City of Diamondhead:
The true beginning of our city began in the late 1950s when the Federal Highway Act of 1956 created Interstate 10, an interstate highway system that allowed for a greater access to Hancock County communities. With the construction of NASA’s Stennis Space Center in the 1960s, an influx of people from government workers and contractors began to populate the area.
The Diamondhead Corporation, a large entity responsible for resort developments in several states, made its way to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the 1960’s. As it finalized the 6,000-acre property purchase of the area that would become known as Diamondhead, Hurricane Camille swept through Mississippi, devastating much of the Gulf Coast. Shortly after the storm, the investment team was surprised to see that it received far less damage than other coastal areas. With a rolling landscape, Diamondhead seemed to be safe from a hurricane capable of this kind of destruction. With that, the Diamondhead Corporation began to develop the area in to a place where people could live, work and retire.
Diamondhead soon had streets, lots, infrastructure, model homes, a country club, an airport, a driving range and a pavilion, which later became the community center. The first land sales were recorded in 1970. By 1973, 3,700 lots were sold.
With a focus more on the property and amenities than municipal government, the area was organized as a Property Owner’s Association (POA). In 1985, the Purcell Company (formerly known as Diamondhead Corporation) turned the POA over to a board of directors and a small group of volunteers.
By 2006, representatives began engaging discussions with city planners and officials to incorporate into a city. In August, they appointed a committee to study annexation by Bay St. Louis, city incorporation with a casino and city incorporation without a casino. After months of study, they made the recommendation that Diamondhead begin its path to becoming an incorporated city. After six years of meticulous detail work, the City of Diamondhead became a reality on February 6, 2012.