Reed Home Moved To Site Of New Ohr-O'Keefe Museum - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Reed Home Moved To Site Of New Ohr-O'Keefe Museum

You may have never heard of a man by the name of Pleasant Reed, but one day you will thanks to the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum and Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

The home Reed built nearly 130 years ago will become a part of the new museum. Just a few days ago, it was moved from where it has sat on Esthers Boulevard near Division Street in Biloxi to the museum grounds.

Pleasant Reed was the child of slaves and the first African American in Biloxi to own his own home. The home was built in 1878. Now it's in desperate need of repair.

"It will be as close to the wood floors and the walls and the roof and the windows as we possibly can be, and if you know anything about restoring an old house, it's a real project," museum board member Adele Lyons said.

The home will include many artifacts and mementos from the late 19th and early 20th century, and will be a window into the world of African Americans in South Mississippi during that time.

"This day is a long time in coming," said Carolyn Cadney, a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. "We waited for years to do something significant with the Reed house, and it's something from the black community that we can restore and use as an educational tool."

Cadney's sorority bought the home from the reed family in the late '70s. Otherwise, the home would have been demolished.

Because maintaining it became very expensive, the home is now part of the Ohr-O'Keefe museum. Late Monday afternoon, a formal ceremony was held to welcome its arrival on the Ohr property.

The Reed home is the first actual structure on the museum property. That makes it a very important tool in on going fundraising efforts.

"Our project now is real," Lyons said. "There is a structure, we see some dirt moving, we see some real activity here at the site, whereas before it has been concepts, discussions, models, pictures. This is real."

Renovation of the Pleasant Reed home should take about a year. Groundbreaking is set for March on the new structures to be built at Ohr-O'Keefe.

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