Mississippi Contractor Rebuilding History In Pass Christian

Katrina destroyed many of our historic homes and left many others in bad shape. Now a Mississippi contractor is helping the coast save some of that history.

Alan Ramsay's crews are simultaneously restoring two Pass Christian beach front houses, both of which were built in the 1800s.

"This home was built in 1870 by John Henderson, founder of Henderson Point near Pass Christian area," Ramsay said.

John Henderson built it. Katrina tore most of it down. Now Historic Renovations of Yazoo wants to take the Pass Christian house back to its glory days.

"We have no blue prints to work from," Ramsay said. "We have one picture of the exterior of the home, which is a frontal shot, a couple of wedding pictures someone gave us showing a couple of interior details, but essentially it's a mystery. We've got to build it by feel."

Ramsay says his crews have at least a year's worth of work ahead of them.

"They're pouring concrete for the footings and we'll be building piers up from those footings later," he said. "We have to strategically place them to support the various parts of the house as we build it up. We've poured many of them by hand. It's quite an undertaking."

Workers spend part of their time restoring another house that's on East Scenic Drive.

"The core of the home is an 1840 hand built cottage. The timbers are hand tuned; you can see the axe marks in them. "

Ramsay says restoring historic homes is a difficult job that takes great patience and concentration. But the end result makes everything worthwhile.

"The work is very fulfilling," Ramsay said. "To be able to take something and recreate it, especially when you have so little to work from. A successful project is a very satisfying thing."

Alan Ramsay says part of the funding for the restorations comes from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.