History of Pascagoula


Pascagoula, the “Singing River” city beside the Gulf of Mexico, has a deep and rich history as a European settlement that goes back over 300 years. Her name is taken from a band of peaceful Native Americans (Pascagoula means “bread eaters”) who inhabited the area when Hemando De Soto first made contact with them in the 1540’s. Tragically, these noble people are now extinct having drowned themselves chanting as they waded into the deepening river waters rather than enslave themselves to their enemy, the fierce Biloxi. Thus, the legend of the “Singing River” was born. They were followed closely behind by Spanish, French and English settlers.

Shipping & Maritime

Interestingly, because of her maritime success, Pascagoula is still a gathering place of nations as they come here to trade, build or buy ships. She is Mississippi’s premier and busiest port. Pascagoula is the home of the state’s largest employer, Northrop Grumman -”America’s Shipbuilder”. Other major industries include a Chevron refinery, Signal International, First Chemical Corporation, VT Halter, Mississippi Phosphates, and BP/Amoco.


Learn more about the history of the City of Pascagoula by viewing our Historical Timeline (PDF).