HistoryA brief history of the Inn and the area
The history of The Balmoral Inn has to start in 1920 when several key things occurred to establish the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a vacation destination.

Following WWI, the US government funded the first interstate highway in the country with a divided four-lane road along the coast from Houston to Jacksonville. It's primary purpose was to connect all the military bases along the Gulf Coast with a transportation network for motorized vehicles supplemental to the railroad which would protect us from a southern invasion. Also, the evolution and affordability of automobiles and highways gave Americans more mobility to travel.
At the same time, the owners of the prestigious Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago (primarily Sears) had visited the Coast and determined that it would be a great location for a resort hotel particularly for tourists from Chicago. They established and laid out the community of Edgewater Park midway between Biloxi and Gulfport and built the Edgewater Gulf Resort which would become the centerpiece of the Gulf Coast. All the streets in Edgewater Park are named for famous Chicago persons, landmarks or streets (except for Barq, who was a local partner).

For almost 50 years, tourists flocked to the Edgewater Gulf Resort while the community of Edgewater Park grew up around it. The "Magnolia Road" brought motoring tourists from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota while the "Magnolia Express" trains connected the midwest to New Orleans and the ornate train station built at the Resort.

A.P. Shoemaker became the hotel manager for the Edgewater Gulf Resort in the mid 1940's and built the house at 120 Balmoral Avenue in 1946 so he could walk to work. In 1958, he built the ten rental units, the pool, playground and Gazebo. The Gazebo has the same Italian tiles as the Resort. Despite two major hurricanes (Camille and Katrina), these survive today.

Throughout the years, the rentals have been known as The Balmoral Apartment Hotel, The Balmoral Vacation Resort, The Balmoral Motel, The Balmoral Apartments, and ultimately the Balmoral Inn. The letterhead is from the 1960's courtesy of guests who recently returned. (You may certainly borrow the recipe for Viking Tuna).
In 1969, Hurricane Camille severely damaged the Edgewater Gulf Resort. In 1971, the hotel was imploded to build the Sears store and ultimately the Edgewater Mall. Everyone on the coast witnessed the implosion on land, on boats, or on TV. The first time they tried to blow it up, nothing happened, so they had to re-schedule it the next day.

Through almost 45 years, while the Balmoral Inn has accommodated generations of guests, Edgewater Park has become part of Biloxi and designated a Heritage Neighborhood. It remains one of the Gulf Coast's finest communities. The 400+ year-old oak tree across from the Balmoral Inn at the intersection of Balmoral Avenue, Edgewater Drive, Marshall Street, Kenmore Avenue and Barq Street was recently designated a Biloxi landmark.

For an extensive look into the history of Biloxi, click here.