Possible Partnership Could Breathe New Life Into Fort - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Possible Partnership Could Breathe New Life Into Fort

For nearly 300 years, the building known as the Spanish Fort has sat on the banks of the Pascagoula River. Katrina spared it with only minimal damage, and the county has asked for about $100,000 from FEMA to make repairs.

"There's probably a quarter of a million to $400,000 worth of restoration that needs to be done separate from what the storm did, so we're talking about a lot of money," says District 3 Supervisors Tim Broussard.

Broussard says with grants, Pascagoula could be in better financial shape to help pay the upkeep. There is no formal agreement to team up with the city, but members of Jackson County's historical society say a city/county partnership would be a silver lining. 

"Colonial Williamburg's interested, FEMA's interested, the community's interested, the descendants are interested again and if everybody works together we can save it. It's going to take maintenance and publicity and funding," says Tommy Wixon.

Liz Ford, another member, says, "It has managed to withstand all of these many years and it's part of our duty as a community to preserve it for the future."

Wixon and Ford say the fort has the potential to be a living history center, where students can study the past in one of the few historic sites still left on the Coast.  

Pascagoula City Manager Kay Kell says even though there is no formal agreement between the city and county regarding the fort, the city would be interested in helping maintain it because the fort is part of the city's history.

Jackson County has been the fort's custodian since 1951.

by Marcia Hill

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