History being preserved in Ocean Springs

By Doug Walker – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Contractors spent the Monday morning hours sawing wood, sizing up windows frames and disposing of a part of history that has seen better days.

By the end of the month, the home on State Street will have a new look. The makeover comes courtesy a state run program funded with $26 million in federal grant money.

Ken P'Pool works for the Department of Archives and History.  He feels that salvaging what Katrina didn't take away is vitally important.

"We did lose so much," P'Pool said. "So many things were just totally destroyed that it makes the ones that are left all that more important. So we're very gratified to have a source of funding to help people restore them and make them vital parts of the community."

Restoring a 110-year-old home is no small task. You have to start from scratch.

Ron Laabs is the contractor on the job.

"We're doing a remodeling of the outside of the house, repairing any damaged siding, restoring the windows, doors, restoring the porch, the architectural details of the house," Laabs explained. "Just bringing the outside of the house back to its original form."

That original form includes several small rooms, wooden floors and windows that use weights to go up and down, a design from a bygone era.  Laabs said you can feel the history of the home just by stepping inside.

"This house has a lot of history. And just where it's at in the community, it's like the house was just plopped here. Everything, like the older houses around it are gone, pretty much. And it's really unique in and of itself."

And when Laabs and his employees are finished, they hope this home will remain unique for another hundred years.

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