In February, 2012, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources acquired nearly an acre of land located at 110 Porter Avenue, Biloxi, to preserve a time in history, long forgotten.The remains of 32 French servants were recovered during two excavations; 12 were discovered in 1969 after Hurricane Camille and 20 more by Dr. Marie Danforth, professor of anthropology at the University of Southern Mississippi, and her students after Hurricane Katrina. A celebration and commemoration of our French heritage was held on December 20, 2013, during a re-interment ceremony. Known as the "Moran Site," this parcel of land situated on the Gulf of Mexico viewshed, fulfills Mississippi's commitment of resiliency of the Gulf Coast.
The oldest French Colonial cemetery in the south now holds an important part of Biloxi's history. The most appropriate direction to reflect the admiration and determination of those early settlers was to design a memorial garden representing a sign of hope, empathy, and understanding. The French inspired garden, designed by Allred Architects and Christian Preus Landscape Architecture, bolsters the historical and ecological landscape of the site. The angel adorning the center represents unconditional love in the face of adversity for those seeking peace and a new life.
Top: Bishop Roger Morin and Father Michael Austin, Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, performed the rite of committal accompanied by the Knights of Columbus and the 1699 Historical Committee during a special re-interment ceremony.
Right middle: Weeping Angel Statue
Bottom: The French Colonial Memorial Garden Master Plan prepared by Christian Preus Landscape Architecture.