Our first stop was the historic L&N Train Depot. It has had a complete exterior and interior renovation since Hurricane Katrina. Built in 1926 in the Mission architectural style, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is home to the Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau and hosts the Visitor Center. We spent some time learning more about the area including the many blues musicians from Mississippi. We also picked up a map for a walking tour of the small coastal town of Bay St. Louis.
There is currently no train service here, but the community is hoping that Amtrak will re-establish the route between Mobile and New Orleans that would run through here.
Also on the first floor is the Mardi Gras Museum that features a dozen or so elaborate Mardi Gras costumes. They were amazing!!
I particularly liked these two: one with a music theme and the other a rainbow concept.
On the second floor of the train depot is the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum (alicemoseley.com).
Alice Latimer Moseley (1909-2004) is a nationally-acclaimed folk artist. She was self-taught and began painting at age 60 to reduce stress while she was caring for her mother (suffering from Alzheimer's). After her mother died (1960s) Miss Alice (as she was called by everyone) began taking her paintings to flea markets and local shows where they became very popular.
Her paintings are whimsical and always tell a story. She painted this one after her beloved dog died and named it Until Today I Thought I Was Folks. The second one is entitled Life Has So Many Angles.
A local artist painted this likeness of Miss Alice's dog on a rock.
She frequently painted herself into her paintings either as a young girl or an adult woman ... always dressed in red. See if you can find her in these.
When Miss Alice began painting, her husband, William "Mose" Moseley, supported her artistic endeavors and made rustic frames for her paintings. She and Mose lived near Elvis Presley in TN. She painted a variety of paintings about him.
Mose died in 1978 of a heart attack and Miss Alice continued to pursue her artistic interests. In 1988, she attended the Beach Front Festival in Bay St. Louis and fell in love with the lovely coastal town. At age 79, she moved here and lived in the town until her death in 2004. This painting, The Pot of Gold's at the End of the Rainbow in Bay St. Louis, is a great summary of how she felt about the place.
Below is the desk, lamp and painting entitled The House is Blue But She Ain't. The next painting shown is Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow.
Framed reproductions and matted prints at cam be purchased at the museum. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing her work. The experience was significantly enhanced by the information shared with us by the docent. She was awesome!
As we left the depot, we stopped to snap a photo of Miss Alice's house (still blue) that is located nearby.
We loved learning about the history of Bay St. Louis and really enjoyed the
Alice Mosley Museum. What a character!