Bay St. Louis Shoofly

 

Grounds of 1905 City Hall located at 300 South Second Street
Once a common site on the lawns of waterfront homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the attractive decks built around the trucks of large oak trees, were constructed to give residents the best opportunity to enjoy breezes off the water under in the shade on a hot, humid and sultry summer day.  Its name came from the servants call to “Shoo! Fly! to remove any sand flies before the owners and their guests came out to enjoy the outdoors.

While not having the mythical powers of a southern “bottle tree” the Bay St. Louis replica of an antebellum shoo-fly has been the site of engagements and weddings, city inaugurations, birthday parties and storytelling’s.  Built in 1991 by city workers from the design by architect Kevin Fitzpatrick the shoo-fly reflects the banister design of the 1905 City Hall and fits seamlessly into its place of prominence in the city’s oldest park.

The two oak trees in Carol Vegas Park are named Chicapoula (the first American Indian given name to the area) and Shieldsboro (named after land grant holder Thomas Shields and the first official name of Bay St. Louis) The shoo-fly surrounds Chicapoula.