Dozens get history lesson at 25th Mississippi Coast History Week - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Dozens get history lesson at 25th Mississippi Coast History Week

Several locals and out-of-towners made visits to the center for the 25th Annual Mississippi Coast History Week to see what was on display. (Photo source: WLOX) Several locals and out-of-towners made visits to the center for the 25th Annual Mississippi Coast History Week to see what was on display. (Photo source: WLOX)
Along with the exhibits were reenactments involving early French settlers and their first contact with Native Americans. (Photo source: WLOX) Along with the exhibits were reenactments involving early French settlers and their first contact with Native Americans. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Saturday was the final day to learn and share the history of the Coast at the Biloxi Visitors Center. Several locals and out-of-towners made visits to the center for the 25th Annual Mississippi Coast History Week to see what was on display.

Mary McCusker is with the Hibernia Marching Society of Mississippi, which is an organization that promotes interest in Irish heritage and culture.

Even though she's with one of the organizations that's educating visitors about Gulf Coast history, she didn't hesitate to walk around to learn more about where she's from.

"It's like you thrive. You want to learn. It's like eating up a piece of pie. You gotta have another piece," McCusker said.

Ken Dodd just moved to the Coast from New York. He says he understands McCusker's excitement to know more about her community.

"I think it gives you a perspective of what came before you, where we are today because of what was here before. Family stories, family culture and of course, there's that time of blending that culture, and this is a prime example of all the diversity of culture that's come to the Coast over time," Dodd said.

Comments from visitors like Dodd is what McCusker says makes history week on the Coast so satisfying.

"It's amazing to hear so many tourists say, 'I didn't know y'all had that. I didn't see anything Irish. I didn't know y'all had a French organization,' and it's really nice to be able to brag a little bit about our little bitty world," McCusker said.

Walking around and sharing stories of the past made McCusker appreciate her community more. Even though most of her memories were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, she says it was her choice to stay so she can later share with the next generations of her family the memories that remain close to her heart.

"I want them to know why I stayed," McCusker said as she began to get teary-eyed. "Some of the things I remember are gone now but not in the heart. These people brought it out, and it's so cool. Now, my grandchildren and children can see where I grew up and why I chose to stay here."

Along with the exhibits were reenactments involving early French settlers and their first contact with Native Americans.

The end to the three day history event also hosted a book signing with Dale Greenweel on his new book "Images of America: D'Iberville and St. Martin."

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly