Long Beach Celebrates Founders' Landing

History came alive as nearly a hundred residents gathered to watch a re-enactment of the founding of Long Beach.

The city was incorporated one hundred years ago, but its first settlers arrived in the late 1700s.

Nicholas and Marianne Ladner ventured through the waters of the Mississippi Sound from Cat Island to a picturesque stretch of mainland that would one day become the city of Long Beach.

Mayor Billie Skellie says it was Mother Nature that forced the couple to move inland.

"I would think that hurricanes and so forth caused them to decide they needed to come to the mainland. And in approximately 1788, they landed in the area right now near our Long Beach Harbor," Skellie said.

The Ladners settled in a house near Bear Creek. One of the Ladners' direct descendants says he thinks his ancestors would be pleased, but surprised, if they could see the city now.

"They'd be absolutely amazed. They wouldn't recognize the area. They didn't have the pleasure if they landed on the beach. You've got to realize this is a marshy area, and of course they settled where Gulf Park College is now. Most likely the reason they settled there is because it was a high ground," Marlin Ladner said.

Since the Ladners settled inland more than 200 years ago, the area's population has thrived from just two people to a city boasting a population of more than 17,000.