Harrison County

Gulfport’s Fishbone Alley is — literally — paved with history

Visitors walk through Fishbone Alley in downtown Gulfport during last year’s Cruisin’ The Coast. On Wednesday a plaque will be dedicated describing how the bricks that now run along the alley once paved Gulfport streets.
Visitors walk through Fishbone Alley in downtown Gulfport during last year’s Cruisin’ The Coast. On Wednesday a plaque will be dedicated describing how the bricks that now run along the alley once paved Gulfport streets. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

Fishbone Alley in downtown Gulfport is fairly new but paved in history, and on Wednesday a plaque will be dedicated telling how old meets new there.

The public is invited to the dedication ceremony at 4:30 p.m. at the 14th Street north entrance to Fishbone Alley.

The plaque describes how the bricks ended up in Fishbone Alley and how city officials recognized the historical significance of the bricks and preserved them for a later use.

“The bricks were the original bricks we used for laying the city streets,” said Laurie Toups, Gulfport Main Street Director.

The infrastructure of downtown Gulfport had to be replaced after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Construction crews discovered the original brick streets beneath the pavement in 2008, and former Mayor Brent Warr and Public Works Director Kris Riemann decided they should be saved.

Chief Administrative Officer John Kelly suggested storing them at public works, and when Economic Development Director David Parker started talking about creating Fishbone Alley in 2016, Mayor Billy Hewes agreed the bricks should pave the alley.

The old pavers were restored and laid in the alley, showing how Gulfport streets looked in 1908 and letting visitors walk on history, Toups said.

Those who attend the ceremony Wednesday are invited to stay for music and refreshments.

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