Essence of Biloxi Driving and Bicycling Trail – Stop #40
Beauvoir and Oyster Bayou
Owned by the Mississippi Division of the Sons of the Confederacy, Beauvoir (French for beautiful view) was built by Madison County, Mississippi planter, James Brown, in 1852. Beauvoir’s second owner, Sarah Dorsey, made the home available to Jefferson Davis (1808-1889), the only president of the Confederacy, in 1877. Davis wrote The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government in the east cottage (a post-Katrina replica) flanking the house.
He obtained ownership of Beauvoir in 1879. After Davis’s death, Beauvoir began service as a home for Confederate veterans and their wives and widows in 1903. In 1941 the home opened to the public as a shrine to Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy. Architecturally, Beauvoir is a Georgian-influenced Louisiana Raised Plantation Style Cottage with a central hall.
Oyster Bayou (located northwest of the home)
A circa 1722 French map describes Oyster Bayou as “L’Etang,” which means “a lake.” Today, it is considered a bayhead swamp, and a good portion of West Biloxi drains into it. Historically, it was a primary source of shellfish for local Native Americans for centuries before European settlement. The bayou, which has some tidal action, empties into the Mississippi Sound through a culvert under Highway 90.
Return to Highway 90 and turn right (west). Travel west nine tenths of a mile to Edgewater Drive and turn right (north) to enter the neighborhood.