Bay St. Louis Shoofly


Grounds of the 1905 City Hall

located at

300 S. Second Street

Once a common site on the lawns of waterfront homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the attractive shoofly 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.

The name “shoofly” comes from the French word for cauliflower - “Choufleur.” It refers to the fashion in which the white decks appeared to blossom around the base of a tree. The name in English has an additional meaning. Most insect pests on the coast are low-flying, so the deck’s elevation offered a shady refuge from mosquitoes, flies and gnats. The Bay St. Louis shoofly oak bears a plaque with the name “Choufleur,” donated by the Bay/Waveland Garden Club and the Hancock County Historical Society.

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

To reserve the shoofly for an event, please contact: 228-466-8951