For one of the most exciting and valuable resources of information concerning “all things Hancock County–past, present, future” you need look no further than the Hancock County Historical Society.
Founded in 1977, the Society is housed in the Kate Lobrano House, 108 Cue Street, Bay St. Louis, near the Hancock County Courthouse.
Current Executive Director, Charles H Gray, is virtually a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about Hancock County and is spearheading the Society’s effort to create a computerized database of all written documents for instant access to any information needed. Records have been gathered from as many sources as are available and include newspapers and magazines, local city archives and authors, churches, schools–wherever records have been kept or have survived the hurricanes that have devastated Hancock County’s coast. Hancock County was founded in 1812 and named after John Hancock, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, so there is a potential for a plethora of documents to be maintained.
Thirty Thousand photographs have been collected, the majority from the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, and are housed in the Society’s vault, catalogued and categorized. Their website contains a wealth of information of both curiosity and importance that will entertain and enlighten you for hours.
Another interesting project of the Historical Society is the Hancock County Live Oak Tree Registration. Trees receiving this designation must be on private property and determined to be at least 100 years old, ascertained by the measurement of the circumference of the tree at a distance of 4.5 feet from the ground. A member of the Society will be able to assist you in measuring your tree to determine its age.
The Hancock County Historical Society is providing future generations of Coastal Mississippians with history and information that would be lost if not for their considerable efforts. Give them a call, drop by the Kate Lobrano House, or consider becoming a member. Memberships are only $25/year for individuals and come with discounts on the books and other items sold by the Society. Tours are offered by the society to historic places and a monthly luncheon meeting ($10) is held at the Lobrano House.