History

Discover with us!

As a Great American Main Street community filled with art, culture and history Ocean Springs has grown tremendously over the years.  What once was a sleepy fishing town is now a vibrant tourism destination that welcomes nearly half a million visitors each year.

Today, you can walk and shop for art, jewelry, shoes, clothing, home décor and more. Take a venture onto Bienville Boulevard, commonly known as Highway 90 to shop and dine at numerous more locations including our friendly chain restaurants, local Tractor Supply store and many other one of a kind shops.

Home to the Anderson family, an inspiration to this day, is credited in part with the growth of our arts community and economic development.  The Walter Anderson Museum of Art built in 1991 strives to preserve and educate the public on the work of Walter’s brothers: Peter Anderson (1901-1984), and James McConnell Anderson (1907-1998).

Shearwater Pottery, established in 1928 by Peter Anderson has produced art pottery, utilitarian ware, figurines, decorative tiles and other pottery pieces.

Festivals have helped Ocean Springs win such awards as the Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) in 2013. The Ocean Springs Main Street was the recipient of this award in part for its organization and implementation of exceptional accomplishments in revitalizing the historic Main Street commercial district.  Some have said that the GAMSA is the Oscars of downtown development.

Historical Sites and Landmarks 

   Charnley Norwood House, 509 Shearwater Drive  (East Beach)

   Explore an historic house designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in 1890. Open to the public. Free to tour. Contact the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to schedule a tour at 228-523-4150 or send email to heritage@dmr.ms.gov.

L&N Railroad Depot, 1000 Washington Avenue

Historic Train Station built in 1907.  Home to the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau and Realizations, Anderson Family art and gift shop. Public Restrooms and Visitor Information Center.  228-875-4424

Mary C. O’ Keefe Cultural Center, 1600 Government Street

1927 schoolhouse today used as a cultural center and history museum.  Facility includes a performing arts center with WPA murals, Duckett Art Gallery, music studio and culinary kitchen. Art Gallery and Ocean Springs History Museum is open to the public. Free to attend.  228-818-2878

Ocean Springs Community Center, 510-512 Washington Avenue

Community Center adorned with original paintings of the “seven seasons” of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, created by artist Walter Inglis Anderson.  Rental facility is property of the City of Ocean Springs and serves as a rental facility. The center is attached to the Walter Anderson Museum of Art.  Free to view.  228- 875-4236

Ocean Springs Senior Citizen Center, 514 Washington Avenue

Built in 1918, the center that now serves as a meeting place for seniors was once City Hall and the Fire Station.  228-875-4236

Steamboat House (Carter-Callaway House), 916 State Street

Built in 1906 the historic home resembles the design of a steamboat without the paddle wheel.  Currently, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is privately owned.

Crooked Feather Sculpture, Bienville Blvd.

5 by 11 foot cypress log carved as the famous Indian Head by sculptor, Thomas King, 1999.  (Original sculpture by Peter Totch, 1976.)  228-875-4424

Caboose

Little red caboose is a rail car with the words “Welcome to the City of Ocean Springs” which sits overlooking Bienville Blvd near the Biloxi Bay Bridge.  A symbol of the old L&N railway system.

For more information on historical sites in and around Ocean Springs, visit our local historian website at https://oceanspringsarchives.net/ or the Mississippi Department of Archives and History Mississippi Landmarks at http://www.mdah.ms.gov/new/preserve/mississippi-landmarks/.