A Review of

Louisiana's Loss, Mississippi's Gain --

A History of Hancock County, Mississippi

From the Stone Age to the Space Age

by Robert G. Scharff

ISBN 1-55618-176-0; LC 98-28171


This book makes history come alive!

This historical volume has been extremely well-researched, well-documented, and well-written. It is an excellent resource for history aficionados, especially those with a focus on Mississippi and Louisiana. It describes the people, places, and events that shaped Hancock County, Mississippi -- on the Gulf Coast -- from prehistoric times to the present.

There are countless interesting (and very descriptive) stories contained in the book; the author's writing style makes you feel like you were there -- this isn't just a "dry" history book. The people and places really come alive through the well-chosen words.

After reading the book and then visiting Mississippi and Hancock County for the first time, I felt like I was already in familiar territory!


For Ordering Information:

More information from the official press release:

Hancock County is located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, between New Orleans and Biloxi. While its history is intimately connected with that of both cities, it is also unique, with its own people, European explorers, extermination of the buffalo, pirates, a naval battle in the War of 1812, Indians, settlers, the county's role in the Civil War, timber barons and their company towns, the testing of Saturn rocket motors, and casino gambling.

These stories and many others are told in the book's 35 well-documented chapters. This volume is, by far, the most authoritative history of the county written to date, and should be of value to genealogy buffs as well as those with an appetite for local history. It is a BIG book with over 700 pages and with 100 pictures.


Table of Contents:

Foreword by Stephen E. Ambrose



  1. Prehistory of the Gulf Coast Area
  2. Early European Explorations of the Gulf Coast
  3. French Exploration and Exploitation of the Hancock County Area
  4. Indigenous Coastal Indians
  5. Settlement During the French Colonial Period
  6. The English Colonial Period
  7. The Spanish Colonial Period
  8. The West Florida Republic and the Orleans Territory
  9. The War of 1812
  10. The Mississippi Territory and the Birth of Hancock County
  11. Early Statehood
  12. The Late Antebellum Period
  13. The Civil War
  14. The Reconstruction Years
  15. Railroad and Resurgence
  16. The Ascent of the Lumber Barons
  17. To Partition or Not To Partition
  18. The Coast in the '80s
  19. The Nineties -- Gay and Otherwise
  20. When Lumber Was King
  21. Growth of Northern Hancock County Along the N.O. and N.E. Railroad
  22. The Twentieth Century Dawns on the Coast
  23. The Decline and Fall of the Primeval Forest I
  24. The Temperate Teens
  25. The Decline and Fall of the Primeval Forest II
  26. The Roaring Twenties
  27. After the Ball Was Over
  28. Rural Hancock County after the Sawmill Period
  29. Through War and Storm
  30. Rural Hancock County at Mid-Twentieth Century
  31. The Mid-Twentieth Century Boom on the Coast
  32. Entering the Space Age
  33. Camille!
  34. Resurrection
  35. The New Era


Appendix A: Index to Personal, Family, and Institutional Histories

Appendix B: List of Hancock County Geographical Names

Appendix C: Population of Hancock County, MS

Appendix D: Index to Wills Filed in Hancock County, 1814-1900

Appendix E: County and City Officials