Don't be deceived by the size of John Cuevas's Cat Island: The History of a Mississippi Gulf Coast Barrier Island. While under 200 pages, it is filled with the exhaustive history of the T-shaped island. Full of photos, illustrations, charts, graphs and maps, this book leaves no stone of the island unturned.
Cuevas provides an extremely detailed account of his personal ancestry and the island's heritage. This single island has an amazing history full of pirates, soldiers, Seminoles, and gangsters. It boasts of lighthouses, turpentine and lumber businesses, and top secret military dog training. That's quite a variety and that's not even the whole list! I personally found the mercantile store journal chart, with the types of items and prices in 1861, fascinating. Bread was four cents and and wine was a quarter. But the Cuevas probably didn't buy any at the store because they were making their own "white grape wine." Make my own wine? Live on an island? Sign me up! John Cuevas makes no secret of his love for this island ( he's is a one man tourist council.) His research has produced a historical summary that his descendants, tourists and scholars will be using as reference for many years to come.