A Touch of History
From Pearl River, aboard the “Alligator,” Capt. Flood proceeded to the Bay of St. Louis and the Pass of Christian, where he hoisted the flag of the United States on January 9,1811, at 2 o’clock, a.m., and presented a commission as justice of the peace to Philip Saucier, along with a copy of the civil code of the Territory, with the laws and different acts of the legislature.
A decade after Mississippi became a State in 1817, Steamboat service was inaugurated between New Orleans and Mobile followed by lighthouse constructions at the Pass and at Cat Island in 1831. The former Negro slave Carlos (Charlot) Asmard died in 1835 leaving all of his remaining unsold downtown properties to his heirs. And, the following year, in 1836, the widow Louise Livingston sold her vast interests of the Pass Christian peninsula to John Henderson, Charles Shipman and David Hughes. Henderson and his descendants were most agressive in land sales and development of Pass Christian Isles and Henderson Point as well as other areas of current day Pass Christian.
It was with these beginnings in the 1830s, that Pass Christian evolved into a thriving community. This was largely due to its proximity to New Orleans and its participation as a "sister city" in culture as well as in its dynamic spirit. Its first mercantile activity was that of a trading center. The Pass had developed as a small port for local fishermen and arriving boats passing through to other port communities along the Coast between Mobile and New Orleans.
In 1838, the New Orleans Daily Picayune announced that a wharf had been constructed, large enough to transport horse carriages from landing ships.
Pass Christian Municipal Harbor
The water passage in the Sound that reaches to the Municipal Harbor was named the Pass of Christian since the mid 1800s, when Nicholas Christian Ladner settled at Cat Island. Prior to that it was called "Passe aux Huitres" by the early French explorers. Translation for the offshore "pass" was suitably named the "Oyster Pass". For hundreds of years, the numerous oyster reefs afforded a source of supply to the whole coastal region. In 1902, a Dunbar-Dukate seafood plant was started at the present site of the Pass Christian Yacht Club.
Access to the Factory was by way of a 1000 foot length wharf, jetting from shore to plant atop pilings. At night, the smaller commercial boats would tie-up to each other creating "raft-docks" anchored to the wharf. This was the first semblance of a harbor before the mud flats became dredged.
On the eastern side, the Pass Christian Yacht Club is located at the site of the former Dunbar-Dukate Cannery and has its own parking area, boat launch and a private pier for 20 boats. Also, the city has provided space for a Department of Marine Resources field office. The combination of city, county, private and commercial sharing in the area is well balanced and favorably harmonious.
One of the famous festival events along the coast has been held at the Pass Christian Harbor. "Celebrate the Gulf" provides marine oriented educational exhibits and activities primarily focused for school children. Thousands of spectators participate at this festival event as well as the annual "Blessings of the Fleet".
View from South side toward shoreline.