On-The-Road Epilogue # 6 – The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum

This is the third museum I visited during my recent three-day trip across the Gulf Coast States. I kinda think it was my favorite museum of the trip. 😎

Besides eating lots of oysters on my trip across the Gulf Coast States, I happened onto one of the most interesting museums I visited on this on-the-road adventure. It was the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi Mississippi. I think that was the last stop on my three-day Gulf Coast tour. The museum was almost impossible to get to as all the roads leading to it were closed for repaving. Determined as I was, I eventually made it there and almost had the whole place to myself. The museum was literally destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. All of its contents were spread over several miles. Many have yet to be found.

As the literature says:

The museum exhibits hundreds of one-of-a-kind artifacts and an unrivaled collection of vintage photography.

I just didn’t know that this area was so focused on oysters. They take great pride being a primary part of the seafood industry. The museum is only open between 9:00am and 4:30pm but is well worth the visit. One of the unique things about this museum is that it celebrates the immigrants who came from all over the world looking for opportunities in the seafood business.

I liked the fact that the museum concentrated on the people who did the hard work and the tools they used.

I think the best way to give you an idea of what is in the museum is to show you captioned pictures of what I found interesting.

(Here is a gallery of the pictures. Click on any pictures to see a larger slideshow view)

4 thoughts on “On-The-Road Epilogue # 6 – The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum

  1. Thanks for telling us about the museum. My husband might be particularly interested in it.
    His uncle was a tug-boat captain in Sabine Pass, Texas, but he also pulled a shrimp net when not operating as a tug boat. George talks about the times he was on that tug boat with his uncle, but also when all the males in his Italian family would head to the beach, wade into the water, and drag big seining nets when that was still legal. They filled up the bed of a truck with shrimp and other seafood and then headed back to Port Arthur’s Little Italy, where Italian neighbors, most of whom were relatives, would be waiting to fill their buckets. My husband’s childhood was far different than mine. My Louisiana-piney-woods-born parents, of English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish stock, caught crabs from Port Arthur’s pier, but threw them back in.

    I’m glad that the museum celebrates the immigrants. They weren’t celebrated at the time and came in for some disdain even when George was a child. His grandfather Guiseppe came to the U.S. via the port in New Orleans when he was a seventeen-year-old, alone, with $8.00, the ship’s passenger list noted. He was heading to his uncle’s house, with his aunt and uncle immigrating before him. He arrived in 1907, sixteen years after a mass murder of Italian immigrants by a vigilante mob in New Orleans and eight years after the lynching of five Italian immigrants in Tallulah, Louisiana. He and his new wife ended up soon after in Little Italy in Port Arthur, where Italians voluntarily clustered and where George’s grandparents, speaking only Italian, would not allow their children or grandchildren to speak anything but English. During WWII, when the U.S. was at war with Italy, their children’s names were Anglicized, so that George’s father became Carl or Carlo rather than Calogero.


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