Pascagoula highlights heritage with historic pathways

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Beneath the pavement of present day Pascagoula lies a rich history, according to local historians.  Liz Ford, Chairman of the Pascagoula Historic Preservation Society told WLOX about the summer of 1848, when war-weary soldiers disembarked from the Mexican War on Pascagoula's shores.  According to Ford, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis and Zachary Taylor were among them.
"Zachary Taylor, who was a general then," Ford said.  "He accepted the Whig party nomination and ran for president and won.  And he was right here when he was nominated."

Ford estimates three quarters of the city's residents do not know that particular piece of Pascagoula history.  As Pascagoula moves forward in what seems to be a development blitz, they're counting on the city's history to link it all together.

They've designed a walking path down Frederick Street to Dupont Avenue, and north on Canty Street that passes by sites from years ago.
"This particular area where the pathway will be following, was of course originally Pascagoula, and then when the railroad came in this part of town was changed to Scranton," Ford said.  "And then in 1910 it went back to Pascagoula.  A lot of those homes were built when it was Scranton."
Pascagoula's Program Manager Jaci Turner said the project will start with a 10 foot sidewalk on every street involved.  From there, the city hopes to follow up with other projects like putting up signs or even creating podcasts.  They said its an effort to make Pascagoula history more accessible to the public.
"We have some really significant sites in town," Turner said.  "And a lot of people don't realize how significant they are."
City officials and historians are excited about using the past as an anchor for Pascagoula's future.

 "This is going to provide a major springboard as far as connection between sites," Turner said.  "This is going to be a first big step toward bike friendly paths. Its just one of those things that are going to provide a piece to a lot of bigger things that are coming."

The city has plans to place a boat launch and pavilion just south of the Highway 90 bridge, at the north end of Frederick Street.  The launch will make the historic pathway accessible by boat.  A birding pier at the south end of Magnolia Street is also in the works.

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