Gulfport Has Blueprints To Rebuild Grasslawn

Grasslawn was truly an antebellum treasure. It had a white picket fence, a canopy of oaks, and a picturesque view of the Mississippi Sound. An untold number of brides walked down these steps and began a new chapter in their lives.

Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr knows one of the brides.

"My sister had her wedding reception there," he remembered.

Now it's up to leaders like Warr to make sure future brides have the same opportunity to celebrate their vows on the historic waterfront property.

"I think it's very important to rebuild it. And actually, our initial conversations have been, 'Let's see if we can replicate it.' We've found the original blueprints for it," he said.

No, they weren't in the city's hurricane damaged train depot. But just about anything else associated with Gulfport's past could be found in the city museum. Curator George Houtz has spent virtually all his time since Katrina restoring old pictures that got soaked by the storm.

"I try to salvage these, because I'm hoping we'll need them again," Houtz said.

The city has commitments from Gulfport Seabees to fix the 102-year-old train depot roof. Gulfport is waiting to hear from FEMA before it begins its Grasslawn repairs.

"I think now is the time that we have to really, really, while it's all still fresh in our minds and the love for it all is still there, before we get used to not having it, we need to go back and reestablish it," the mayor said.

In Grasslawn's case, that means rebuild a home that a Port Gibson doctor built on the shores of the Mississippi Sound in 1836.