Generations ago, the land where the Biloxi and Tchoutacabouffa rivers meet was named Eagle Point because of a huge nest high in the trees. The land was pristine for fishing cabins. |
"My parents bought a cabin there when I was in first grade," said Bob Dye. "I used to walk around the marshlands and I'd see that big eagle's nest.
"My father was a Methodist preacher and we moved around a lot, so that little place on Eagle Point was our home."
Dye recalls that the late Haze French began developing the land in the late 1950s, cutting it into lots along a canal.
In 1998, after retiring as YMCA director in Jacksonville, Fla., Dye and his wife, Jerry Ann, moved to Biloxi to be closer to family. They found the perfect waterfront home at 10277 Eagle Point Circle.
"The house was built in 1986 by an architect who didn't believe in square rooms and who built it to have a panoramic view of both rivers. Cutting carpet was a challenge.
"The house was a builder's nightmare and an architect's dream."
It made a good showplace for Jerry Ann's quilt collection, including vintage ones used in talks as president of the Mississippi Quilters Association. She also maintained a butterfly garden.
Katrina claimed the quilts, the butterfly plants, the three-story house and its contents.
"We basically have left what we could fit in two cars," Dye said. "If we hadn't evacuated, we'd be dead.
"Eagle Point had about as bad of devastation as any place in Biloxi. Everybody on our circle left; the ones who got killed were back further from the water and thought they would be safe."
Every house on Eagle Circle is a slab, unless they still have piers like the Dyes'.
"Our plans are to rebuild," said Dye, who serves on the Biloxi Planning Commission.
"We're like so many others. We haven't heard from insurance yet or about the height. We know it won't be a house like it was, like the architect's dream, because it would be very expensive to rebuild. But we want to call Eagle Point home again."
- KAT BERGERON