| Biloxi Lighthouse . Gulf of Mexico . Mississippi . Watercolor . 9" x 12"
... this 45-foot tall, iron light tower sits right in the middle of US Route 90 in Biloxi, Mississippi. It wasn't always in the middle of a highway... although, when it was built in 1884, there wasn't much more then a cart way along the inland side of the beach, which connected the coastal plantations and towns along the Gulf. The tower stood through the great hurricane of 1860... but a subsequent storm later that same year eroded enough sand beneath the tower's foundation to tilt it to one side. Its existence was again severely threatened by a hurricane in 1868 and an adjacent keeper's house was destroyed and rebuilt in 1880... then the seawall was destroyed in 1893. In 1916 the tower was damaged by another hurricane and then in 1969... Hurricane Camille destroyed yet another keeper's house. 2005's epic Hurricane Katrina damaged the tower once again with storm surges above 21 feet. This tough old bird was entered into the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
The mansion behind it... is most assuredly... not a light keeper's house. This Greek Revival construction is a two story reproduction of the original home built in 1849 for Robinson-Maloney-Dantzler, a wealthy English cotton planter and completely destroyed by Katrina in 2005. This rebuilt structure is now the home of the Biloxi Visitors Center and Biloxi Chamber of Commerce since 2011.