News 25 visits Hurricane Katrina Memorial

News 25’s Lorraine Weiskopf strolled along the historic downtown Biloxi walking tour, making her first stop at the Katrina Memorial.

There she chats with local historian Jane Shambra who has been working with the Biloxi Library System for the past 30 years.

The historic Downtown Biloxi Walking Tour begins with the Katrina Memorial in the Biloxi Town Green. The memorial is dedicated to those residents who lost their lives in the storm. Shambra said, “It’s important that we see the names. We don’t know every situation, but every person has a history. It’s a signal for people to leave if they need to.”

At the memorial there is also a glass box with items residents found amid the post-Katrina destruction. “There are things that you would have seen in the street and on people’s properties after the construction. We have metal pieces that sometimes we can’t figure out what it is and an old clock hanging in Grandma’s living room at some point.”

There is also a mosaic that is a representation of what happened during the storm with waves and little blue tiles. Around the corner from the mosaic wave you’ll notice a raised platform called a ‘shoo-fly’ encircling a live oak tree. “Years ago they would build shoo flies and they would have parties and weddings and you’ll have a good time.”

There’s another purpose for the shoo fly which is ideal for Mississippians during the summer. “If you go high up you won’t have as many bugs so that’s how it got the name shoo fly because you’ll shoo the flies away as you get higher and higher.”

The next stop on the Biloxi Walking Tour is the Old Biloxi Library.

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