Speakers from Louisiana and Mississippi, and as far away as Kansas and Florida, addressed the various issues that characterized the massive highway construction project that started in 1915 and ended in 1929, with 2743 miles of paved highways and bridges, all part of the "good roads" initiative active in America at that time.
Dan Ellis, Conference organizer, speaking to the assembly.
Speakers at the conference included several that spoke of the challenges of running the Old Spanish Trail from Bay St. Louis, MS, to New Orleans, which was a key attraction on the entire stretch of highway. It opened up access to New Orleans for travelers and also gave New Orleans residents easy access to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. That segment included the part from Pearlington to the Rigolets, which featured four bridges and the famous White Kitchen Restaurant (and neighboring Snake Farm tourist attaction.)
The conference was organized by Dan Ellis of Pass Christian, and among the speakers were Charles Sullivan, Jim Miller, Allison Anderson, James Stege, Keli Rylance, Kevin Miller and Ron Barthet. The event took place at the Pass Christian Municipal Center, with exhibits set up in the conference room of the Pass Christian library. Plenary sessions took place in the City Courtroom.
Ron Barthet talking about the Pearl River swamp highway crossing
Mayor Chipper McDermott, second from left, welcomed the group to Pass Christian at a Thursday night reception at Bacchus on the Beach restaurant.