Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Coordinates: 30°18′53″N 89°20′39″W / 30.31472°N 89.34417°W / 30.31472; -89.34417
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Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
The Bay of St. Louis, the new bay bridge, and the city of Bay St. Louis on the western shore (upper part of photo)
The Bay of St. Louis, the new bay bridge, and the city of Bay St. Louis on the western shore (upper part of photo)
Flag of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Official logo of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Location of Bay St. Louis, MS
Location of Bay St. Louis, MS
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi is located in the United States
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 30°18′53″N 89°20′39″W / 30.31472°N 89.34417°W / 30.31472; -89.34417
CountryUnited States
 • MayorMike Favre
 • Total26.62 sq mi (68.95 km2)
 • Land14.69 sq mi (38.05 km2)
 • Water11.93 sq mi (30.90 km2)
23 ft (7 m)
 • Total9,284
 • Density631.91/sq mi (243.99/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
39520, 39521, 39522
Area code228
FIPS code28-03980
GNIS feature ID0666588

Bay St. Louis is a city in and the county seat of Hancock County, Mississippi, in the United States.[2] Located on the Gulf Coast on the west side of the Bay of St. Louis, it is part of the GulfportBiloxi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 9,284 at the 2020 census, up from 9,260 at the 2010 census.


Bay St. Louis seen in 1932

The first European settlers in this area were French colonists, whose culture still influences the small city and who imported enslaved people from Africa. A Louisiana Creole population developed, featuring people of color as well as white colonists of largely French descent.

The county was organized by European Americans, who named it after John Hancock, who was a Founding Father of the United States. While more Protestant Americans migrated into this area after Indian Removal in the 1830s, there are still many Catholic families, some dating to both African and French ancestors of the colonial era. Roman Catholic schools still draw area students.


Bay St. Louis is located in southeastern Hancock County. It is situated on the west side of the Bay of St. Louis which empties into the Mississippi Sound, adjacent to Pass Christian to the east. The city is bordered to the north by the Jourdan River, the primary inlet of the bay and Diamondhead. The eastern border of the city is the Harrison County line in the middle of the bay.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.6 square miles (69.0 km2), of which 14.7 square miles (38.1 km2) are land and 11.9 square miles (30.9 km2), or 44,82%, are water.[3]


On August 17, 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall at the tip of Louisiana before continuing to Bay St. Louis.

On August 29, 2005, at 10:00 a.m. CDT, Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall just west of Bay St. Louis, at the mouth of the Pearl River, causing a 28-foot (8.5 m) storm surge. Hurricane Katrina came ashore during the high tide of 9:15AM, +2.3 feet more,[4] causing a storm tide more than 30 feet (9.1 m) high.

USGS topographic maps show a common 25-foot (7.6 m) elevation contour line running throughout a ridge along the former routing of Highway 90 (Old Spanish Trail) on the western edge of the city. As higher ground, this area was spared inundation from the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina.[citation needed]

Katrina damaged more than 40 Mississippi libraries, including severe roof and water damage to the Bay St. Louis Public Library. The library reopened to the public on October 12, 2005.[5]

The Bay St. Louis Bridge on US Highway 90 was severely damaged, with many bridge sections down-dropped at the west edges. The destroyed bridge was replaced by a new Bay St. Louis Bridge, which received America's Transportation Award. It includes a pedestrian bridge with an art walk featuring the works of local artists.

The underground utility infrastructure in Bay St. Louis received a federally funded total overhaul and replacement.[citation needed]


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bay St. Louis has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[6]

Adjacent cities and towns[edit]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
Hancock County Courthouse in Bay St. Louis
Bay St. Louis racial composition as of 2020[8]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 6,996 75.36%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,357 14.62%
Native American 37 0.4%
Asian 93 1.0%
Pacific Islander 1 0.01%
Other/Mixed 404 4.35%
Hispanic or Latino 396 4.27%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 9,284 people, 5,447 households, and 4,273 families residing in the city.[9]


Almost all of the city of Bay St. Louis is served by the Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District. Small portions of land are within the Hancock County School District.[10]

It is the home of Bay High School. In addition to Bay High, there are private Catholic schools: Saint Stanislaus College, a residency and day school for boys grades 7–12; and Our Lady Academy, a day school for girls grades 7–12. The latter two share some classrooms as well as a Roman Catholic curriculum.

