbyterian and First Baptist.  The Methodist church provided the meeting place for the Presbyterian group as well as letting them conduct worship services until their own church was completed in 1912.

The Baptist church began meeting at the school and was able to dedicate its church a year later, in April 1910, with assistance both in labor and materials by members of other denominations in town.

The student body increased at the Quarles School and a new one was built on property donated by Will Bass on the corner of Commission and Daugherty Roads. Another outgrown school around Commission and Gates was consolidated with this new school which kept the Quarles name.