Jeff Davis mailbox.

Home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis

Field review by the editors.

Biloxi, Mississippi

Jefferson Davis was a bona-fide President in -- not of -- the United States, but you won't find his name on a battleship or his face on Mt. Rushmore. He's barely mentioned, publicly, in Washington, DC, because his capital was Richmond, Virginia. He was President of the Confederate States of America.

For many years his house, "Beauvoir," in Biloxi, emphasized the tragic aspects of his life. It was not well lit, reinforcing the feeling of a "lost cause." The museum in its basement exhibited Davis's death mask and the Catafalque that carried his body to his grave -- and hair from his son, who died at age 11. An adjacent small museum of the Confederacy -- with its Stars and Bars gift shop -- referred to the war as "an experiment in nationalism." Even the mailbox for the Shrine had replaced its little red flag with a Confederate one.

Jeff Davis death mask.

This state of affairs lasted until August 29, 2005, when hurricane Katrina paid a visit to Biloxi.

John Hildreth, director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, reported that Beauvoir was under up to 30 feet of water at one point. Yet, amazingly, after the storm had passed, the house was found still standing on its foundations. But the porches were gone, as were the doors, windows, columns, and everything below the second floor -- which didn't bode well for the exhibits in the basement.

Beauvoir eventually was reopened to the public -- after a $4 million restoration -- on June 3, 2008, Jefferson Davis's 200th birthday. But visitors could no longer see the Stars and Bars gift shop, or the mailbox, or even the granite monument that once stood in front of the Shrine. They were all blown to smithereens by the storm.

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Home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis

Beauvoir

Address:
2244 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS
Directions:
West edge of the city, on the north side of US Hwy 90/Beach Blvd, just east of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
Hours:
Summer daily 8-6; off-season 9-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
228-388-4400
Admission:
Adults $12.50
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Jefferson Davis: Diversity DadJefferson Davis: Diversity Dad, Biloxi, MS - < 1 mi.
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In the region:
The Shed BBQ, Ocean Springs, MS - 15 mi.

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