History

Gently resting on a peninsula into the Mississippi Sound and Gulf of Mexico, Pass Christian is a vibrant and diverse community of residences, two harbors, two parks, a seafood industry, and several small businesses.

Indian mounds and the remains of Native American settlements indicate centuries of habitation in the area due to the temperate climate and rich seafood resources. Pass Christian was named in 1699 by French-Canadian explorers. The city name is derived from a deep-water channel or pass directly offshore discovered by Nicholas Christian L’Adnier and named after him.

Pass Christian was officially chartered as a town in 1848 after a free man of color, Charles Asmar, left what is now the entire downtown area to his heirs.

Pass Christian School District is annually ranked at the top of both state and national schools, earning both “A” and Blue Ribbon designations. Strong citizen and community involvement bolster the educational environment and school system.

A large part of Pass Christian is designated as a National Historic District due to the enduring presence of many ornate and stylized homes built in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Our culture is rich in both music and writing. Jazz and blues musician Captain John Handy lived and performed in town along with several other musicians and bands. Several nationally known writers call Pass Christian home.

Pass Christian’s economy is driven by several seafood-related businesses, oyster and shrimp fishing and processing, as well as a thriving small business community. Boutique hotels, restaurants, and shopping are all situated in the downtown core of several walkable streets and blocks beside War Memorial Park. A second park is located on the eastern edge of town, also along the waterfront.

The slower pace, the friendly shopkeepers, the cordial citizens, and the warm gulf breeze lure many to Pass Christian for either a visit or to call the community home.