In July, the Cedar Point area's contributions to Bay St. Louis were recognized by a state historical marker, while one of the neighborhood's beloved gathering spots is undergoing a renewal.
- story by Denise Jacobs
Kersanac remembered those “coming to a new world” to work at Peerless Oyster Company from places as far away as France, Germany, Italy, and South America. They were, Ms. Kersanac noted, “starting from scratch,” and, she added poignantly, “We are the glad recipients of all their labor.”
Markers of other types - indicators, perhaps - can be found in Cedar Point, as well. Larroux Park, at the corner of Dunbar Avenue and Julia Street, is one such community touchstone.
Thanks to grant funding from Hancock County, the green space now boasts new swings and slides. The park is completely fenced and includes a basketball court and an old gazebo. One very heavy picnic table rests in the shade of an old oak tree that is rooted in the yard next door, but is no respecter of fences.
Additional Larroux Park projects in the works include park benches and trash-can container painting by Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) teens. Josh Cothern and Charlie Luttrell, Cedar Point teens, planted a Bradford Pear tree at Larroux Park in late July as Charlie's HYLA project. The duo and a handful of friends are committed to watering and caring for the tree in its early days.
The park is located near the site of a popular grocery store that no longer exists. According to one Larroux family source, Ed Larroux first installed playground equipment in the early fifties, soon after he purchased what became the Mercadel grocery store, so children could entertain themselves while their parents shopped. In a 2016 Shoofly Magazine article, local historian Pat Murphy recalls that after owning the grocery only a few years, Ed Larroux converted the building into a warehouse, with a place in the front for neighborhood kids to play ping-pong and pool.
All this property later became Larroux Park as gifted by Ed Larroux via a 99-year-lease.
The merry-go-round is long gone, and the old (newly-replaced) swings had rusted with age, but the park remains. On any given fall or winter day after school has ended, a group of high school boys of various shapes, sizes, and ethnicities can be found playing a game of pick-up basketball.
It’s a happy sight, and one that reminds us of the resiliency of neighborly bonds and the strength of community.
For this we are glad recipients.
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