Biloxi puts a fresh face on its history

Visitors to a number of high-profile landmarks in Biloxi are noticing new markers that tell the historical significance of those locations.

The City of Biloxi used FEMA funding to replace 10 Katrina-destroyed stainless-steel markers that had dated back to the Blessey administration in the ’80s.

The difference with the new 36-by-24-inch markers, says Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond, is that each contains full-color photography in a distinctive design.

“Some before the storm were at locations that no longer exist, such as Tullis Manor,” Raymond said. “At many of those locations, the state has placed those green State landmark markers, so we chose other historically significant locations, which also meant we avoided duplication.”

For instance, Raymond said, there’s a marker to tell the story of the “BILOXI” sign on the Town Green, and how it was once located in a city park south of the CSX Railway at Reynoir Street, near a former train station.

There’s a marker at Point Cadet Plaza where thousands of visitors to special events at the plaza can learn the colorful history of Biloxi’s easternmost point. And since tourism is such an integral part of Biloxi’s past, present and future, a marker telling the story’s tourism allure has been placed near the Visitors Center. There’s also a marker on Back Bay, at Parker Street, near the old Ice Wharf, that tells the story of the original seafood factories on Back Bay.

“These markers tell the story of our community,” Raymond said. “People see the Biloxi schooners down at the schooner pier, but they may now know about the big schooner races of the days gone by. Now there’s a marker there to tell you about the ‘Race of the White Wings.’

Text on the markers was written by longtime Biloxi historian Murella Powell and Raymond. ¬†Robin Rene Stephens, of the city’s advertising agency, The Ad Group, created a uniform design for each of the markers.

And, Raymond says, he hopes to add to the project each year: “We always welcome suggestions for historically significant areas that may warrant a marker. Biloxi has many areas of note. We’d also even be open to a sponsorship of those individual markers.”
See the design of the 10 markers
See the locations of the markers


The week that was: Big numbers

In this week’s Weekly Reports, you’ll see a review of the numbers and types of calls handled last week by the Biloxi Fire and Police departments, plus you’ll learn the inside story on development working its way through the pipeline. Of note: Sales taxes in Biloxi for January topped a million dollars, the highest January since 2007.
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