Vintage landscape: Bay St. Louis

Bay St. Louis house, c. 1901, via Library of Congress“Gate to the Hamilton residence. Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,” c. 1901, Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.*

The beach town of Bay St. Louis is located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast on the Bay of Saint Louis.

"Harry's villa, Bay St. Louis,"  between 1901 and 1906, Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.“Harry’s villa.”

The structure around the tree was known as a shoo fly.  The elevated platforms were popular along the Gulf Coast as breezy places to avoid deer flies.

"Shoo-fly at Madame Boyle's, Bay St. Louis," between 1901 and 1906, Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.“Shoo-fly at Madame Boyle’s.” (“Harry’s villa” and “Madame Boyles” seem to be the same cottage.)

There’s another version of a shoo fly here.

"Along the bay, Bay St. Louis," c. 1901, a photo chrome photomechanical print by Detroit Photographic Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.“Along the bay,”  a photochrom print.

Bay St. Louis was devasted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Almost nine years later, it has made a good comeback and is listed among Coastal Living‘s “Dream Towns in the Gulf Coast.”

You can scroll through larger versions of these photos by clicking on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any of the thumbnails in the gallery.


*All photos here were taken in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, c. 1901, by Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Vintage landscape: Montross Hotel

This hotel garden had an interesting combination treehouse-garden seat called a shoo fly. The 10′ to 12′ elevated platforms were popular along the Gulf Coast as places to catch the breezes and maybe avoid deer flies.

Montross Hotel, Library of Congress

The photo was taken from “the porch of the Hotel De Montrose [sic], Beloxi, Mississippi,” ca. 1895 – 1910, by the Detroit Publishing Co.* The Hotel de Montross (or Montross Hotel, later the Riviera Hotel) looked out on the waters of the Mississippi Sound.

“Anecdotal history of the early 20th century relates that the Hotel de Montross or Montross Hotel was the oldest hotel extant at Biloxi,” according to Ray Bellande of the Biloxi Historical Society. “It was operational before the first railroad was established between Mobile and New Orleans in 1870. Here on the central Beach of Biloxi and Lameuse Street, . . . the Montross Hotel was the focus of social life and fashion. Its pier was the disembarkation place for the society people arriving at Biloxi to enjoy its fine food, hospitality, and the gaiety of life, joie de vivre, that was offered to all visitors. The Montross Hotel flourished as a fine hostelry and boarding establishment until the late 1920s, when it became overshadowed by Biloxi’s modern beach front hotels. . . .”

I also like the light fixture.
I also like the light fixture.

A Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is located in approximately the same place today.

Beloxi has been a summer vacation resort since the first half of the 1800s.


*via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.