Point Cadet Pawn was no ordinary pawn shop nestled across the street from the gambling barges at the east end of Biloxi's Casino Row.|
The building, which seemed to sit atop its own mini-hill, was filled with stuff - all kinds of interesting Mississippi Coast memorabilia that made it a mini-museum as well as a place to find bargains or make emergency sales when money needs arose.
"I promise you, it was a jewel of the South," said Kenneth Bond, who with Dr. John W. Godsey, opened the shop in 1999.
Before that, Godsey had run the building as an antique shop. It had old windows, bricks, an old whiskey still, a collection of Indian artifacts from a once-popular Biloxi restaurant called Fisherman's Wharf, even doors from the old Daily Herald on Howard Avenue.
The location is a registered archaeological site, Godsey said, and excavations before the building was constructed in 1983 uncovered artifacts from three American Indian periods.
Godsey and Bond have combed the neighborhood for blocks looking for items from the shop leveled by a casino barge. They've found little, except in the basement, but they did find their trademark art deco alligator that sat atop the roof.
"What's going to happen to that piece of land in the future is up in the air, especially with land casinos being approved," said Godsey, a retired Coast physician. "I'm in the same wait-and-see boat as other people."
- KAT BERGERON