Weekly history series kicks off Thursday

Biloxi launches a month-long trip down memory lane on Thursday  with the kickoff of the eighth annual Thursdays in May program.

This event, held annually in observance of National Preservation Month, takes place each of the five Thursdays in May, and kicks off with a scavenger hunt in downtown Biloxi.

You’ll also find events on Point Cadet, in the downtown Masonic Temple building, a porch tour of north Seal Avenue, and wrapping up with a rebuilding double-feature at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, home of the popular “Katrina +10” retrospective.

The free, award-winning program is designed to give residents and visitors a chance to explore the history of Biloxi. The annual series is organized by the City of Biloxi, Biloxi Bay Chamber, Biloxi Main Street, Biloxi Public Schools, and the Local History & Genealogy Department of the Biloxi Public Library.

“We’re kicking off with something totally different,” said Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond. “Our downtown ‘scavenger hunt’ will offer people a chance to follow clues and learn more about the important buildings of downtown. We’ll kick it off on the Town Green Thursday evening at 5:30. People will throw a castnet and get clues at each location in downtown.”

Ensuing weeks will travel other historic sites in Biloxi. “We wanted something really diverse and a cross-section of Biloxi,” Raymond said. ¬†“That’s why we go from downtown the first week, to the Point, to the Masonic Temple, a building that many people see but have never been inside of, to a porch tour of north Seal, one of the most overlooked and underappreciated neighborhoods in the city. ¬†And, of course, our grand finale is at the Ohr, where we’ll see and hear about the historically significant post-Katrina rebuilding efforts.”

Here’s the complete lineup:


Thursday, May 7

The Great Downtown Biloxi History Hunt

Biloxi Town Green

Discover hidden and not so hidden treasures in the first ever downtown scavenger hunt. The first clue will be given at Biloxi Town Green.  This free event starts at 5:30 p.m.  Refreshments will be served.


Thursday, May 14

Cultural Cuisine Field Trip

Howard Avenue on Point Cadet

The culinary field trip will explore the cultural diversity of the Point with visits to the Croatian-American Benevolent Society and the Fleur De Les French Club. Sample pusherattas, gumbo and pralines as you learn some of the history of the French settlers and Croatians immigrants in Biloxi. The field trip is free and begins at 5:30 p.m.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Masonic Temple Magnolia Lodge 120 Tour

711 Howard Ave.

Magnolia Lodge 120 has been part of Biloxi for over 150 year and its home on the corner of Main Street and Howard Avenue has been part of downtown for over 100 years but few have seen inside this imposing edifice.  Join us as members of the lodge will take the public on a guided tour including never before seen items.  The tours begin at 5:30 p.m. and refreshments will be provided by the Eastern Star.


Sunday, May 24


Porch Tour of North Seal Avenue

952 Howard Ave.

Take a tour of Seal Avenue north of the railroad tracks.  This often overlooked area has some wonderful architectural gems.  Learn more about this quaint neighborhood and some of Biloxi important historic building types.  The porch tour will begin at Howard Avenue and Hopkins Boulevard at Gollott Lyons Real Estate office with a tour of this beautifully restored turn of the century cottage. The tours will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. and refreshments will be served.


Thursday, May 28

Post-Katrina Double Feature

Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art

386 Beach Blvd.

Join us as we turn the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art into a movie theater to tell the story of the Coast after the storm.  The Mississippi Department of Archives and History and Mississippi Public Broadcasting produced the first feature film Building Blocks with funding from the National Park Service through a Preserve America Grant to tell the story of heroic efforts to save historic structures here on the Coast and around Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The second film of this double feature is “Katrina +10.” ¬†Produced by Vincent Creel, this documentary recaps the destruction of the storm and showcases the Coaswide recovery efforts over the last 10 years.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with show time at dusk.  The event is free but donations to the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum will be accepted.


‚ÄúIn keeping with tradition,‚ÄĚ Raymond said, “we will distribute ‚ÄėPassports through History‚Äô that will be stamped at each program. ¬†Everyone with a passport who receives at least three stamps will receive a commemorative gift for their support of local preservation at the May 28th event.‚ÄĚ

Added Raymond: “We look forward to organizing and hosting this series of programs each May and are always impressed with the community‚Äôs participation.¬† It‚Äôs an enjoyable way for everyone to learn more about our history and to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Biloxi.”

For more information about “Thursdays in May,” contact the City of Biloxi Historic Preservation office at (228) 435-6244 or by email at braymond@biloxi.ms.us.