A trip back in time in the heart of a busy city - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

A trip back in time in the heart of a busy city


By Doug Walker – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's one of the busiest commercial corridors in south Mississippi, the corner of Popps Ferry and Cedar Lake Roads in Biloxi. Over the past few years, dozens of businesses have popped up, and the traffic count has increased dramatically. 

But look across the street, and you see something entirely different.  A working farm right in the middle of the city. Bessie Stanovich has enjoyed the view on the 40 acres of serene beauty for a very long time. 

"I'm 91 years old, and I was born and raised here," Stanovich said.

So what does Bessie think about all the hustle and bustle across the street, just a minute away from Interstate 10.  

"You just have to take that with the times. You know?" 

Walking through the property, you forget about the stores and restaurants that are just a stone's throw away. A well tended garden is home to corn and a variety of vegetables, food grown and eaten by family members. 

Horses walk proudly through the tall grass, and cows roam freely, looking for their next meal. Roy Stanovich is one of Bessie's sons. He was surprised by the building boom next door.

"I never expected it to grow this much, this fast," Roy said.

And Roy longs for the old days, when peace and quiet was the norm.  

"I like the lifestyle of living here that used to be when it used to be all woods out here," Roy said. "Now it's growing up so much it's like you're getting crowded in now."  

Despite offers from developers to buy this property over the years, when you talk to the family matriarch about family pressure to sell, Bessie's answer was short but effective.

"They wouldn't dare while I'm living!"

And living on this beautiful piece of land is all that members of the Stanovich family want for a long time to come.

The property was first bought by the Stanovich family in 1899, and the first home was built in 1915. Today, six members of the family live on the property in separate homes.

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