Coast - Mississippi
by Carl Burnham
Update: Come explore with us through this archived feature our last visit to Biloxi and the coast prior to all the devastation. Most of the attractions described here have reopened, including Beauvoir, Mary Mahoney’s, Beau Rivage, the Seanger Theatre, the Biloxi Visitors Center, the Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art, and most casinos. Waiting to be restored are the Mardi Gras Museum, Old Brick House and White House Hotel. Tullis Toledano Manor was destroyed.
For trees damaged along Beach Boulevard, an innovative tree-sculpting project has transformed many to amazing works of art, including pelicans, turtles, swans, and dolphins. View artists in action.
The Gulf Coast holds a special charm and attraction to me. I spent several summers walking the beach, exploring Ship Island as a young man. It has a rich heritage of fun, seafood, and festivities
that draws you in.
of the old city of Biloxi began with the arrival in 1699 of Pierre
Le Moyne sieur dIberville and party, from Bourbon, France to
settle the area. During the period of 1720-1723, Biloxi was the
first territory capital of the Louisiana Territory. By 1817, after
Mississippi became a state, Biloxi grew to eventually become the
second largest city in the state. The seafood industry played a
large role in the growth of the city, giving it the designation
of the "Seafood Capital of the World." The Gulf waters contain
over 200 species of fish. There is plenty to do on the coast. You
can go deep sea
fishing. You can hone your golfing skills, with twenty courses in
the area, go to the beach, gamble, or tour some of the many ante-bellum
homes and museums as we did.
During our visit, we spent an afternoon helping volunteers with an archaeology
dig to try and unearth any remnants of Fort
Projete, which was built here by the French 300 years ago in honor
of King Louis XIV. It is fascinating to see history unearthed before your
eyes. We didn't discover it, but we did find numerous bottles and artifacts
from the early 1800s. Young and old alike helped in the dig, with elementary
kids and local historians on hand. I would encourage you to volunteer.
If interested, email Edmond Boudreaux,
who is with the Ms. Commission for Volunteer Service. Also on hand was
Jack Elliott, chief archeologist with the Ms. Department of Archives and
History, who has been instrumental in Fort Rosalie in Natchez and historical
projects throughout the state.
Along this 28 mile stretch
is the longest manmade sand beach in the world. While we were there, the
beach was being replenished with sand from the Mississippi Sound as part
of a massive beach maintenance program that takes place once every ten
years. That was okay with us, as the water was rather chilly, being here
in the winter for our visit. The wonder of the coast has captured my imagination
since the days when as a kid I vacationed here. The
museums provide glimpses into the land, it's people, and coastal ways.
The bright lights of the casinos have their games of chance. Come see
more of our journey.
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