Live Local: Take a Stroll with Us and Visit Two Iconic Biloxi Icons
All the stops on the walking tour are extremely close to each other. To my right is stop number five, and if you keep going down Water Street, you’ll come across stop number 6.
Stop Number 5 is a well-known icon and has a deep-rooted history here in South Mississippi. It’s one of the earliest documented building in Biloxi with the design having New Orleans influence. Today, the building serves as a dining area for Mary Mahoney’s Restaurant.
“Before that, it had other names-Brunet- Fourchy House. It’s also called the Old French House. So every place we visited is usually named after the person that lived there or built it,” said Jane Shambra, Historian for the City of Biloxi.
Apart from the house’s traditional Creole cottage, one of the most eye-catching features on this stop is the oak tree that sits right next to it.
“This oak tree is actually in the courtyard of Mary Mahoney’s. During the day you can walk inside the courtyard and see these magnificent plants, and the amazing oak tree that is claimed to be about 2,000 years old,” Shambra said.
Directly across from Stop 5, you can see the oldest tangible reminder of the early days of the resort industry in Biloxi-the Magnolia House.
“First built in 1840, there was a guy in New Orleans whose son was sick, so he and they told him to go to the coast for the weather and the fresh air, and they liked it here. So they stayed and built this structure and it turned into a hotel later on,” Shambra said.
The Magnolia Hotel was once home to the Mardi Gras Museum, but now is being repurposed into a restaurant. This isn’t the first time the building has undergone major renovations.
“It was moved. This isn’t the original location. We” ll see through the tour that several houses had to be moved. To me, to move a house is very complicated. It was moved about a hundred yards after Hurricane Camile because it had so much damage,” Shambra said.
Another notable feature about Stop 6 – the galleries wrapping around the entire building.
“We know these structures as porches, so there are wooden porches encircling the first and second floor where you can hang out and put rockers, and catch the breezes from the Gulf,” Shambra said.
Live Local is made possible through the support of the Biloxi Library System. Tune in next Thursday to News 25 at Noon on our NBC channel as Lorraine Weiskopf continues to highlight stops along the walking tour.