Miramar Hotel

Miramar Hotel
Site of the 1830s Pass Christian Hotel

     The McGlatherys bought the site of the former Magnolia Hotel which had burned down in 1915, (same site as the former Pass Christian Hotel and former Pass Christian College)  on West Beach Boulevard.  They built the Miramar Hotel in 1916.  Sam L. McGlathery, son of J.M. McGlathery, worked with the Hotel as well as being Editor of the Coast Beacon newspaper (the predecessor to the Pass Christian Tarpon Beacon).  Sam McGlathery was also the first President of the Pass Christian Chamber of Commerce as formed in 1923.
     In 1937, the hotel was operated by Walter Read and was purchased in 1952, by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Black.  In 1957, it was called the Old South Motor Lodge, until 1959, when the Douglas Black investment group converted the Hotel into the Miramar Nursing Hotel and hired poet-laureate of Mississippi, Earl Cuevas, of Fenton, as its Administrator.  

The Miramar

Oh, I'm weary of the city's crowds,
People who wear masks instead of faces;
Can we call a six by ten apartment home?
Give me open spaces!

Give me a home beside a sea of blue
With silver sands upon a peaceful shore.
Then let the white-caps rise and fall
So I can hear the oceans's roar.

Give me a home beside a tranquil sea
With spreading lawns and flowers all around,
Where friends with kindly faces one can see
And crowds are never found.

Give me a home out in the open spaces
Where I can close my door against the rain
And not be haunted by a million faces
Scarred by a city's brazen pain.

Here let me pas the eve of life in peace
With nature's charms and freed from cares that mar
My fading years.  Then, I will never cease
To praise the lovely Miramar.

Earl Cuevas
Miramar Nursing Home, Administrator

Circa 1959, Earl Cuevas of Fenton, was Poet Laureate of Mississippi.

Another Conversion

     The former hotel building was razed in April 1964 to build a new nursing home facility.  The nursing complex opened on July 1, 1966 with a renovated 100 bed nursing and convalescent home called the Miramar Nursing Village.  The facility consisted of two buildings with 50 beds each joined by patios on the 5-acre site.  Since 1994, the current property owner, Delta Health Group of Pensacola, continues to meet the growth and demand for nursing home facilities.  (New facility not pictured)

Memories of the Miramar
by Virginia Gregory

      It was my family’s first exposure to Southern anything.  We came fresh from Detroit and thought the Pass Christian phone book was hysterical.  We doted on Dr, Pepper, which back then never saw the light of a Yankee day.  Coast thunder storms terrified us and one afternoon, we were greeted by a particularly horrendous clap of thunder.  The mosquitoes rolled in at dusk, in great whining clouds that drove us inside where we sat glumly burning citronella candles.
     I remember the Miramar Hotel of many years past.  By hotel standards, it wasn’t big, but it seemed so – being large and rambling and wonderfully casual.  The hotel menu had probably been varied before our arrival, but, during our stay, it offered, primarily, stuffed crabs.  My brother and I supplied the kitchen with those crabs which we caught early every morning off the long pier in front.  We became adept at "grabbing them by the flippers before they could get at our fingers.  How beautiful they were, and still are to me.
     On one occasion, my mother and father drove to New Orleans, leaving us happily swimming at the end of the Hotel pier.  On crossing the Bay St. Louis bridge they noticed sleek fins slicing through the surface of the water.  Immediately, they returned to the Miramar, rushed to drag us to the safety of the pier, as mother was ashen, she gasped, "Sharks!"  The man at the desk in the lobby laughed when we told him of our near-death encounter.  "Porpoises," he said.
     On Saturday afternoons, my brother and I went to the matinee in town.  The theater stood next to the drug store, and a boy worked in one of those places.  He was either a soda jerk or an usher; I can't remember which.  However, he was a slim, auburn-headed boy, and his name was Beau.  Even though I was only twelve that summer of 1941, I had a natural eye for a good-looking man.
     The Miramar later became the Old South Motel, until it was razed in the 1960' s to make way for the Miramar Nursing Home."

     An advertisement for the Miramar appeared in the Nov.-Dec., 1952 issue of Down South magazine:
"For peace and quiet come to the Miramar overlooking the white sand beach of the Gulf of Mexico.  The resort offers the best in recreational facilities.  Fresh and salt-water fishing, golf, boating, and all water sports nearby.  Take advantage of the reasonable American plan rates beginning at $43.50 a week per person.  This includes one of our fine rooms plus all meals in the dining room where Creole, Southern, and seafood dinners are especially prepared.”

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