Interesting Things

By Ray L. Bellande

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Ocean Springs Harbor - "Fred Moran's Little Fishing Hole" : Time Line

Ocean Springs Harbor-“Fred Moran’s little fishing hole”

 Time Line

19th Century

1846-Called Bayou Baiziene? or Bayou Bauzage? in the partition deed of the Widow LaFontaine property.(Schmidt, 1984, p. 20 and Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, p. 546)

1851-Mapped by U.S. Coast Survey and unnamed. 

Circa 1865-called Mill Dam Bayou.  Ellis Handy (1891-1963) in the local journal, The Gulf Coast Times, interviewed Joe Lewis ‘Dode’ Schrieber (1873-1951) who reported that William Gray Kendall (1812-1872) built a dam was built to trap tidewater and provide a source of energy to grind corn or other grains at a mill located on that site.  The grinding wheel fell into the mud and silt of the bayou when it was abandoned in the 1870s.(The Gulf Coast Times, August 26, 1949)

1930-1939

January 1936-Refurbished Mill Dam bridge for road traffic on January 30, 1936.  Ed Voivedich in his Model T Ford was the first to cross.(The Jackson County Times, February 1, 1936, p. 3)

1938-A.P. ‘Fred’ Moran (1897-1967), Jackson County Beat 4 Supervisor acquired easements along the proposed inner harbor from Annette McConnell Anderson (1867-1964) of the Shearwater Pottery; Charles E. Clark (1879-1945), the Rehage Dairy; and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, owner of the former Charles G. Parlin property, which was acquired by Albert Austin and Alice Tee Wier Austin (1908-2001) in 1940.

June 1938-Jackson County built a dredge, later called Wahalak, perfected by Captain Adam Gautier (1873-1963).  It began operation in December 1937 as a suction dredge, which proved unsatisfactory.  It was then converted into a 'cutter' dredge and was used primarily to provide protection for the seawalls at Pascagoula and Ocean Springs.(The Pascagoula Chronicle-Star, June 17, 1938, p. 1)

March 1939-the Jackson County dredge started work on the 100-foot wide channel to the future inner harbor.(The Jackson County Times, March 18,1939, p. 1)

 

September 1939-Russell Carver (1888-1961), foreman of the County bridge crew, finished a 200-foot by 10-foot, east-west striking, dock on the north shore of the new harbor.(The Jackson County Times, August 26, 1939, p. 2)

1940-1949

December 1943-In late 1943, U.S. Army Air Corps personnel from Key Field at Meridian, Mississippi were sent to man a Crash and Rescue Boat Base on the inner harbor.  B.L. Knost Company of Pass Christian, Mississippi was awarded a $14,730 contract to build pre-fabricated barracks, a mess hall, and lavatory on Hellmers Lane on the north shore of the inner harbor.(The Jackson County Times, December 11, 1943, p. 1)

 

January 1944- A.P. ‘Fred’ Moran (1897-1967), Beat Four Supervisor, committed Wahalak, the Jackson County dredge, to excavate slips for the 3rd Air Force crash boats.  These craft were used to monitor bombing ranges in the Gulf of Mexico and assist downed flyers.(The Jackson County Times, January 15, 1944, p. 1)

September 1945-After V-J Day on September 2, 1945, activity at the US Army Air Corps crash boat base began to diminish rapidly.  The rescue vessels at Ocean Springs were moved to Brookley AFB, Mobile, Alabama.  By March 1946, the military facility on Hellmer's Lane was still open, but not operational.  It was permanently closed shortly thereafter.(W.H. Yarrow, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, April 10, 1999) 

September 1947-The inner harbor moored and sheltered over two hundred Biloxi shrimp boats from the September Storm.  Their vessels were valued at $1,000,000.(The Jackson County Times, December 1947, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, May 9, 1957)

In 1947, C. Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988) entered the political arena at Ocean Springs and was elected alderman-at-large for one term.  He often battled Beat Four County Supervisor A.P. "Fred" Moran (1897-1967) over the best utility of the Ocean Springs Inner Harbor.  In the spring of 1948, Schmidt resigned in a furor from his position as Secretary of the Commission for Sea Food Development.  He was an outspoken advocate for industrial development in Jackson County and wanted the harbor developed for commercial fishermen.  Supervisor Moran favored the inlet as a haven for pleasure craft and recreational sailors. The Jackson County TimesMarch 19, 1948, p. 1 and June 1948, p. 1)

