Dan Ellis, Author


Originally from New Orleans, in 1990, Ellis established permanent residence at his Pass Christian weekend home. His interest in writing lead to publishing vignette columns in local newspapers. Upon writing his earliest community heritage books, he realized that significant misinformation abounded. This resulted in his seeking primary source information from archival records in Mobile, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, New Orleans, Louisiana, and from local courthouses and churches.
Ellis's books are filled with treasured photographs and maps; and he takes special effort to seek out individuals, whether obscure or prominent -- those who can add a touch of personal experience by revealing anecdotal interviews.

Not being able to find a willing publisher, Ellis was determined to get his history books to the general public, so he learned to be a self-publisher and now distributes his history books through bookstores and gift shops and the Internet. He also publishes much information to his several web sites that provide free access to information and photographs. Ellis's books are computerized in order to enable easy updating and error corrections.

He calls himself an "Historiographer and Scrutinier," which simply translates to a "writer of history with authenticity."


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Japanese Gardens of Pass Christian

Dan Ellis’s newest book, Japanese Gardens of Pass Christian, relates to its early beginnings at the time that the Old Spanish Trail passed at the front gates. Fords and Buicks were prominent among the horseless carriages that traveled at 8 mph as dictated by automobile city ordinances.

The Gardens were created by Rudolf and Lynne Hecht following their visits to Japan in 1924. During their international travels, they brought back their impressions of a foreign culture to their Gulf Coast landscape and created Middlegate Japanese Gardens. The Hecht’s gardens symbolized their good fortune, their creative influences, and served as cultural ambassadors both on the Gulf Coast and the World.

They employed an expert from Japan and an architect from New Orleans to design a fantastic multi-acre creation with foliage of all sorts, a lagoon with streams running throughout that were crossed my many bridges.

“Upon entering the gardens, visitors would walk along an azalea-lined pathway leading from the grand Torri gate, to reveal a Shinto temple. Along the journey over bridges and through winding tunnels of overarching bamboo, they would pass a babbling fountain, two monumental Japanese stone lanterns, and a statue of Kannon, the Japanese Goddess of Mercy.”




DeLisle is located four miles north of Pass Christian, DeLisle has never been incorporated. Since the timber lands have been cut-over during the 1920s, today, the community has very little employment, and is composed of a scattered population creating a beautiful residential and farming community. Although much unaware to many Coastians, the quiet back-bay area has a wealth of history. It was first explored and hunted for its rich wild game by Jean Baptiste Saucier in the early 1700s. However, the area did not become settled until 80 years later, when a grandson, Philippe Saucier, received two Spanish land grants; one in the St. Louis Bay area, recorded on August 27,1781, followed in 1794, with a second tract that was situated on Bayou DeLisle, adjacent to his brother-in-law, Bartholome Grelot. These early French settlers were soon joined by Jean Baptiste Nicaise, Pierre Moran, Ramon Lizana, Chevalier DeDeaux, Jean Cassibry, and Charles Ladner. The early settlement was called La Riviere des Loups (Wolf River), then, a century later, in 1880, the English translation became Wolf Town, and since 1884, with the creation of its post office, it became known as DeLisle.

Gulfport Discovered

           Much has changed since my first Gulfport Discovered publication. A significant update is presented herein — Gulfport — Celebration City. The lapse of time since my earlier book covers five mayors who have stepped up to make Gulfport a better place. However the catastrophic disruptions of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, much like its predecessor Hurricane Camille in 1969, caused the loss of many heritage landmarks and many scars still remain on the landscape. However, the State of Mississippi, the Harrison County governing body, and the City Fathers have stepped up to design new miracles of improvements. The Mississippi Port Authority was seriously set back but have taken great strides in remaking the infrastructure of the Port of Gulfport to make it better than ever with plans of furthering its accountability as a seaport.


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