BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - We're just a matter of days away from our state's bicentennial celebration kicking off here on the coast. While we celebrate Mississippi's statehood, that gives us a great opportunity reflect on its history.
Beauvoir. The last home of Jefferson Davis was built right on the water in Biloxi way back before Hwy. 90 brought cars buzzing by its porch.
When you walk through the doors, you're transported back to the 1870s, when Davis and family could be found wandering these rooms. Now, guests are given tours and a brief history of the property, including reenactments along the way.
J.W. Binion portrays the Confederate president and says the bicentennial is a big deal for the state's heritage displayed at Beauvoir.
"The 200 years Mississippi has been a shining a star in that field of stars. The Davises definitely had an impact on it," said Binion.
Not only did Davis give his last public speech in what is now Gulfport, but he also has a family connection to the state's admission to the Union.
"Most folks don't realize the connection between Beauvoir and the bicentennial. Jefferson Davis moved here in 1877, and his brother was at the actual ceremony when Mississippi became a state," said Beauvoir events coordinator Kitsaa Stevens.
According to Stevens, Davis and his family lived in the home for about 10 years. Stevens also said that when the house was originally built, what we see as the front of the house was actually designed to the be the back.
It wasn't until the owner prior to Davis that the property was referred to as Beauvoir, or beautiful view. Before that? Well, that will be up to Stevens and the other guides to tell you when you visit the property.
Stevens said Beauvoir is planning an exhibit at the bicentennial celebration at Centennial Plaza. There will be a Davis reenactor reciting his Gulfport speech.