Living

Flashback: Old-time aerial view shows a different Biloxi

By Murella H. Powell

COURTESY RANDY RANDAZZODeer Island seems to float in the upper central background. All of these structures were destroyed by the 1947 hurricane, Hurricane Camille in 1969 or for progress.
COURTESY RANDY RANDAZZODeer Island seems to float in the upper central background. All of these structures were destroyed by the 1947 hurricane, Hurricane Camille in 1969 or for progress.

This circa-1927 to 1931 aerial view of Biloxi's central beach looks eastward, beginning in the left foreground with the roof of the Buena Vista Hotel, built in 1924 (where MGM Park stands today). The hotel's beachside octagon-shaped dance pavilion, built in 1926, stands in the central foreground (on the present-day site of the Beau Rivage).

First called La Vista, the dance pavilion doubled as a convention hall that could accommodate up to 1,000. In 1946, the pavilion was renamed the Victory Room in honor of the United States' victory in World War II. Many can remember dancing to the music of the big bands -- that, is until the structure fell to the fury of the 1947 hurricane.

Going eastward along the beachside is a Standard Oil station with an oil dock near the end of the pier. Next are the Mariette Cafe, Radio Inn Restaurant, Vick's Place, Gulf Refg. Co. Gas Station, Excel Body Works, the Hagan and Wachenfeld Piers.

Continuing east: Pelican Fish Market, Gulf Coast Oil Co., Panhandle Oil Co., Desporte Fish Co, C&D Garage, Biloxi Tent & Awning Co., Exide Battery Co., Pastime Cafe, Seaside Restaurant, Agregaard Fish and Standard Oil Co.

The Biloxi Yacht Club, built in 1916, can be seen in the distance.

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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