4/7/2017 | Tricia LeAnn
At one time, Kiln was the biggest economic engine between New Orleans and Hattiesburg, but the 1929 stock market crash almost made Kiln a ghost town. However, the citizens of Kiln were determined to revive it, and today we have a thriving town, which shows signs of growth.
The largest economic engine today is Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company. We are proud that Coast Electric moved its main office to Kiln, and that the only bank in town, Hancock Bank, is a partner in community life.
The Kiln Business Council was formed 6 years ago, under the auspices of the Hancock Chamber, and is active in promoting the community, with lots of activities and projects. The recent community efforts include a blood drive, held at Coast Electric; a beautification project headed up by Coastal Hardware and its owner, Mary Ann Strickland. We held a library book drive and collected two truckloads of books for the re-opening of Diamondhead’s library.
We recently sponsored the ribbon cutting and dedication of the new Port & Harbor Administration Building on Fred and Al Key Road at Stennis Airport. This was an exciting day for our members.
Presently, we are working on a project for the MS Bicentennial. We have enlisted the talents of a group of retirees living at the Veterans Retirement Home in Gulfport, under the direction of their art instructor, Milton Williams, to build a diorama of Old Kiln, when it was in its heyday. The Jourdan River will be depicted, with the lumber mills, log ponds, churches, banks, movie houses, schools, the commissary, general store, drug store, post office, and many more landmarks. We obtained lots of pictures of Old Kiln from the Hancock County Historical Society. This project was underwritten by the Hancock County Board of Supervisors.
To promote the Kiln businesses, the Kiln Business Council has a large "Welcome to Kiln” sign on Hwy. 603, which advertises the businesses in the Kiln Business Council.
The businesses that received "Business of the Year” awards at the Hancock Chamber yearly Gala, are: Lazy Magnolia Brewery, Smith Family Chiropractic, Dempsey’s Restaurant, Coastal Hardware, The Fish House, Coastal Hydraulics, and Almost Home Catering.
Lazy Magnolia Brewery has been very generous to the Kiln Business Council, sponsoring a fund raiser every year on the first Friday in November.
Take the short drive to Kiln. Enjoy the fine foods offered at Dempsey’s, Cruise Inn, Stennis Airport, Dolly’s, Rooster’s, and Mr. Wok. Shop at Coastal Hardware – it’s not just your usual hardware store. You will find western wear, lovely jewelry, and you can rent all the party supplies you may need, plus all the hardware items you could ever find!