by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – thegazebogazette@gmail.com or hdawkins@supertalk.fm

With a wet and dreary Saturday morning, January 27, 2024, the long awaited grand opening of the historic Quarles House; otherwise known as “Greenvale,” occurred with a predominant crowd in Long Beach.

Following a year of negotiations and receiving funds ($2 million) from the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund, the contract was approved by the Long Beach Board of Aldermen during their first meeting of the new year at city hall on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.  The board signed an agreement with J.O. Collins Contractor, Inc. for the renovations of the historic landmark.

The Quarles House was constructed in 1892 as a two-story residence with clap-board outer walls that had two rooms deep and sat on a foundation of brick piers with one interior chimney. The house was the residence of W.J. Quarles until 1924.

The property was severely damaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969 along with previous storms which. left the house vacant and sealed. Because the house was located on property that was highly prized for commercial development in Long Beach, the owner sought permission from the keeper of the National Register of Historic Places to move north and was approved in 2012.

“We have a keen appreciation for the contributions our grandparents made to the community,” stated Dr. Jim Alexander, who attended the event with his sister, Janet. “The Quarles appreciated the land for many reasons, including agriculture and harvest.”

The Friendly City’s Mayor George Bass has taken exception to this project. Immediately working hard on this once the opportunity arose, his attempt at traveling through different avenues to get this restored became a priority.

“We lost all of our history during Katrina,” said Bass. “This led to my desire and our board’s desire to reach out to the Alexanders. Fortunately, we were able to get them to donate the house and property this is sitting on.”

During his address, Bass thanked Representative Richard Bennett, the Board of Aldermen, the department heads, community affairs, and all the employees that made this happen.

Greenvale was originally located at 120 E Railroad Street in Long Beach. In February 2012, the Alexander family was granted permission from the National Register of Historic Places to move the house a short distance northeast. The house was designated a Mississippi Landmark on September 7, 2012.

The most important effect the event had was identifying the Friendly City as one that cherishes the importance of their history.