Biloxi, Mississippi Historical Marker

Biloxi, MS Historical Marker

From as early as 8,000 BC to the 1700s, Native Americans made Biloxi home. Then, in 1697, the Comte de Ponchartrain, French Minister of Marine, ordered Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, to find the mouth of the Mississippi River. In the course of looking for it, Iberville and 14 men came to what would become Biloxi, named after the Biloxi Native Americans, who the crew met and befriended. These Native Americans might have only arrived at the coast a short while before the French.

Biloxi became the capital of the French territory from about 1719 to 1722 when the capital was moved to New Orleans. By 1779, the French had ceded the Mississippi Coast to Spain, and it briefly (in 1810) became a part of the Republic of West Florida. In fact, over the years, Biloxi was under the French, Spanish, British, West Florida Republic, Confederacy and the United States flags.

Mississippi officially became a state in 1817. By 1850, Biloxi was incorporated as a township and became a favorite summer resort.

Historical Marker Inscription

Founded by the French as “New Biloxi.” Capital of French colony of Louisiana, 1721-1722, prior to French removal to New Orleans. Incorporated as a town in 1850 by the Mississippi Legislature.

Location

Biloxi Small Craft Harbor, 679 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, MS 39350 United States

30° 23′ 33.372″ N, 88° 53′ 3.840″ W

Moran Site, Biloxi, Mississippi

Moran Site, Biloxi, Mississippi

What was once a Colonial cemetery is now the French Colonial Memorial Garden, located at the Biloxi Visitors Center. The memorial park and garden commemorates the 1700s cemetery, which is the second oldest French Colonial cemetery in the United States.

The site dates back to the 1720s when Biloxi was a staging ground for European settlers and African slaves. From here, they would be relocated further into the French Louisiana Colony.

Found here were 32 graves of French Colonial settlers from the 1700s. The graves were mainly European men, and several artifacts were also discovered at this location. Remains were initially uncovered here in 1914, but it was unknown who they belong to. In 1969, Hurricane Camille unearthed more remains. A total of 12 burials were discovered at that time. Excavations post Hurricane Katrina in 2005 located an additional 20 graves.

The site is named after the Moran family who lived and worked at the site in 1952. The dedication of the memorial garden took place in 2017.

Historical Marker Inscription

Located here was a French Colonial cemetery, now known as the Moran Site. Based on archaeological investigations, the cemetery dates to the founding of “New Biloxi” between 1717 and 1722, and includes at least thirty burials, primarily male Europeans. Artifacts recovered from the site include ceramics, a French Colonial wine glass and a metal crucifix. The Moran Site is the oldest known French Colonial cemetery in the South and the second oldest in the United States.

Location

Biloxi Visitors Center, 1050 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530

30° 23.719′ N, 88° 54.101′ W