Gautier is a community founded on the West Bank of the Pascagoula River, locally known as the "Singing River." Legend has it that after being defeated in battle, the entire Pascagoula Indian tribe committed ritual suicide rather than be enslaved by their enemies. They did this by leaping from the river's bluffs. As they marched to their doom the tribe sang thus leading to the river's nickname.
For much of its history Gautier was little more than an unnamed spot on a map. America's first Admiral, David Glasgow Farragut was described as having "lived on the West Bank of the Pascagoula River." In an interesting twist of fate, the boy who would leave Gautier at the age of 10 to go to sea would come back as the Commander of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and capture the territory from New Orleans to Mobile Bay (including his boyhood home of Gautier).
Following the Civil War, a family from New Orleans moved to the area to establish a sawmill. Their name was Gautier and they built many of the fine old homes which still exist today including the Oldfields, Twelve Oaks, and The Old Place. At this point Gautier's population was still only a few hundred but due to the sawmill operation, the trains would have to stop to pick up lumber and it became necessary to mark the spot on a map for the conductors. Due to a water tower at the sawmill with the name of the sawmill's owners on it, the area was henceforth called "Gautier" on all maps of the region.
Gautier retained its rural character until World War II when many shipyard workers moved to the area to build ships for the war effort at the shipyard run by Bob Ingalls. When Litton Industries bought and expanded the Ingalls shipyard in the 1960's, Gautier began another growth spurt.
Gautier was incorporated in 1986. With becoming a city came the added services of a professional police force and fire department. Within 10 years a High School was built.
Gautier is currently one of the 50 largest cities in Mississippi with a population of approximately 18,000. Recently the city was able to preserve a prehistoric Indian burial mound at the end of Graveline Road. Very few of these are preserved East of the Mississippi River.