Pascagoula, the "Singing River" city beside the Gulf of Mexico, has a deep and rich history as a European settlement that goes back over 300 years. Her name is taken from a band of peaceful Native Americans (Pascagoula means "bread eaters") who inhabited the area when Hemando De Soto first made contact with them in the 1540's. Tragically, these noble people are now extinct having drowned themselves chanting as they waded into the deepening river waters rather than enslave themselves to their enemy, the fierce Biloxi. Thus, the legend of the "Singing River" was born. They were followed closely behind by Spanish, French and English settlers.