Ocean Springs now a Preserve America Community

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - By Krystal Allan - bio | email

Ocean Springs has now become the only city in Mississippi to be recognized as a Preserve America community.  It's a national honor handed down by First lady Laura Bush.

"It's a credit to so many citizens and organizations over the decades that have worked so hard to preserve Ocean Springs' unique charm," says Mayor Connie Moran, Ocean Springs.

Citizens like Elizabeth Lemon Roberts.

"We owe alot to Elizabeth Lemon Roberts who collected post cards from over a century ago to the early 1900's and that's how we know Ocean Springs use to look.

Marble Springs, the place from which the city got part of its name, is one part of the city's historic past.  It was one of the state's best known mineral spring resorts especially during the 18th and 19th centuries and believed to have medicinal properties.

Take a tour downtown and you'll find the Lemon Moehler Insurance building the oldest building downtown.  On Jackson Avenue, you'll see the oldest house in town believed to be built in the 1830's.

"When people are coming into town we want them to know that this is a special place we care about," says Mayor Moran.

To continue preserving that heritage, the city can now apply for additional grant money as a Preserve America Community.

"We want to have some bronze plaques of the seven flags that flew over the Mississippi Gulf Coast and put them in Fort Maurepaus park," says Mayor Moran.

While the mayor says it's important the city look toward its future, it can't forget the past that helped shape it.

"You have to grow to survive but at the same time you have to do that in a sustainable manner while still embracing our past ."