The post-Civil War home of Jefferson Davis and one of the Coast’s prominent historical sites is all set to reopen on Wednesday amid tensions across the country.
The grounds at Beauvoir are full of activity as the race to reopen heats up. Kitsaa Stevens with Beauvoir Programs and Development said, “We’ve just been doing projects here on the property so that when we do reopen on Wednesday, the place will be beautiful.”
Since the site’s closure in late March due to COVID-19, crews have been painting the main house and freshening up the on-site garden and cemetery, things that are hard to do with guests around. Stevens says the first week back will be full of activities as they hit the ground running. “We’re going to have the Mississippi Gulf Coast Volkswagen Car Club. We’ll be doing their 25th annual event in our east field. We will have Living History. They’re going to come, they’ll start arriving on Thursday and will be camping all weekend.”
As protests mount and confederate monuments are defaced in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Beauvoir officials hope that reopening can be a way for everyone to continue to absorb the history and meaning of past events. “We’re not here to change history. We’re not here to change your mind. We’re just here to teach you history and come and check it out and learn history. There’s a lot of local history here for the Coast as well as other history that happened when you and I weren’t here.”
But after a long hiatus, Stevens is grateful to give visitors a chance to step back in time while also enjoying the natural world around them too. “The grounds are just wonderful. It is 52 acres. We’re home to 79 different species of Mississippi birds. So, there’s a lot of things here on the property besides just the local history.”