Harrison County

Biloxi dedicates French Colonial Cemetery Park, oldest French cemetery in South

A weeping angel statue stands at the French Colonial Cemetery Park in Biloxi. The cemetery dates to the founding of ‘New Biloxy’ between 1717 and 1722. The historic location was dedicated Tuesday, May 30, 2017.
A weeping angel statue stands at the French Colonial Cemetery Park in Biloxi. The cemetery dates to the founding of ‘New Biloxy’ between 1717 and 1722. The historic location was dedicated Tuesday, May 30, 2017. ttisbell@sunherald.com

A weeping angel looks over what is he oldest French Colonial cemetery in the South, next to the Biloxi Visitors Center at 1050 Beach Boulevard.

Also known as the Moran Site, the French Colonial Cemetery Park has four markers that show the area where the remains of 32 French servants were found. The angel statue represents unconditional love in the face of adversity for those seeking peace and a new life.

The park was dedicated Tuesday afternoon as part of the city’s Preservation in May celebration. Department of Marine Resources Director Jamie Miller cut a ceremonial ribbon and a picnic and performance by Blackwater Brass followed.

The park was created with federal funds awarded to Biloxi through the Department of Marine Resources. The statue was funded by Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area.

The final event in Biloxi’s Preservation series comes Thursday at St. Michael Catholic Church, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Beginning at 5 p.m. at St. Michael Family Life Center will be a display of photos and memorabilia, along with cultural and heritage boards created by this year’s Biloxi Shrimp Queen contestants.

The Mass of the Deceased Fisherman will follow in the church, kicking off The Blessing of the Fleet weekend of activities.

Preservation in May dedication

French Colonial Cemetery Park will be dedicated at 4 p.m. today with a ribbon cutting with Department of Marine Resources Director Jamie Miller. The Preservation in May celebration continues from 5-7:30 p.m. with a picnic in the park and a performance by Blackwater Brass band.

Informational displays will be presented by University of Southern Mississippi Archeology/Anthropology, the Land Trust, National Heritage Area, Disability Connection, the Stewardship Program and the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Biloxi Public Library

“In the event of rain, we will move the festivities inside the Biloxi Visitors Center,” said Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond.

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