Hundreds attend cemetery tour; see photos, other news and notes

A crowd of more than 700 people visited the Biloxi City Cemetery Tuesday to meet some of the most colorful characters of Biloxi’s bygone days.

This year’s fifth annual cemetery tour had a theme of “Schooners, Shrimpers and Sailors” and featured re-enactors portraying such Biloxians as a schooner captain and crew member who died in a storm in 1916, seafood factory workers and owners, and the storied “Hermit of Deer Island.”

“Eleven people are portrayed here today,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said in opening remarks, “but those 11 people represent thousands of hard-working men, women and children who all helped Biloxi earn the title of ‘Seafood Capital of the World’ in the early 20th Century.”

The cemetery tour, which has won statewide acclaim, is organized by the city, Main Street Biloxi, the Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce, and the Local History and Genealogy Department at the Biloxi Public Library.

Re-enactors — who include descendants of those they are portraying, or actors from Biloxi Little Theater and local high schools — don period garb and appear in character to tell visitors about life in the Biloxi of yesteryear.

Observed the mayor in his opening remarks: “This cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places, and to me it’s more like a library than a cemetery. These headstones tell the story of Biloxi. And with these re-enactments, we bring that history to life.”

This year, the throng of visitors also donated more than a thousand dollars, which will be used to help repair headstones in the oldest section of the cemetery.

The photos To see more than 150 photos from Tuesday’s tour, click here.

The backstory: For background on the tour and those who were portrayed, click here.

News and notes

Boil water in Holly Hills: Residents of the Holly Hills subdivision are under a boil-water notice as a precautionary measure after a broken water main caused a drop in water pressure today. The measure will be in place for at least 48 hours and until the city announces otherwise. Signs advising residents also have been posted at the two entrances to the subdivision.


Testing, Part 1: Emergency Manager Milton Houseman says he’s pleased with this morning’s test of the city’s emergency warning system. The test uncovered an electrical issue that prevented the Bay Vista siren from sounding — it’s being repaired shortly — and the test also included an airing of all three tones the 10-tower system offers. Said Houseman: “It was clear from the calls we received that the tornado tone is the most effective, and that’s good because I believe we’ll be using it the most.” To hear the tornado tone, click here.

Testing, Part 2: Biloxi will be part of the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, which will take place Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. Biloxi time. The test will simultaneously interrupt virtually all broadcast and cable programming in the United States.

Your moment of Zan: State and local education and community leaders, former and current teachers, and former students gathered Monday to honor longtime teacher Zan Skelton, who has dedicated more than 60 years to Biloxi Public Schools. The occasion was the naming of the Biloxi High School library and media center in his honor. Read the story and see dozens of photos by clicking here.