Pascagoula receives ownership of Old Spanish Fort

Published 6:57 pm Friday, May 18, 2007

The city of Pascagoula has taken ownership of Old Spanish Fort, also known locally as the La Pointe-Krebs House.

The city signed an agreement this week with Jackson County supervisors to assume the maintenance and operation of the tourist attraction, which was deeded to the county in 1939.

The house and accompanying museum, which have been closed because of damage from Hurricane Katrina, are situated on Krebs Lake on the East Pascagoula River.

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The house was built in 1721 by French-Canadian carpenter Simon de La Pointe and some historians place it as the oldest existing private building in the Mississippi Valley.

Last October, Old Spanish Fort was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

“We have some wonderful plans out there,” said Liz Ford, chairwoman of the Pascagoula Historic Preservation Commission.

No match from the city is required in the grant, Ford said.

Part of the city’s agreement with supervisors is that the county will give Pascagoula $50,000 a year for the maintenance of the facility.

Wind mostly damaged the porch and roof areas, and water did settle underneath the foundation and claimed several steps and left some areas damp, despite the house being located on a high bluff, the highest point in Pascagoula.

The city plans to make the repairs and reopen the house and museum.

“This is something that’s been in the works for quite a while. The city is going to bring it back to its glory days,” Mayor Matthew Avara said.