The trees at Beauvoir have a way of blocking any unwanted distractions. So a jack hammer drilling holes into the seawall across the street barely echoed through the Jefferson Davis property.
Once upon a time, jack hammers, support beams, and lumber were not welcome near Beauvoir. Curators on the north side of Highway 90 opposed Harrison County's plan to build a wooden boardwalk. They feared the wooden boards would damage their historic home during a storm.
Sand Beach director Bobby Weaver met with curators when a new boardwalk concept came up.
"When we revisited with them a couple of years ago," he said, "we had experienced Hurricane Georges, and had no board damage as a result of the storm."
Because of that information, Beauvoir director Patrick Hotard said his bosses had a change of heart.
"They submitted their design plan. Our board reviewed it," Hotard said. "We felt that the design was a very sturdy design."
That paved the way for the entire 26 mile beach in Harrison County to get some sort of wooden or cement boardwalk built on the seawall.
Right after Beauvoir successfully blocked the original boardwalk from being built, it put a wooden white picket fence around its property. Almost a decade later, curators realized if this could be made of wood, the walkway across the street could be made of wood also.
"It shows that the board was willing to look at the issue again, consider it very carefull," Hotard said. "And it came to the conclusion that this would be something that we could support."
The Beauvoir section of the boardwalk cost $272,000 to design and build. The entire Harrison County boardwalk project will end up costing almost four million dollars. The federal government is paying for 75% of the work. County matching funds will pick up the rest.
Boardwalk construction should be completed this fall.