The Golden Fisherman and Downtown Biloxi

By | December 29, 2005

This image has appeared in a lot of stories on Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina. The Golden Fisherman statue was originally located in downtown Biloxi in the mid 1970’s and was widely mocked at the time, perhaps because of the imagery of a fisherman casting a net into what was then a mostly run-down urban area. Sometime later, the statue was moved to the foot of the Biloxi – Ocean Springs bridge, in front of the Gulf Coast Maritime and Seafood Museum.

Golden Fisherman statue knocked off pedestal onto ground

Since then, dowtown Biloxi has actually made a significant recovery. Of course, the hurricane has set the downtown back quite a few years, but I think it will recover from the damage.

I went to the Christmas in the City festival in the Vieux Marche mall while I was in Biloxi. A lot of artists and craftspeople had works for sale. Moran Art Studios was there with prints of a few of Joe Moran’s works. My mother and I talked to Mary Moran briefly. She said they are looking into reopening, at least temporarily, in a store in Ocean Springs. Their old spot has now been leveled twice by hurricanes, so they aren’t sure they want to rebuild again. I certainly hope things work out for them. Elizabeth Huffmaster also had some very nice prints and original watercolors.

Update 5/2/2007: I just found out from one of the commenters below that the statue was stolen last June, but then recovered. Here are some links to info about the theft.

4 thoughts on “The Golden Fisherman and Downtown Biloxi

  1. Joey Hebert

    just wanted to thank you for the piece on the GOLDEN FISHERMAN.my grandfather’s name is on that memorial.i have been wondering what happened to it.now i know it is safe.i live in north ms. now and have just been blessed with a baby boy.it was killing me to think that he would not get to see this wonderful dedication to his family and heritage.

    Once Again,
    Thank You,
    Lonnie Joseph HebertIII

    Reply
  2. Janice Dean Meisner

    Oh my gosh!!! i was just looking around at some of the destruction from Katrina and stumbled onto this page. I am happy that someone cares even to rebuild the area, and has tried for so long. I can honestly say that Ocean Springs has a strong loyalty. The gentleman who commented before me is proof. I met him in the 80’s in South Texas, yet he knew his heart belonged to Ocean Springs.

    Reply
  3. Anita Downey

    I lived in Miss. from 2004 until Dec. 2006. I still own a house there (Ocean Springs) and stayed at my house during Katrina. Anyways, was just browsing your website and thought I would leave a comment about the Golden Fisherman. I hate to tell everyone this, but a copper thief from Alabama stole the fisherman before they had a chance to recover him off of the ground. It was all over the news at the time. They found the “fisherman” in a storage unit in Alabama with the hands gone, and parts dismantled. I believe they arrested a suspect (hope so) But the last I heard the Miss. Police had it back and were trying to decide what to do with it. But at least it’s back in Miss.

    Reply
  4. Robert Post author

    Thanks very much for the info, Anita. I can’t believe my mom didn’t mention this to me back when it happened. Or maybe she did and I wasn’t paying very careful attention.

    The statue is 16 feet tall and weighs about a ton, so this definitely wasn’t a solo job. Also, the majority of the metal in the statue is from melted down parts from old shrimp boats. Not exactly high value scrap metal. The outer layer is phosphor bronze or tin bronze, though. It’s still relatively worthless as scrap metal.

    A neighbor reported the thief to the Mobile Police, no doubt motivated by the $15,000 reward that was raised. He hauled the dismembered pieces of the statue off to a creek, but still get caught. Perhaps they can melt the evil Mr. Hicks down with some more metal from shrimp boats to help patch the statue back together.

    The statue was returned to Biloxi just days after it was stolen. I haven’t seen any follow up articles regarding progress in restoring the statue, though.

    Reply

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