Old Biloxi Cemetery Tours return with stories from the city’s history
The tours will be held from 2-4pm on Oct. 17 and 5-7pm on Oct. 19.
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The dead will be walking this weekend at Old Biloxi Cemetery - well, maybe not the actual dead, but a re-enactment of those who lived long ago and are now buried in the historic cemetery.
The 15th annual Old Biloxi Cemetery Tour will be held from 2-4pm on Sunday, Oct. 17 and again from 5-7pm on Tuesday, Oct. 19, and will feature 10 different displays showing off the city’s history.
“After postponing the live event in 2020 because of COVID-19 measures, the committee decided to reprise last year’s theme which was only offered virtually via BTV. Our actors were superb and the stories submitted by descendants were far too good not be seen live and in-person”, said Bill Raymond, historic administrator for the City of Biloxi.
Some of Biloxi’s oldest families will share stories that have passed down for generations. A rededication at the tomb of one of those ancestors will also be held. St. Cyr Zamore is the patriarch of the Gulf Coast’s Seymour family and the great-great-grandfather of Jimmy Buffett.
NOLA Cemetery Renewal restored the tomb and will be at the annual tours to talk about that restoration process and why Biloxi is so special.
“A big part of my heart is right here in Biloxi,” said Nick Black with NOLA Cemetery Renewal. “Because of the tombs and because of the history, I can’t think of a better place than Biloxi., so it’s been a real privilege for the city to let me work out here and I plan on continuing to work out here as long as I can to restore these tombs.”
Graveside portrayals will include: Nicholas Christian Ladner (Cree Cantrell); Henry J. Agregaard (Bill Collins); Leda Anglada (Kathe Newcomb); John Becnel (Barry Newman); Ida Champeaux/Teresa Croncich (April Donegan/Tina Ball Johnston); Wilhelm Wallis (Brennan Prince); Verta Lee Bosarge Swetman (Glenda O’Neil); Paul Taconi (Boyce Deaton); James Parks Caldwell (Sam Burke); and Lessaint Broussard.
The tour is self-guided so you don’t have to worry about showing up late and missing out. The cemetery is located at 1166 Irish Hill Drive.
Parking will be available along Irish Hill and in marked areas of the cemetery. Programs and tour maps will be available at entry points located on the U.S. 90 (Beach Boulevard) gate and the Caldwell Street entryway to the cemetery.
While the event is free, donations are accepted. All monies raised are used to fund ongoing preservation projects at the cemetery. Preserve Biloxi has reconstructed one tomb and assisted with funding and expertise for the restoration of two additional tombs.
This free-to-the-public event is presented by Preserve Biloxi, a committee made up of dedicated employee-volunteers from the City of Biloxi, Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Biloxi Main Street, Biloxi Local History and Genealogy Library of the Harrison County Library System, and the University of Southern Mississippi History Department.
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