Golden Fisherman: Down but Not Out
Story and Photos by: Keith Burton - GCN Filed 11/28/05
Biloxi's Golden Fisherman survived Hurricane Katrina but it is no longer standing at its Point Cadet Plaza site. Three months after Katrina the huge gold-painted metal statue depicting a man casting a fishing net lies on the ground, but still within site of the water. Nearby, dozens of FEMA trailers (photo below right) have been set up at the Point Cadet Plaza, the home of many festive seafood rodeos and events. The plaza is located just north of the Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge and is close to Biloxi's Casino Row, the Isle of Capri Casino Resort is in the background in the photo.
The hurricane and its massive storm surge ripped the statue from its base, but the right foot of the Golden Fisherman remains attached to the base as if to say "I still have a foothold here."
Hurricane Katrina wiped out almost every home throughout the Point Cadet area of east Biloxi. Debris cleanup crews are moving through the area clearing out the homes. What is left are huge swaths of empty land, cleared to the dirt where hundreds of homes once stood. It is now easy to see clear through to the casinos on U.S. 90 from Howard Avenue, which is more that two blocks from the beach highway. Eventually, the cleanup will include almost all of east Biloxi from the Beach to Back Bay.
In the areas that have been cleared, nothing remains of the homes that stood for generations, except for the footprint of bulldozer treads (photo left). Soon grass will grow in these areas and, perhaps, condominiums and casinos. What is certain is that the homes that once stood here will not be rebuilt.
Also located near the Point Cadet Plaza is the remains of the Biloxi Seafood Museum. There is only just a shell of the buildings that stood there. Gone also are the nearby Slavonian Lodge and the Biloxi French Club, which had long been part of the history and character of Biloxi's fishing industry culture.
On Biloxi's Back Bay also in east Biloxi, the Historic Old Brick House (photo right), built in 1790 that is on Bay View Avenue remains, but it is badly damaged.