A while back, I signed up to be a part of the Clever Cookie School of Blog, and since then I’ve gotten to be good blogging friends with some incredible bloggers from around the world. Each month on the 10th, some of us form a 10 on 10 photography circle. We share 10 photos (occasionally more – my bad!) from our life – a day of our life, generally – and one of us link to another. Our visitors have the opportunity to make their way around the circle. Some of you may have made your way here from Sam at The Annoyed Thyroid and if so WELCOME! Others of you will leave me and head on off to visit with Cathy at Peregrination Gourmande. I hope you enjoy!
Ever since we attended the Old Biloxi Cemetery Tour last fall, my Sweet Husband and I have been meaning to take ourselves on the walking tour of Historic Downtown Biloxi. It’s one of those things that keep getting pushed to the back of our list of things to do. Unfortunately, we haven’t made the time to do it. We’ve talked about it but something else always comes up.
That’s why it was almost serendipitous that my BFF wanted to get out and get active when she came to visit me for a few days at the end of July. I thought that finally getting to do the walking tour would be a great way to spend the morning. To get started, we had to drop by the Biloxi Visitor’s Center to pick up a map of the route. Unfortunately I lost my copy of the map so trying to figure out what I actually took pictures of has been difficult. (hint BVC – put that stuff online! People like online!)
Our first stop was the Biloxi Town Green and the fabulous Biloxi Marque sign. I love that sign! If you notice on the pillars there are two dates. Biloxi celebrated her tricentennial in 1999. Seriously – over 300 years! Who knew?!?! Shan is looking fabulous and cool at this point in our tour. There was a threat of rain so I was carrying my umbrella, but the real threat was the humidity. When I say hot and humid, I mean heat indexes in the 100s. (Today our heat index was 105)
One of the stops on the self-guided walking tour is the Hurricane Katrina Memorial, consisting of a 12′ black granite wave that symbolizes the height of the storm surge. It lists the names of those killed or missing during the massive 2005 storm. There is also artwork and a memorial that contains objects found in the wreckage of Katrina. I took pictures of it, but there are already so many photos in this post. (the ones at the linked website are better anyway)
The next stops on our tour are all loosely a part of the Rue Magnolia district. The historical buildings have mainly been converted to shops and restaurants. The above is the Scherer House, built sometime between 1780 and 1840. It currently houses Gallery 782, which is an artist’s co-op.
Our next stop on the tour was the Magnolia Hotel, built in 1847. It is the oldest surviving hotel on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, although it is not currently used in that capacity. It is the home of the Biloxi Mardi Gras Museum. At the time that we were walking through the Rue Magnolia, the museum was not open.
Directly across from the Magnolia Hotel is the Old French House, built in 1737. The site is now home to Mary Mahoney’s, which is supposed to be a fantastic restaurant. We haven’t been there yet because it’s a bit pricey. For me the interesting thing about the Old French House is the courtyard. The above is a tree named the Patriarch. Multiple arborists’ best estimates are that the tree is at least 2,000 years old. I cannot even imagine. Can you?
We did pop into Le Cafe Beignet for beignets and iced tea (not cafe au lait because it was just too hot). Le Cafe Beignet began its life as the Cousins House, a Queen Anne built in 1910. The tea and beignets were just right.
After leaving the Rue Magnolia, we made our way to the Vieux Marche, which is another historic strip in downtown Biloxi. The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is actually the third building. The first was built in 1843 and destroyed by a hurricane. A larger structure was constructed in 1870, but it was destroyed in the 1900 fire that wiped out much of downtown.
The Saenger Theatre opened its doors in 1930 and was part of the Saenger chain of theatres, stretching across the south. The building is now owned by the City of Biloxi and hosts all kinds of live performances. The theatre is in some jeopardy currently due to a termite infestation.
The Saenger is on Biloxi’s Mardi Gras parade route, which means that you will find the rare Mardi Gras tree in bloom throughout the year. As you can see, this Mardi Gras tree’s blooms are fading. They’ll be back and bright for the 2017 season. Fun fact – one of my first Mardi Gras celebrations was in Biloxi. Lots of good times and memories there.
The Vieux Marche is anchored by two buildings that have these fabulous cupolas. The Eistetter Building was constructed in 1896.
On the other end of the Vieux Marche is the original People’s Bank building. The building now houses a hardware/antiques shop but the distinctive weathervane remains. It features a witch with a broom on a tiny moon. It’s original. I know, right? What the what?
Odds and Ends
Biloxi’s City Hall was originally the Post Office and Custom House, built between 1905 ad 1908. The building facade is marble with two distinct textures. This is where the reviewing stands for Mardi Gras parades are.
The last building on the walking tour is the Redding House, known for its use of circular forms. The Redding House as built in 1908. One of the things that we found interesting was the color of the ceilings on the porches. Down here in the South, most porch ceilings are painted a light/pale blue. There are lots of alleged reasons why – from keeping birds and pests from making nexts to repelling haints – but a blue ceiling is pretty standard for a porch around here. The ceiling of the Redding House is dark – the color of the woodwork around the door.
While I know I am over the 10 photo limit (I cut a bunch out! There were more things to see on the tour!), I had to leave you with the Biloxi Tricentennial Mosaic.
The mosaic depicts key events and places in Biloxi’s (& the Gulf Coast’s) history. It was a nice way to end the tour.
Shannon and I enjoyed our walk…even with the heat and humidity. After we finished up in downtown Biloxi, we made our way across the Bay to Ocean Springs, although those photos will have to wait for another time.
Now remember that this is a photography *circle*, which means that I’m only one stop on your photographic journey. Thanks for the visiting from The Annoyed Thyroid, and don’t forget to keep moving 😉 If you’re beginning with me, you’ll journey on to Cathy at Peregrination Gourmande and each subsequent blogger – leaving some comment love! – before making your way back to me.