Group Saving Four Damaged Historic Homes

Leif Anderson watched in wonder Wednesday morning, as crews struggled to save a simple, wooden cottage on the Shearwater complex in Ocean Springs.

"It's marvelous that they care about Walter Anderson's cottage," said Leif Anderson.

The house, built around 1850, was once home, studio, and a place to escape for her world famous father - artist Walter Anderson.

"It represents my father in a way, because as a child, I was aware of him being here all the time," said Anderson.

Even though the cottage survived Katrina's rage, the storm yanked the house from its foundation piers and dropped it a few feet away.

"It looked like something that had been battered, and hurt, and was standing strong, but crippled. We knew it could be brought back," said Anderson.

The Mississippi Heritage Trust is starting a project to preserve the house by raising it off the ground and moving it back where it belongs.

MHT Executive Director David Preziosi said, "It's even more important now that we lost so many of our landmarks along the coast. We need to hold on to as many of our historic places that are left. It's really the character of the coast."

When Walter Anderson passed away in 1965, the house was turned into a museum and served as a home for several members of the Anderson family. Once the house is repaired, the family hopes to one day open it up to the public once again.

"People want to touch things that have been touched by great men or great women. They want to experience for themselves the humanity and artistry of a great person.  Daddy was indeed a great human being," said Leif Anderson.

The Mississippi Heritage Trust received a $120,000 grant to stabilize the Walter Anderson cottage, as well as three other historic homes in Bay St. Louis and Gulfport.