After and Now 1016 E. Beach Blvd., Gulfport

16 September 2006

Three generations of the Hopkins family called 1016 E. Beach Blvd. home. The three-bedroom, two-bath, two-story beach house was built in the 1920s by George P. Hopkins Sr. His great-grandson Pearce said everything he’s done in his life was “either in or around that house.”

Since beginning classes at Ole Miss, Pearce and sister Trisha stayed in the house only during their summer break from Ole Miss along with their parents, George and Becky, and younger brother Blake.

“It was a little nerve-wracking watching the storm and not being able to reach anyone,” Pearce Hopkins said. “We couldn’t get back home until the following Wednesday. We knew the house was gone, but once you see it, you’re in shock. You walk up the back steps and you’re just not in your house anymore.”

Hurricane Camille left 3 feet of water in the house, but Katrina swallowed all 3,500 square feet whole. The family is rebuilding on the original site and has added 2 feet to the elevation.

“We’re putting the roof trusses on now,” Hopkins said. “We’re hoping to be inside by Christmas. There’s no Sheetrock yet, but the frame is up.”

The Hopkinses chose to downsize the new house, eliminating the second story and fifth bedroom, and choosing a more open floor plan. Pearce Hopkins says the roof trusses are designed to withstand 170 mph winds. The concrete-lined ECO-Block exterior walls will provide some peace of mind.

“I don’t really know what to think about when the house comes to mind,” he said. “You can always buy new furniture, but there were some things you can’t replace in there. But we’re trying to put it behind us. We’re definitely moving on. We’re doing great.”