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Locally known as The Pass, the city of Pass Christian is in Harrison County, on the Mississippi Sound, situated on a peninsula, with the Gulf of Mexico to the south, the Bay of St. Louis to the west, and a stretch of bayou to the north. The area was discovered by French-Canadian explorers in 1699, just after the French colony in Biloxi was established, and named for a nearby deepwater pass, which in turn was named for Nicholas Christian L’Adnier, who had settled on Cat Island in 1746. By 1781, all of the Pass Christian peninsula was owned by Julia de la Brosse, also known as the Widow Asmard. Upon her death, she deeded what was to become the entire downtown area of Pass Christian to Charles Asmar, a free black man, who left the property to his heirs. Pass Christian was chartered as a town in 1848. Pass Christian was the site of a maritime battle during the War of 1812 which, although the British were victorious, the battle allowed General Andrew Jackson to gather additional troops and to complete fortifications for the defense of Chalmette, where the British warships were defeated on January 7, 1814. Pass Christian was a popular resort area at the time of the American Civil War. The Civil War Battle of Pass Christian occurred when the USS Massachusetts began shelling the town, which had been left unprotected when the 3rd Mississippi Regiment had marched toward Biloxi expecting a Union landing there. A housewife waved a white bed sheet from her upper floor balcony, surrendering the town, after which it was plundered. The battle was also known as the Bedsheet Surrender. Pass Christian was hit by two intense hurricanes in more recent years, Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Long Beach is immediately adjacent to Pass Christian, to the northeast, while Bay St. Louis is west, on the other side of the St. Louis Bay. DeLisle is an unincorporated area north of the bayou which shares a zip code with Pass Christian, but is not within the city limits.


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