HOME in Bloom

Mississippi Magazine|May - June 2020

HOME in Bloom
A historic site welcomes home another generation of the Hewes family of Gulfport.
Named for the massive magnolia tree destroyed by Hurricane Camille, Blos-som Lodge was initially built by Gulfport's first mayor, Finley B. Hewes, and reached its century mark in the spring of 2005. The home had remained in the Hewes family and, at that time, was occupied by Dr. Thomas F. Hewes, the third generation to reside there. Having survived a multitude of storms during its lifetime, the home was leveled that year by Katrina.

After being elected mayor of Gulfport in 2013, Billy Hewes and his wife Paula purchased the property for it to remain in the family and began to implement plans they had considered for years. There were multiple factors in choosing the site, ranging from the desire to be near the water with views of the Gulf, the presence of ancient live oaks, sentimental family attachment, and the convenience of being near downtown Gulfport. The couple spent three years cleaning and preparing the lot, during which they unearthed more than 5,000 bricks that once served as the home's foundation. With the help of their children, they cleaned them, and each one was incorporated into the new home’s floors and interior exposed walls.


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May - June 2020