Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum to reopen Saturday in Biloxi
BILOXI, Mississippi –Absent since it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum is set for a rebirth this weekend on Point Cadet in Biloxi.
The original museum opened in 1986 to “preserve and interpret the maritime history and heritage of Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” according to a press release on the reopening.
The new $8.98 million museum was built through a federal, state and city partnership and is located adjacent to the new Point Cadet Plaza, which was dedicated last weekend. The two facilities sit on 5.5 acres on the northwest side of the Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge and represent a $14 million public investment in the property.
After a VIP event Friday night, the museum will open to the general public at 9 a.m. Saturday morning with factory whistles blowing at 9 a.m. to signal the reopening. The whistles are a recreation of the days when Biloxi seafood factories would announce the start of the work day.
Among the activities on Saturday will be character re-enactments, including
The re-opening of the seafood museum on Saturday will feature historical the Hermit of Deer Island, the Wreck of The Emma Harvey, the Founding Fathers of Biloxi’s Seafood Industry and others.
There will also be free oyster shell painting for children, light refreshments and all visitors are invited to register to win one of the new framed Biloxi Schooner prints.
The museum’s regular features include an array of galleries, exhibits and artifacts cover many topics: wooden boat building, catboats/schooners, shrimping, oystering, recreational fishing, the Joe Moran Art Gallery, environment/wetlands, charter boats, marine blacksmithing, the barrier islands, and a priceless collection of historic photographs.
One of the main features will be the “Nydia,” a gaff-rigged cabin sloop built in Biloxi in 1898. It will be displayed in the Grand Hall with mast stepped and sails raised. Also featured is a timeline that covers from the first Indian settlements through current maritime history, which in all, tells the tale of over 300 years of history, culture, and heritage.
Even in the absence of a home, the museum has promoted local maritime history and heritage by replicating two 65-foot, double‐masted Biloxi Schooners – the Glenn L. Swetman and the Mike Sekul, which sail the Mississippi Sound and waters of the north central Gulf of Mexico almost daily.
The museum also conducts year round educational programs and a summer Sea‐n‐Sail Adventure Camp, which teaches youth about local maritime heritage.
Living maritime history is celebrated through summer adventure camps, festivals, wooden boat shows, and walk-on or charter schooner sailing, which is open to the public from the Museum’s Schooner Pier Complex.
The museum was designed by Daria Pizzetta with H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, New York. Pizzetta was born and raised on Point Cadet in Biloxi, and she is very familiar with the seafood and maritime history of the area.
The museum will open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, with no admission fee.
For more information, please contact:
Eddy Hayes, Legal Counsel, ASPA
David Veal, Executive Director, ASPA