Hancock County History
Hancock: Always ahead on the horizon.
Hancock County began with bounty from the sea. Oyster shell middens overlaid by clam shell middens tell the story of prehistoric peoples transitioning from fierce and scattered Pleistocene hunters to a settled culture thriving on natural resources more easily obtained than mastodon and saber-tooth tigers. In fact, those natural resources would sustain native cultures handily for the next 3,000 years until the arrival of the Europeans.
Later the region would be defined by the bounty that explorers sought and, according to legend, the booty of pirates, drawn to the area for glory and gold. And it was a quest for glorious achievement, the race to the moon, that kicked off the modern age for Hancock, when the county was tapped in October of 1961 as the location for a testing facility to flight-certify the now-famous Saturn V rocket engines for the U.S. space program. The facility was situated on a 13,500-acre site nestled at the edge of the Pearl River, surrounded by 125,000-acre acoustical buffer zone.
Today, the Stennis Space Center is an on-the-go, in-the-lead Federal city—not a place for residences, but rather a location where 5,000 professionals, including some of the world’s leading scientists and researchers, are employed in projects and missions of world-shaping consequence. It’s no stretch to say it’s an honor to work at Stennis, nor is it an exaggeration to say that it’s a joy to live in the county’s half dozen other vibrant cities and communities. Each one has its own personality, its own special character, affording those who work in Hancock County a bounty of options in housing and lifestyle.
The people of Hancock have always had their eyes on the horizon, taking in the sea, sky and land, a sweeping and panoramic perspective that has guided growth in strategic ways. Today, we are both a resort area and a research hub, a place where ideas take flight against a setting of great natural beauty and collaborative community support. For those seeking to live better and work better, from our earliest beginnings and now as we head to farther reaches of deep space, Hancock offers the right resources for bountiful satisfaction and success.