Beauvoir Is Now History
Ever since Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf coast, I have been wondering what happened to Jefferson Davis' home, Beauvoir. Now, thanks to the New York Times, I know. It was severely damaged. According to the NYT, it wasn't a total loss, but judging from the pictures in the article, it was pretty close to one. A number of other historical houses on the Mississippi coast were completely destroyed.

I was wondering, because it seems to me that Beauvoir survived hurricane Camille, which until Katrina was the worst hurricane to hit the region in modern times. I think I was in the Army in Vietnam, or on my way there, when Camille hit. So, I don't remember first hand what happened, but I do remember that after I came back, Beauvoir was still there. It reminded me of my grandfather's complaints about modern building practices. He argued that because houses were so much more poorly constructed today, older houses would survive storms that newer houses would not. To me, Beauvoir was an example supporting his argument. But it doesn't look like Katrina discriminated between older and new homes. It was too powerful for any of them.

Unfortunately, it means that more of the Old South is literally gone with the wind. More of the big, old, graceful houses that were remnants of the Old South are gone. Even if they are rebuilt, it won't be the same, and certainly some, or all, of them won't be rebuilt. So, the Mississippi Gulf coast will be filled with more cookie cutter houses, no matter how expensive or fancy they may be. But after Camille and Katrina, people will no doubt be more reluctant to build expensive houses too close to the Gulf.

One branch of my family lived in Pass Christian, Mississippi. I don't think there are any family members still living there now, fortunately, but it would be interesting to know what happened to the big, old house that my "Aunt Lil" lived in. I remember spending time there growing up, but I couldn't find it today, on a map or in person.

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