Pleasant Reed House
The Reed family home, the Pleasant Reed House, was completed in its original form around 1887. An example of the picturesquely detailed “shotgun” house that became one of the dominant residential types on the Mississippi coast during the late nineteenth century, the structure is unusual because of its modified side-hall plan. A partially completed inventory of the contents of the house has revealed records dating back to 1884, including receipts for hours of road work performed by members of the Pleasant Reed family in lieu of tax payment.
By the 1970s the home was at risk of demolition, and in 1978 it was purchased by the Gulf Coast Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in order to preserve its history. The house was donated to the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in 2000 and was soon moved to the museum site. Sadly, the original home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, however the Pleasant Reed Interpretive Center was constructed in 2008 from the restoration plans. The Pleasant Reed Interpretive Center remains an important cultural asset that educates visitors about a remarkable African American family. Seeking a better life, Pleasant Reed lead his family to new opportunities and a fresh start in Biloxi. The Reed family persevered through immense prejudice in a world that fought against them rather than for them. Despite the adversity, the Reeds held steadfast, and their family story remains an inspiration for all generations today. The exterior of the house is an exact replica of the original, and the interior of the home welcomes tours and exhibitions.