The Biloxi Lighthouse has been here since 1848. To put that in perspective, Jefferson Davis would have ridden in his buggy past this lighthouse on the way to and from Church every Sunday after the Civil War during the years he lived at Beauvoir.
But probably we are more familiar with the lighthouse riding out Hurricane Katrina. Everything around it and inland for a quarter mile at that spot was reduced to rubble. But the lighthouse stood. Bill Raymond is Historical Administrator for the City of Biloxi and remembers surveying the town the morning after Katrina.
Bill Raymond: And I go from Tullos Manor which is gone. The Old Brick house which was severely damaged, Bromeyer House on the town green was gone. And I got to the lighthouse and it was standing. It was battered but it was still standing.
Walt: Although Katrina was the strongest, the lighthouse had seen plenty of hurricanes since 1848.
Bill Raymond: Over 20 hurricanes it's had to withstand. It's had issues over the years, but its really done really well. And you have to wonder if it's the actual shape of the lighthouse and the wind just goes around it. So it doesn't really have a flat surface to catch so it could get battered.
Walt: Hurricane Katrina actually did more damage inside the lighthouse than out.
Bill: The mortar was 150 years old and it was deteriorated so that the water was actually pulling the sand out from between the bricks until the brick interior collapsed, or a good section of the brick interior and when the water went out it took the brinks with it so that had to be rebuilt. It's interesting that they built the lighthouse for $12,000. It took me, in six weeks. It took me 4 and a half years and $415.000 to put it back together after the hurricane.
Walt: And one last point. I had always heard the lighthouse had been painted black for a period of time after Lincoln's assassination. It's true, the lighthouse had been covered over with a black tar pitch in 1866. But it really wasn't because of Lincoln. It was because the lighthouse had been neglected during the Civil War and the pitch was used to stop rust on the cast iron hull. However, that didn't stop local promoters around the turn of the 20th century from telling northern visitors that it was all in Lincolns honor back then. And it still makes a good half-truth.
But the wonder of the Biloxi Lighthouse is that it still is standing after Camille and Katrina and other storms. And that is why it was adopted as the car license tag symbol for Mississippi this cycle. Lighting the way and still standing.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:28 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:28:36 GMT
The search is over for the missing Mississippi 17-year-old at the center of the weekend Amber Alert. Katelyn Beard's body was found Tuesday before noon, off of Darden road, near the scene of a morningMore >>
The coroner said her body had been dumped for at least two days, and she was shot in the head.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:22:45 GMT
The Mississippi Highway Patrol has issued an Amber Alert for 17-year-old Katelyn Beard. She was abducted Saturday morning from between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. from 4244 Lynda Street in Jackson. BeardMore >>
Katelyn Beard's body was found during a search by local law enforcement Tuesday morning. More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
SPARTANBURG COUNT, SC (WYFF) - Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. DeputiesMore >>
Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:21 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:21:05 GMT
Tracy Lynn Garner is being sentenced, Tuesday, in connection to illicit silicone buttocks injections that led to an Atlanta woman's death. Garner was convicted Friday evening after the jury deliberatedMore >>
Garner was convicted Friday evening after the jury deliberated for about five hours.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:07:52 GMT
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert MahaffeyMore >>
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffey of Brandon in the first weekend of the season.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:39:10 GMT
(WMC) – Memphis police are the scene of a shooting where a woman was possibly shot in the head. This happened in the 900 block of East Raines Road, near Elvis Presley Boulevard on Tuesday morning. ThisMore >>
A Memphis mother of two was shot and killed by her estranged husband outside a Whitehaven day care center Tuesday morning. More >>
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