National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Second Street Historic District
Reference Number 15000987
State Mississippi
County Harrison
Town Gulfport
Street Address Along 2nd St.
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 1/19/2016
Areas of Significance Community Planning and Development, Architecture
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The proposed historic district is significant under Criterion A for Community Planning and Development and Criterion C for Architecture. The district shows a planned response to Gulfport's explosive early growth, and reflects the early evolution of United States suburban development. The City of Gulfport was founded due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, more importantly the access to a deep water port, and the terminus of the railroad. During the 1880s Captain William Harris Hardy was building a railroad between Meridian, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana, when he realized the potential for harvesting the abundant longleaf yellow pine in South Mississippi. At a site now known as Hattiesburg, Captain Hardy drew a line on a map from his railroad south to Ship Island, where there was deep water. Captain Hardy's intention was to construct a railroad along the marked route as well as a deep water port at the southern end of the line. 4 He eventually formed the Union Investment Company and became the President of the newly reorganized Gulf & Ship Island Railroad Corporation in the mid-1880s. With the backing of the Union Investment Company, Captain Hardy was able to procure 5,000 acres from Mrs. C.M. Soria for $5 per acre and was able to eventually lay out the plat for a town, which would be bounded by the Mississippi Sound on the south, 20th Avenue to the east, 28th Street to the north and 34th Avenue on the west. The first boundary stake was driven in 1887. By 1888, several saw mills and a coal refinery were in operation along with other smaller businesses. Unfortunately, economic hardship as well as the Panic of 1893 brought the expansion of the railroad and development of Gulfport to a grinding halt. Despite the setbacks, Gulfport was incorporated on July 28, 1898.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria