Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas at Beauvoir

On a recent trip down to Biloxi, my husband and I stopped by Beauvoir, the beautiful home where Jefferson Davis lived out his final years after the Civil War. The structure was damaged from Hurricane Katrina, but has since been restored to its original splendor.

The first photo shows the work being done to replace the presidential library that was destroyed by the storm. Sadly, most of the contents in the museum that was housed on the first floor were destroyed. The books were upstairs, however, so they were spared, and are now being stored at various locations around town until the new library is completed, which should be in two years.

The second photo is Beauvoir, which means "beautiful view" in French. The entire porch and steps have been replaced. Photo #3 shows the Confederate cemetery on the grounds behind the house. After Jefferson Davis died, Varina Howell Davis, his wife, donated the property to Confederate veterans as a retirement home for them and their spouses. These are the people buried in the cemetery, along with Jefferson Davis' beloved mule and dog. President Davis and Mrs. Davis are buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

Photo #4 shows what was salvaged from a memorial monument built by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It was originally erected in front of the house. Like the monument, a few antiques that were in the museum were found, but most were damaged. They are on display in the gift shop. The final picture is one of the grounds, which overlook the Gulf of Mexico. It is absolutely stunning, and it's no wonder why they named the home "Beauvoir."

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