This circa 1990 photo of the Christmas tree-fashioned from a shrimp trawl put up by the city of Biloxi calls up a bit of pre-Katrina nostalgia.
From its first installation in the mid-1980s, the unique tree stood as an annual tradition in the courtyard of the former Biloxi Public Library across from Biloxi’s city hall on Lameuse Street through 2004.
Dyed green and strung with Christmas lights, the trawl was fastened to the top of the courtyard flagpole and adorned with sparkling cutouts of shrimp, crabs, seahorses, starfish, real oyster shells and red-painted cork floats. The impressive tree represented Biloxi’s and the Mississippi Coast’s seafood legacy.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s flooding and damage in that area, and the ensuing destruction of the Biloxi Library, the shrimp trawl Christmas tree became a thing of the past. The City relocated the historic “Creole Cottage,” shown in the background, to Rue Magnolia, the center of Biloxi’s district. The restored building is now the home of the Dusti Bongé Foundation.
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Murella H. Powell, a local historian, writes the weekly Flashback column. Do you have a local photograph to submit to Flashback? It can be of any subject or event in the Coast’s distant or recent past. Please send a description with your name, address and daytime phone number to Flashback, the Sun Herald, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi MS 39535; or call 896-2424; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.