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As early as 1500 BC and continuing until historic tribes like the Pascagoula and Biloxi, Native Americans hunted, fished and navigated the Pearl River drainage, building earthworks and shell middens and leaving a great deal of evidence of their trading acumen and artisanship.
It was archaeology that brought us to the topic of this book.
There is ample evidence along the east bank of the Pearl that Native Americans favored the place from earliest times.
The land was there during the time of the Paleo-Indian big game hunters, but few artifacts from that period have been discovered.
There is, after all, a certain element of finality to their being, in that, at least for the foreseeable future, they will not, nay cannot, be resurrected.
The remains of what by some accounts was the largest sawmill in the world is a few large blocks of concrete, once foundation for nineteenth century mechanisms that even today would be considered imposing structures. Names that once commanded power or reflected wealth, like Claiborne, Pray, Weston and Favre, are known elsewhere today, but now exist along the Pearl only on tombstones in the Logtown and Napoleon cemeteries.
That edge of Hancock County, Mississippi, which borders Louisiana at the mid-point of the Pearl River, is in many ways now nondescript, quiet and forlorn bereft of whatever culture evolved there over the ages.
In truth, very little of what meets the eye is indicative of what came before.
Advance apology to readers by the authors: This comprehensive history of Hancock County Ms deserves to be available on the World Wide Web.
Countless hours have gone into its creation and researchers ought to be able to avail themselves to its offering. 143 The East bank of the East Pearl River is high and dry land, built in the Pleistocene period, tens of thousands of years before the present.