During the 19th century Hancock County held America’s largest lumber company until resources were exhausted and the town, known as Logtown, began to decline by 1930. By 1961, NASA acquired the area to build the Mississippi Test Facility which test fired rocket engines for the Apollo program. Named the John C. Stennis Space Center in 1988, it is NASA’s largest rocket engine test facility. With the end of the Apollo and Shuttle programs, other government organizations now utilize the facility. Infinity Science Museum and Welcome Center now invite tourists from busy US Interstate 10. The Byways to Space program offer historic drives down highways leading to the area.
Located in Hancock County, Bay St. Louis has an estimated population of 12,000 people with Waveland just to the west. Overlooking the Bay of St. Louis and the Mississippi Sound, this is a hot spot for activities on the water. The beautiful new Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor was named as one of the Top Ten Internationally by Marina.com. It is one of the only harbors on the Coast where locals and visitors have access directly to downtown after docking their boat.
Bay St. Louis is known as “A Place Apart.” It is an eclectic artist community whose people create unique and flavorful festivals and events. The “Old Bay St. Louis” district referred to simply as Old Town includes many homes and buildings listed on the National Register. The architecture, shotguns, Queen Anne, and bungalows, is influenced by the citizens of New Orleans as “The Bay” was and remains to be a popular place for their summer homes. One could spend the day enjoying in Old Town overlooking the Bay. Every second Saturday of each month, the businesses host a party where locals and visitors shop and dine with live music and special promotions. A few minutes away in the back of town, more restaurants line a park area where the Historic L&N train depot houses a welcome center, the Alice Moseley Folk Art Museum and the BSL Mardi Gras Museum. Nearby, the only casino in town boasts a beautiful Arnold Palmer Signature golf course.
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