December 1947-Supervisor A.P. ‘Fred’ Moran proposed a plan to double the size of the inner harbor.  The new harbor [later called Kensington basin] would be a shelter for small boats.(The Jackson County Times, December 1947, p. 1)

In August 1948, C. Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988) lost a hotly contested race for his Alderman-at-Large post to J.C. Gay (1909-1975).  The Citizens Progressive League had been organized in the spring of 1948, with the specific purpose of unseating incumbent Schmidt.  They vehemently opposed his platform of establishing a seafood industry at Ocean Springs, and his criticism of tax evaders. The Jackson County Times, August 20, 1948, p. 1)

1950-1959

1955-Ethel Cates named ‘Harbor Mistress’.(The Daily Herald, May 9, 1957)

February 1957-Shell oil and gas station opened at inner harbor for boats.(The Ocean Springs News, February 7, 1957, p. 1)

January 1958-Shearwater Bridge-Construction commenced in January 1958 by Newsom Construction Company on the $17,000, 18-foot tall bridge across the Ocean Springs Inner Harbor.(The Ocean Springs News, January 16, 1958, p. 1)

1960-1969

1968-The R.W. Schluter Estate sold the Jackson County Board of Supervisors the harbor-front land at the intersection of Kensington and Pine and the slough extending east from Pine Drive for further extension of the harbor  and for more harbor and recreational facilities.(Schmidt, 1984, p. 129)

1970-1979

August 1970-OSYC commences construction on inner harbor.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 20, 1970)

September 1970-OSYC burns.(The Ocean Springs Record, September 10, 1970, p. 1 and  September 10, 1970, p. 1)

January 1971.  OSYC opens.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 28, 1971, p. 14)

1980-1989

April 1984-Inner Harbor Park dedicated on April 7th.  Cost $154,000.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 12, 1984, p. 1)

May 1985-Harbor renovations underway.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 30, 1985, p. 2)

April 1989-Work stopped at harbor.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 20, 1989, p. 1)

 

1990-1999

1996-Inner harbor dredged.  Kensington Basin portion cost $229,000.(The Sun herald, August 11, 1996)

 

2000-2010

2003-Shearwater Bridge-Construction began in late May 2003.  Dedicated on April 20, 2004.  Bottle of champagne broke on structure by Marjorie A. Ashley, potter James Anderson and spouse Margaret Hollingsworth Anderson.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 22, 2004, p. A1)

March 2004- Harbor Landing Dry Stack Marina began construction.

March 2005-Harbor Landing, a dry boat storage facility on the west side of the small craft harbor, almost completed.(The Mississippi Press, “OS Press”, February 16, 2005, p. )

August-September 2006-Harbor Landing Restaurant construction commences.

September 2006-proposed Harbor Master office-(The Sun Herald, September 18, 2006, p. A8 and The Ocean Springs Record, September 21, 2006, p. A10))

March-April 2007-Harbor Landing Restaurant attempts to open but refused due to protests. (The Sun Herald, April 11, 2007, p. A8)

September 2007-Harbor Landing Restaurant opens. (The Sun Herald, September 27, 2007, p. D8)

February 2008Lesley Hamm (b. 1981) was appointed OS Harbor Master, the second woman, to hold this position.  The harbor now has 178 boat slips.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 7, 2008, p. A1)

February 2008-Chancery Court hearing on Harbor Landing Restaurant issues.(The Sun Herald, February 29, 2008, p. A3)

June 2008-Contractor starts construction of new harbor pier in footprint of Katrina damaged structure.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 3, 2008, p. A1)

July 2008-Judge Dale Harkey, Jackson County Circuit Court, rules in favor of City-Harbor Landing and against A. Bruce and Alice Ducketts, plaintiffs.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 10, 2008, p. A1)

October 2008-Board of Supervisors met with FEMA to determine how Harbor Master's office can be built to meet new flood map requirements.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 23, 2008, p. A3)

December 2008-County initiates OS Harbor Christmas boat parade.(The Sun Herald, December 2008, p. A4 and The Ocean Springs Record, December 11, 2008, p. B1)

2011-2020

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors voted to include the Inner Harbor on the Audubon Society Mississippi Coast Birding Trail.  John McKay, Beat V Supervisor, said: "If we're joining Audubon and they have a say about something like dredging the harbor, I don't want that."  Paula Yancey, Board Attorney, eased McKay's angst when she counsiled the Board that although a sign would be erected at the Inner Harbor, it would not make the harbor a bird sanctuary, only a stop on the birding tour.(The Sun Herald, November 6, 2013, p. A10)