Removal of Gulfport statue pedestal brings protest

Published 11:18 pm Saturday, November 1, 2008

Descendants of Capt. Joseph T. Jones, one of Gulfport’s founding fathers, say removal of his statue’s pedestal means the city won’t put it back on the U.S. Highway 90 beachfront.

The statue was knocked down by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The city plans to refurbish it. The pedestal was removed Wednesday.

Relatives say they suspect the city wants to do something else with the land.

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The beachfront property was deeded to the city by Jones’ family in 1928. The family paid to have Jones’ statue erected in the 1940s where it would overlook the port he built.

The family says relocating the monument from high ground would make it more vulnerable to hurricanes.

City officials say no decision has been made on where to put the statue.