Essence of Biloxi Driving and Bicycling Trail – Stop #1
Biloxi Lighthouse/Pierre LeMoyne d’Iberville Statue
Built in 1848 with funds allocated by the U. S. Congress, the Biloxi Lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and an official Mississippi Landmark. The cast iron tower sheaths a conical brick lining, which was prefabricated by the Murray and Hazelhurst Vulcan Works in Baltimore, Maryland. Among the six light tenders there were three women: Mary Reynolds, 1854-1866; Maria Younghans, 1867-1920; Miranda Younghans, 1920-1929. The light was electrified in 1926, and it was automated to revolve in 1938. The U. S. Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse in 1967 and turned it over to the city of Biloxi in 1968. Today, it is the only lighthouse to stand in the median of a United States highway.
The statue of Pierre LeMoyne d’Iberville stands north of the Biloxi Lighthouse on the grounds of the Biloxi Visitor Center. The artist, Mary Ott Davidson, cast the statue in 1999 to commemorate Biloxi’s 300th anniversary. In 1698 the French king, Louis XIV, sent Iberville to find the mouth of the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico and to reestablish its earlier claim to the Louisiana Territory. Iberville’s ships anchored in the deep water harbor at Ship Island on February 10, 1699. His coming ashore on the Biloxi mainland on February 13th marked the beginning of the history of the Mississippi Coast and the Louisiana Territory.
Upon leaving the visitor’s center travel north on Porter Avenue for three tenths of a mile and turn right on Howard Avenue. Go one tenths of a mile to the first site on the east tour on the left.