Preservation in May: Virtual Voices from Our Past

History takes center stage this month with the city’s annual Preservation in May series, and this year there’s a bonus: the introduction of a virtual tour of the Biloxi City Cemetery.

Tonight, the 12th Annual Preservation in May series begins with a Biloxi Trivia Night at Southport Line from 5:30 to 7 p.m. where the local history and genealogy staff of Biloxi Public Library tests participants’ knowledge of Biloxi and its history.

The series continues Thursdays, May 9, 16, and 23, and includes the unveiling of Voices From Our Past Cemetery Tour on May 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. After producing a highly successful annual cemetery tour for 14 years, the City of Biloxi created a virtual tour.

The tour, a self-guided, digital tour of the Old Biloxi Cemetery, consists of 12 of the over 80 stories and histories collected through pictures and text as well as videos from our annual October tours. The tour can be followed by a brochure or from any web-enabled device. This project was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area.

Additionally, the grant funding was used to digitize the cemetery records and map the oldest portion of the cemetery, which includes burials back to 1811.  With the information collected, a web portal was created.  Though this portal researchers will be able to locate individual and family burial plots throughout the entire cemetery.  Access to the portal is available to anyone through the city website by following the cemetery link.

“With the phenomenal success of the annual cemetery tour, we know that the Old Biloxi Cemetery is a historical resource that more people wanted to learn about,” Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond said.  “With this online tour, everyone will have a chance to learn more about our city, on their schedule anytime of the year.”

Building on the work begun with the funding from the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area, the city received a Certified Local Government Grant for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to continue mapping more of the cemetery and digitizing the records.  When complete, all grave locations as well as gravestone and tomb information will be available online.

The Preservation in May series continues May 16 with Bon Appetite Biloxi, cooking demonstrations at the Charles R. Hegwood Community Market from noon to 1:30 p.m., and May 23 with a sunset sail aboard a Biloxi Schooner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The public is invited to attend all programs, free of charge. Receive a commemorative gift at the May 23 program if your “Passport through History” is stamped at three of the four programs.
See more about the virtual tour
See the 12th Annual Preservation in May program     

Fire museum to host fish fry Friday

West End Hose Co. No. 3, as the museum is officially known, will host a fish fry Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can dine in or take out. To pre-order, call 228-435-6119 on Friday from 8 to 10 a.m.

For $8, diners will be served fish or shrimp plates, potato salad or fries, baked beans and bread.

Money raised will be used to support the fire museum, which is operated by volunteers. Details: 228-435-6200.
Gallery: Learn more about the fire museum

News and notes: Day of prayer, podcast, Hilton Garden Inn, B-Alert

National Day of Prayer: Biloxi marked National Day of Prayer with an hour-long, multi-denominational observance today at Biloxi City Hall. To see photos from the event, click here.

City Desk: This week’s edition of the City Desk podcast, recorded this morning at Biloxi City Hall, focuses on the Thunder over the Sound air show. To listen, click here.

Hilton update: The Hilton Garden Inn’s new target date for opening is Thursday, May 9. To visit the website, click here

Thunderbirds: Did you hear the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds overhead “site tour” this afternoon? The pilots will be in the air tomorrow morning at 10:30 and at 2 in the afternoon preparing for the show this weekend. For information on the air show, click here.

B-Alert: Get air show traffic advisories by texting BILOXI to 888777.