The Old City Hall was built in 1905. It is a designated Mississippi Landmark. The old Bay St. Louis City Hall building features classic Roman and Greek revival architecture and has a front gabled portico which takes up the entire ground floor, including the old jail. The city’s police department and jail took up the ground floor. The city administration officers were upstairs and remained there until 1994. The structure survived Hurricanes Camille and Katrina but was heavily damaged by both storms. The City of Bay St Louis administration completely renovated the building and, by 2011, started renting out both the first and second floors to local business owners. The Old City Hall has been completely restored and now has the Cypress Cafe located on the first floor. One of the jail cell doors is still there.
FUN FACT: Is the historic city hall building in old town Bay St. Louis haunted? The Bay St. Louis City Hall, a 111-year-old municipal building that once housed the city jail, is rumored to be haunted. The staff of the Cypress Café, located in the building, believes it. There are always things moving or rattling around, and sounds of footsteps can be heard clearly when no one is there. 83% of the local community believes it is haunted.
The attractive shoofly decks were built around the trucks of large oak trees. They were constructed to give residents the best opportunity to enjoy breezes off the water on the hot, humid summer days. They were a common site on the lawns of waterfront homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for many years. The “shoofly,” built around the oak tree, takes its name from the French word “chaufleur,” meaning “cauliflower.” It refers to the fashion in which the white decks appeared to blossom around the base of a tree. Most insect pests on the coast are low-flying, so the deck’s elevation offered a shady refuge from mosquitoes, flies and gnats. 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.
Address: 300 S 2nd Street & City Hall Avenue
City: Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
Phone (Shoofly): to reserve for an event contact: 228.466.8951 (the Shoofly gazebo has no accessible ramp)
Old City Hall Phone (Cypress Café): 228.466.4877
Accessibility: accessible ramp; accessible bathroom