We are back on the road headed to Texas to be with our youngest daughter for her birthday. Along the way, we plan to do some sightseeing and spend time with friends.
Our first stop was Biloxi, Mississippi. We have been here several times and have passed the Beauvoir estate with the comment that we really need to visit this place. So this trip was the charm. What makes this estate, sitting on the Gulf of Mexico, so compelling is the fact that it was the last home of Jefferson Davis. He had a long career in service to the United States, but nearly everyone remembers him only as the first and only President of the Confederate States of America.
The estate itself has a long and interesting history, The estate was first built in 1848 and contained over 600 acres from the Gulf of Mexico to the inland waters behind it. Unfortunately, hurricane Katrina caused major damage to all the structures and the remaining 51 acres of the property. The restoration to the pre Katrina condition is ongoing but the main house and two smaller structures and been mostly restored and a Jefferson Davis library has also been built on the property.
After looking through the library, we signed up for the house tour. As luck would have it, we found ourselves to be the only two waiting for the tour at 11AM. Our tour guide indicated that since it was just the two of us, we could take the standard house tour or we could talk about anything we might be interested in. So we spent a very interesting hour listening to a detailed history of Jefferson Davis from his early days through his time at Beauvoir and death. It was particularly powerful to hear this in the last place that he lived.
After this, we joined the next large group for the standard tour with a general history of the home and its owners thru the years. I have included several links for those that might be interested in more details of this history. In 1876, the estate owner became aware of the difficulties that plagued Jefferson Davis since his release from federal prison and offered him a home. He accepted and in 1879 arranged to purchase the estate. He lived here with his family until his death in 1889 during a trip to New Orleans.
After his death, his family lived in the home for several years and then the property was sold to a organization known as the Sons of the Confederacy. For a number of years the property was used as an old age home for former Confederate soldiers and veterans of other wars. Many of them and their family members are buried in a cemetery on the property.
The cemetery is also the site for the grave of the unknown Confederate Soldier of the Confederacy.
You are free to explore the entire 51acres and enjoy some of the animals that currently have the run of the property.
This is truly a gem that should not be missed.