Gautier was incorporated in 1986 having previously been a rural community until World War II boosted its population. Neighboring Pascagoula’s major industrial employer, Ingalls Ship Yard expansion in the 1960’s caused a mass influx of people moving to the area. The City Gautier (Pronounced GO-SHAY) gets its namesake after Fernando Upton Gautier who established the Fernando Gautier & Sons Sawmill on the Pascagoula river which initially brought workers to the area. The original house of the Gautiers still stands today and is affectionately referred to as “The Old Place”. It is still privately owned today by descendants of the Gautiers. Geographically Gautier is located east of Ocean Springs and west of Pascagoula and well within easy driving distance to the casinos of Biloxi & Gulfport.
The 2005 Hurricane season brought havoc to the area and many homes along the coast line suffered extreme damage or complete destruction. The effects of Hurricane Katrina can still be felt along the Mississippi Gulf Coast with empty lots and abandoned homes. In Gautier many savvy investors have flocked to the area in order to revitalize the city. Gautier’s higher elevation (the highest on the coast at) helps keep damage from Hurricanes generally minimal, Katrina being a catastrophic exception.
Gautier has more than 70 miles of waterfront thanks to it being nestled between bayous, barrier islands and the Pascagoula River. Gautier also has numerous parks and recreational areas including the 19,000-acre Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge and 395-acre Shepard State Park. Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge offers guided tours of the wet pine savannah for birders who want to observe our fowl friends in their natural habitat and Shepard State Park offers hiking, bike trails and disc golf.