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.
Sunday, May 19 2013 3:54 PM EDT2013-05-19 19:54:40 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
After a preliminary investigation, Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart said, the male body found Saturday night in Clinton did show a gunshot wound to the head.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:00 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:00:02 GMT
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown. If confirmed, Brown would become the state's first black female district judge. Carl Tobias, aMore >>
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown.More >>
It's all about the odds, and one lone ticket in Florida has beaten them all by matching each of the numbers drawn for the highest Powerball jackpot in history at an estimated $590.5 million, lottery officials...More >>
Some lucky person walked into a Publix supermarket in suburban Florida over the past few days and bought a ticket now worth an estimated $590.5 million - the highest Powerball jackpot in history.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Thursday, May 16 2013 7:38 AM EDT2013-05-16 11:38:49 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - An Army wife who lost over 100 pounds while her husband was away in Afghanistan surprised the soldier Wednesday when he arrived at Wilmington International Airport. Misty Shaffer,More >>
A soldier from Wilmington returns from Afghanistan to a big surprise: a new wife, a new house and a different child.More >>
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at...More >>
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at U.S. jails.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:20 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:20:30 GMT
An accident combined with interstate roadwork causes headaches for motorists Saturday afternoon in Rankin county. Traffic was practically brought to a standstill on I-20 in Pearl at the Airport Road exitMore >>
An accident combined with interstate roadwork causes headaches for motorists Saturday afternoon in Rankin County.More >>
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