About The Sea coast echo. (Bay Saint Louis, Miss.) 1892-current
Bay Saint Louis, Miss. (1892-current)
- The Sea coast echo. : (Bay Saint Louis, Miss.) 1892-current
- Place of publication:
- Bay Saint Louis, Miss.
- Geographic coverage:
- Charles G. Moreau
- Dates of publication:
- Began with Jan. 9, 1892 issue.
- Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 30 (Aug. 6, 1892).
- sn 86074033
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
The Sea Coast Echo
Mississippi's westernmost coastal county, Hancock, was organized in 1812 during the state's territorial period (1798-1817). By the mid-19th-century, the county seat of Shieldsboro, later renamed Bay St. Louis, was a popular destination for wealthy New Orleanians fleeing summertime heat and yellow fever epidemics; after 1870, railroads brought affluent Northerners to Bay St. Louis and other Gulf Coast resorts. Commercial canning began in the 1880s with the canning of oysters and shrimp, and, in the off season, locally grown fruits and vegetables. When the lumbering boom came in the 1890s, the Pearl River, the western boundary of the county, served as one means of transporting longleaf yellow pine timber from the southern portion of the state to coastal sawmills and, from there, to national and international markets.
While not the earliest Democratic newspaper in Bay St. Louis, the Sea Coast Echo (1892-current) has outlived its main competitor, the Gulf Coast Progress (1884-1921). The first issue of the weekly Echo came out on January 9, 1892, with the motto "Fearless in all Things." Its goal was to be an "all home print" newspaper and promised "a first class newsy local paper" to the people of Bay St. Louis, Hancock County, and the coast. The issue announced 18-year-old Charles G. Moreau, "a young man of great newspaper ability," as the editor. Except for a six-year stretch from 1912 to 1917, when the Echo was expanded to eight pages, Moreau produced a four-page newspaper until at least 1922. In addition to being the sole owner for most of his 50 years with the Echo, Moreau also owned stores and residences and was an officer in the Merchant Bank of Bay St. Louis. In 1975, the Sea Coast Echo became bi-weekly and, as of 2016, was still published on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
In the Echo's early years, national and international news and general interest items typically appeared on the first two pages, with local news on the last two pages. Separate columns carried news bullets for Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Logtown, Pearlington, and Nicholson. Starting around 1900, St. Stanislaus College, established in 1855, had its own column. By 1922, local coverage predominated and featured local politics, editorials, minutes of the meetings of the Board of Supervisors, city ordinances, legal notices, social news, marriage announcements and obituaries, professional cards and advertisements, as well as state legislative news. The Echo consistently carried informational articles on women's and children's interests and home and farm topics.
Reported local events included natural disasters and information concerning the local economy. One example is coverage of a devastating hurricane in the October 7, 1893 issue. Another local disaster, featured in the November 16, 1907 edition, was a fire that destroyed much of the business district of Bay St. Louis. Yellow fever outbreaks were a yearly concern including one in 1897, which caused the September 25th issue to be reduced to two pages due to a paper shortage caused by a quarantine. The October 26, 1918 issue reported on eight recent deaths, mostly due to influenza, including the Echo's printer, Richard Masson, and the owner's only child, Marie Louise Moreau. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, news about the local economy included the yearly status of the local oyster and shrimp harvests and announcements of guests at prominent tourist hotels such as the Klock. The Sea Coast Echo often featured news about the lumber industry, as in the February 8, 1913 article entitled "Gulfport Tops Whole Country as Lumber Port."
Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History