On our way back home from Houston, we stopped in the Biloxi/Gulfport area for two nights. We were excited to find out the Beauvoir was just down the street from where we were staying. Now, unless you are a Civil War junkie or Jefferson Davis fanatic, you may have never heard of Beauvoir. We only found out about last summer during our tour of the Confederate White House in Richmond, VA.
Beauvoir is a marvelous home. A history that is diverse and rich. It is a definite must if in the Biloxi/Gulfport, MS area. The gate fee is modest for the experience.
We began our tour in the Beauvoir Theater. We watched a movie about Beauvoir and the families that have occupied the residence. This was extremely interesting. Then a brief ten minute video on Jefferson Davis' Camel Project. Next, we saw a video about Jefferson Davis. All three held fascinating tid-bits of information. Although the visitor does not have to watch the films first, I would strongly advise it.
After watching the films, we made our way along the grounds to Beauvoir. It is stately house and sits amongst the grounds with dignity. The view is just that, beautiful! The ocean breeze, rocking chairs on the porch, the surf and dolphins in a distance, create the romanticized southern hospitality. Only thing missing was a glass of sweet tea or cold lemonade.
Our tour guide was dressed in authentic late 1800's breeches and long shirt. He provided great detail of the home and answered all questions asked. The home had suffered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and has been beautifully restored. Porches, lattice work, railings, and roof damage occurred. Many furnishings had to be restored or repaired. Art work, tile flooring, fabrics, fresco ceilings were major undertakings. The storm surge went a foot into the house. However, the wood floors did not have to be replaced. They did not warp or buckle. All those years of tung oil being applied had waterproofed them!
After the house tour, we walked the grounds of Beauvoir. The cool morning was turning into a hot and humid southern June day. With the approach of a thunderstorm, we made our way to the museum.
A young lady gave us a guided tour of the museum. She was a volunteer and we found out a reenactor for civil war events. The museum was small, but the exhibits were nice and not overwhelming.
The last stop on the tour was the one and only Confederate Presidential Library of Jefferson Davis. Pictures of Beauvoir's damage from Hurricane Katrina were displayed on tables. Various books were strewn on the tables for visitors to look through. The library appeared to be a working library.
The only thing we did not do on our tour (do to weather) was walk to the cemetery. Oh, well, I guess we will have to go back and revisit this beautiful place again. It will be well worth it!