Living

Flashback: Businesses of the Biloxi beachfront, circa 1929-1936

By Murella H. Powell

COURTESY RANDY RANDAZZODue to the 1947 hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969, none of the beach-road buildings in this picture exists today except the Magnolia Hotel, which was moved north and renovated after Camille.
COURTESY RANDY RANDAZZODue to the 1947 hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969, none of the beach-road buildings in this picture exists today except the Magnolia Hotel, which was moved north and renovated after Camille.

With the aid of city directories and newspaper articles the timeframe of this aerial view of central beach Biloxi is determined to be between 1929 and 1936. Many of the south-side businesses changed names and others were added during that time span.

From right to left, businesses as listed in the city directory on the beach side: Pig Barbecue Restaurant, Triple X Thirst Station Restaurant, Sunny Side Service Station & Otto's Garage, Johnson's Service Station, Wachenfeld's Bathing Pier, J. V. Hagan Bathing Pavilion with Charles Hagan Oyster Packing Company pier's end, Excel Body & Fender Works. Buildings farther west cannot be unidentified.

From right to left, businesses as listed in the city directory north of beach road: Foster's Rooming House, (Magnolia Street) Magnolia Hotel, J. H. Etter Furniture Rooms, Paul Irvin restaurant, (Croesus Street) Wachenfeld Beach Apartments, J. V. Hagan restaurant, (Reynoir Street) vacant, vacant, Ernest Desporte Junior restaurant, (Fayard Street) L.C. Harvey restaurant, Carol House Apartments, vacant building.

The Avalez Hotel stands on the north right, where the Biloxi Regional Medical Center is presently located. After the Hagan oyster packing buildings were demolished about 1930, it became a popular swimming pier with a water slide at the end. Many seniors still remember the fun they had at both the Hagan and Wachenfeld pier.

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 living@sunherald.com.

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