Beauvoir: A Post-War Legacy
Beauvoir – which means “beautiful to view” in French – has been a part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast since it was built in 1852. The estate was the post-war home of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis from 1876 until his death in 1889. It is a Mississippi Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark, dedicated to preserving and interpreting the legacy of Davis and the Southern soldier. Thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world tour the buildings and landscaped grounds of the historic seaside estate every year.
Located on a 51-acre property in Biloxi, the mansion is restored to 1889. Both the Library Pavilion and Hayes Cottages have been replicated as well as a cistern behind the mansion. The grounds also include a Confederate Cemetery where the Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier and the grave of Jefferson Davis’ father, Samuel, are located. The Rose Garden of Varina Davis (Jefferson’s wife) has also been restored.
Besides its magnificent antebellum buildings, Beauvoir maintained a large collection of items belonging to the Davis family, including furniture, art, textiles and archival materials. The property was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and five of seven buildings on the site were destroyed and the remaining two were damaged. The repair and restoration process is ongoing. But the new Jefferson Davis Presidential Library recently opened to the public. And a variety of events, including Christmas at Beauvoir, are now being hosted on the property as fundraisers and community activities.
Beauvoir is open for self-guided tours from 9 – 5 seven days a week. Guided tours are also available every half hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. To get more information about admission fees and special events, visit beauvoir.org.