Today's Flashback features Nixon Street in Biloxi. Pictured in 1921, the street was renamed Dukate Street during the 1990s.
Research fails to determine when the street was first cut, but it is one the earliest north/south bound thoroughfares in the city.
The original street was a "corduroy road," which consisted of logs laid across the width of the road and then covered with dirt. The street derived its name from Irish immigrant John W. Nixon of New Orleans. On July 9, 1845, Nixon and his wife, Adeline Copp Nixon, opened a beachfront boarding house just east of the present-day street.
By 1848 the boarding house had become a full-fledged hotel. The May 15, 1849, Daily Delta newspaper of New Orleans described it as "superior to any public house on the sea coast." And that the "green sward (lawn) in the front of the house is over two acres wide and shaded by a great number of oak, magnolia, and mulberry trees."
Though shut down for a long time, the old hotel property fronting 160 feet on the Gulf by 600 feet running north to Water Street with two large buildings and a cottage was put up on the New Orleans auction block in April 1881. In 1930 Nixon Street was covered with a tar and gravel composition, which was then considered a "smooth" surface.
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 int eh 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 living @sunherald.com.