Cemetery restoration project wins award; other news and notes

The city’s project to restore the Biloxi City Cemetery will be recognized next month by the Mississippi Associated Builders and Contractors.

City contractor Kenneth R. Thompson Jr. of Greenwood and Gautier will receive a first place merit award at the association banquet on Nov. 7 in Jackson.

The merit awards honor contractors
“whose work exemplifies the high degree of quality that is common within ABC membership,” according to the association.

The $300,000 FEMA-funded project involved a 40,000 square-foot beachfront section of the cemetery, the most storm-ravaged part of the burial grounds. Some gravesites in that area date back to the early 1800s.

The restoration included repairs to more than 200 headstones and 10 tombs, and installation of a new brick and wrought iron fence facing the beachfront.

“We knew going in that Mr. Thompson had experience in restoration projects,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said. “This project presented him a number of unique challenges, from locating and re-connecting pieces of dozens of broken headstones, to finding the correct material to rebuild them, and doing it all without desecrating nearby gravesites. He and his team did excellent work on this important job, and this statewide recognition from his peers is much deserved.”

Online photos

To see photos of the cemetery from before and immediately after Katrina, click here.

To see photos from the dedication of the restored cemetery, a ceremony that took place a year ago this month, click here.

News and notes

Cemetery tours: The city and Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce will sponsor free tours of the Biloxi City Cemetery on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 5:30 p.m. As part of the tour, students will portray key community members of yesteryear, including two women who were Biloxi Lighthouse keepers and a doctor who treated 1853 yellow fever victims. Refreshments on the tour will be provided by Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. Parking will be available in the Elks parking lot, immediately west of the cemetery.

Lamey honored: The city honored longtime Planning Commission member Jerry Lamey during Tuesday’s council meeting. To see photos from the ceremony, click here.