Back Bay Factories Historical

Back Bay Factories Historical (HM1XHI)

Location: Biloxi, MS 39530 Harrison County
Country: United States of America

N 30° 24.673', W 88° 53.324'

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—Historic Biloxi —

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
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.
Year Placed2015
Placed ByThe City of Biloxi
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, March 25th, 2017 at 5:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16R E 318575 N 3365866
Decimal Degrees30.41121667, -88.88873333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 24.673', W 88° 53.324'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 24' 40.38" N, 88° 53' 19.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)228
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 800-816 Bayview Ave, Biloxi MS 39530, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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