The Biloxi Town Green, a park with grass, old oaks and rescued Biloxi architecture, was created in the late 1980s on the former site of a 19th-century hotel. Photographs of the Montross and the hotels that followed it often showed a shoo-fly, a wooden structure popular along the Gulf that is like a gazebo but with leaves for the roof.|
Shoo-flys are retreats from the summer heat, shaded by oak canopy and high enough off the ground to catch a breeze that whisks away biting flies, thus the name shoo-fly.
When the administration of former Mayor Gerald Blessey planned the Town Green, they brought back the shoo-fly. Many such structures along the Coast had become victims of time or hurricanes.
The Town Green Shoo-fly disappeared in Katrina, though the tree it wrapped around remains standing. At this point, the city does not know how the Town Green, three acres that front U.S. 90 in downtown, will take shape as it is rebuilt.
"Rest assured that we are going to resurrect those unique landmarks, such as the shoo-fly, that made Biloxi such a special place," said Vincent Creel, Biloxi's public affairs manager.
- KAT BERGERON