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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Biloxi in Harrison County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Back Bay Factories

 

—Historic Biloxi —

 
Back Bay Factories Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 22, 2017
1. Back Bay Factories Marker
Inscription. In 1880, self-made entrepreneurs Lazaro Lopez, F. William Elmer, William Gorenflo, James Maycock, and William K. M. Dukate formed a company that would launch Biloxi's seafood industry. Inexperience did not thwart the partners. Dukate traveled to Baltimore where he studied the procedures and technology in the canning of oysters and shrimp and acquired the necessary machinery. They invested $8,000 in combined capital and in 1881 established Biloxi's first seafood canning factory, Lopez, Elmer and Company, on Back Bay just northwest of the head of Reynoir Street. In 1884, some members withdrew from the partnership to build a competitive factory on Point Cadet. Lopez, Elmer and Company was renamed Biloxi Canning Company. By the end of the decade, three large canneries were operating along the water side of Bayview Avenue: the Biloxi Canning Company, the E. C. Joullian Packing Company between Lameuse and Main streets, and the Gorenflo Canning Company at the head of Main Street. The Gorenflo Company alone employed 160 people, owned over 30 schooners, and was shipping its goods to every state in the country and to several European nations. During the summer off season the companies canned figs and other locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Some Back Bay factories recruited seasonal workers from Baltimore to supplement
View towards the Back Bay of Biloxi and a casino that basically replaced the factories. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 22, 2017
2. View towards the Back Bay of Biloxi and a casino that basically replaced the factories.
the insufficient local labor force. These self-proclaimed "Bohemians" and other workers were quartered near the factories in long row-houses that the local people called "c.c. (canning company) camps."

Increased demand for Gulf seafood enticed others to invest in canneries. Over time, new factories were built, and some older established factories changed owners and acquired new names. The 1922 Biloxi city directory shows 20 Back Bay canneries along the Bay from Caillavet Street to the eastern extremity of Bayview Avenue. These were interspersed with small raw stock fish and oyster businesses. Each of the largest companies owned a fleet of boats and provided housing for their laborers. In 1934, the Biloxi Canning Company owned 49 boats and employed 200 boatmen and 300 factory workers. An early newspaper article called the company "the Old Pioneer" because from that first factory sprang Biloxi's chief industry. In time, the company proved to be the longest operating of the Back Bay factories.
 
Erected 2015 by the City of Biloxi.
 
Location. 30° 24.673′ N, 88° 53.324′ W. Marker is in Biloxi, Mississippi, in Harrison County. Marker is at the intersection of Bayview Avenue and Porter Avenue, on the left when traveling east on Bayview
The view west of former factory locations and now another casino. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 22, 2017
3. The view west of former factory locations and now another casino.
Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 461 Porter Avenue, Biloxi MS 39530, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Brick House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Biloxi Blues (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cathedral of the Nativity (B.V.M.) (approx. one mile away); Downtown Biloxi (approx. one mile away); Biloxi City Hall (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Magnolia Hotel (approx. 1.1 miles away); Birthplace of Barq's (approx. 1.2 miles away); High Water Mark (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Biloxi.
 
Also see . . .  The Seafood Industry in Biloxi: Its Early History, 1848-1930. (Submitted on March 25, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
Back Bay Factories Marker and Back Bay of Biloxi. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 22, 2017
4. Back Bay Factories Marker and Back Bay of Biloxi.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 25, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 25, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 67 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 25, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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