Biloxi Lighthouse Park
Biloxi is home to a plethora of historical monuments. The Biloxi Lighthouse Park acts as a beacon of the area’s heritage and history. Adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico on Beach Boulevard in the heart of Biloxi, the centerpiece of this park is the historic lighthouse.
Built in 1848, the Biloxi Lighthouse was one of the first lighthouses in the South made of cast iron. During the first century of its existence, it was operated by women civilians from the area. These workers were known as lightkeepers. The most notable of those caretakers was Maria Younghans, who tended the light for 53 years.
In 1939, the United States Coast Guard took ownership of the Lighthouse until 1969, when it was handed over to the City of Biloxi. Soon after, it was opened for public tours. It was eventually added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and was declared an official Mississippi Landmark in 1987.
The 64-foot-tall lighthouse took a beating from multiple weather events over the years. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina made a big impact after much of the structure was damaged by the winds, which toppled many bricks that lined the interior of the cast iron tower. The storm’s winds also broke many of the windows in the light cupola and destroyed the structure’s electrical system.
After the community raised the $400,000 needed for repairs, the lighthouse re-opened in March of 2010. Today the lighthouse is a symbol of the area’s resilience and resolve during the post-Katrina era.