All of Hancock County is in the service area of Pearl River Community College.[11]


The 1966 movie This Property is Condemned starring Natalie Wood and Robert Redford was filmed in Bay St. Louis, which was called "Dodson" in the movie, with some additional shooting in Biloxi, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana.[12][better source needed]


Major highways[edit]

  • Interstate 10 passes through the northern extension of the city, 10 miles (16 km) northwest of downtown, with access from Exit 13 (Highway 603). I-10 leads east 37 miles (60 km) to Biloxi and southwest 54 miles (87 km) to New Orleans.
  • U.S. Highway 90 passes just north of downtown Bay St. Louis, leading east across the St. Louis Bay Bridge to Pass Christian. Via US 90 it is 15 miles (24 km) east to Gulfport and 60 miles (97 km) southwest to New Orleans.
  • Mississippi Highway 603 runs along the western edge of the Bay St. Louis city limits, connecting US 90 and Interstate 10.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Bay St. Louis city, Mississippi". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  4. ^ "2005 NOAA Tide Predictions: St. Louis Bay entrance" (2005), tide on 29-Aug-2005, NOAA, web: NOAA-tide-tables.
  5. ^ "Hurricane Katrina Related Damages to Public Libraries in Mississippi" (September 2005), Mississippi Library Commission, (ALA-Katrina) Archived 2007-10-31 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Bay St. Louis, Mississippi Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  9. ^ "Bay St. Louis city, Mississippi". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  10. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Hancock County, MS" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 14, 2022. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  11. ^ "2014-2016 Catalog" (PDF). Pearl River Community College. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 7, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  12. ^ This Property Is Condemned (1966) - IMDb, retrieved February 20, 2021
  13. ^ "Senate Concurrent Resolution 506". Mississippi Legislature. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  14. ^ Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (April 29, 2004). African American Lives. Oxford University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-19-988286-1.
  15. ^ "Joseph Compretta's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  16. ^ Charles N. Bransom (1990). Ordinations of U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1790-1989: A Chronological List. National Conference of Catholic Bishops, U.S. Catholic Conference. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-55586-323-4.
  17. ^ National Football League; Workman Publishing (July 2000). The Official NFL 2000 Record and Fact Book. Workman Publishing Company, Incorporated. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-7611-1982-1.
  18. ^ The American Bar, the Canadian Bar, the International Bar. R.B. Forster & Associates. 1988. p. 1959. ISBN 978-0-931398-17-9.
  19. ^ "Philip Moran-Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  20. ^ Rex D. Hamann (October 21, 2014). The Millers and the Saints: Baseball Championships of the Twin Cities Rivals, 1903-1955. McFarland. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-4766-1599-8.
  21. ^ Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society. 1882. p. 522.
  22. ^ "Lawrence Edward Roberts Sr". CAF Rise Above. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  23. ^ United States. Congress. House. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Subcommittee on National Parks and Insular Affairs (1980). To Establish a Barrier Islands Protection System: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on National Parks and Insular Affairs of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, Ninety-sixth Congress, Second Session, on H. R. 5981 ... Hearings Held in Washington, D. C., March 24 and 27, 1980. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 341.
  24. ^ The Horn Book Magazine. Horn Book, Incorporated. 1956. p. 85.
  25. ^ Nancy Capace (January 1, 2001). Encyclopedia of Mississippi. Somerset Publishers, Inc. p. 416. ISBN 978-0-403-09603-9.
  26. ^ Stanford University (2002). Annual Commencement: Order of Exercises. p. 74.

External links[edit]