Week Twenty-one



Biloxi and Gulfport, MS


Where can you spend $1.99 for a breakfast buffet?

Where can you spend $5 for a lunch buffet?
                Where can you spend $12.95 for an All-you-can Eat Seafood buffet (including dungeonous crabs)?

Where can you have a lot of fun gambling with pennies?


The answer to all these questions is at a casino on the beach in Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi.



The casinos aren’t the only forms of entertainment on the Gulf and we checked out several others.


Historical points of interest about Biloxi include:

·        First capital of the Louisiana Purchase Territory

·        Seafood Capital of the World (early 1900’s)

·        Home of the “shoofly” belvedere (a structure designed to command a view)



The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library was built on the grounds of Beauvoir, the retirement estate of Jefferson Davis.  Remember your Civil War facts -- Jefferson Davis was the only President of the Confederacy.    Davis was a graduate of West Point and a prominent Senator from Mississippi prior to the Civil War.  It was interesting to learn that he was well respected and were it not for the Civil War probably would have been a contender for the Presidency of the United States.  He spent his final years at Beauvoir writing his memoirs and raising citrus and grapes on the property.  His widow and family maintained the house until the late 1800’s when it became too expensive for them to maintain and sold the property to the Sons of the Confederacy mandating that the house be used as a home for Confederate Soldiers and their families.   In the early 1940’s, the house was restored and established as a museum.   Over the years, the restoration continued to include the entire property and today encompasses 51 acres of the original estate.    Today the property includes massive live oaks that are over a hundred years old, antebellum outbuildings, a Civil War museum, a historic cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and nature trails.  The Presidential Library contains an extensive display of Civil War memorabilia as well as a documentary movie about the life and philosophy of Jefferson Davis. 


Main House – Beauvoir




      Flag of the Confederacy High Over Beauvoir                                                           View of the Gulf from the Front Porch of Beauvoir







                                                      Biloxi Lighthouse

The Biloxi Lighthouse, built in 1948, is among the earliest cast iron lighthouses built in the United States.    The lighthouse stands guard over the twenty-six miles of Gulf coastline.    There were several female light keepers and the beacon has shown continuously since 1848 except for a brief period during the Civil War when the lens was hidden by the local home guard.   The Biloxi light was electrified in 1926 and is currently maintained by the City of Biloxi as an historic site.  It is reputed to be one of the most photographed objects in the South.


The Gulf beaches from Biloxi to Gulfport are man-made.   Every day you can see dozers and loaders moving and re-distributing sand to maintain the beach area. 


Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum – Established in 1986 to preserve and interpret the maritime history and heritage of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, this museum is a great collection of small craft, fishing equipment and artifacts.   There is also a great movie that runs continuously about Hurricane Camille.    Camille hit the Mississippi coastline in August of 1969 and is said to be the worst storm ever to hit mainland United States.  There is an Admission Charge but on the last Wednesday of every month it’s free.   This is a great museum dedicated to the sea and the number one industry in Biloxi .




J.L. Scott Aquarium – This aquarium has several aquarium tanks that are examples of an ocean environment, a swamp and a bayou.  Some of the animals include sea turtles, sharks, catfish, eels and alligators.


Biloxi was the first opportunity we had to explore the snow-white beaches of the Gulf and to walk in the surf.   This 26-mile (give or take a couple miles) stretch of beach is man-made.   Sand is dredged from between the mainland and the barrier islands and deposited on the beach.  Each day sand dozers and sand rakes groom the beaches to keep them clean and liter-free.  The barrier islands that protect Biloxi are part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.



TRIVIA QUESTION:  Who was The Rhinestone Cowboy? 

ANSWER:  Glenn Campbell


Several of you are probably thinking what a strange question to ask. . .but we went to see Glenn Campbell at the Grand Casino.  He sang all of his old favorites and was very entertaining --  poking fun at himself for his old drinking habits and reminisces about his acting debut in True Grit with John Wayne.   We has a short video that plays as part of the show where he is the Lone Ranger riding across the prairie.   He plays the song on the guitar holding it over his head (SEE the picture below).   We celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary while in Mississippi and enjoyed a great seafood buffet at the casino before the show.  Dungeness crab was the highlight of Ron’s feast – all you can eat!



Pickin’ to the Lone Ranger Theme (Ron knows it as the
            William Tell Overture!)





NEXT STOP:  Baton Rouge, LA