Exhibit on builder Carroll Ishee on display

I recently learned that there is an exhibit about Gulf Coast builder Carroll Ishee going on now in the Ocean Springs Museum of History at the Mary C. O’keefe Cultural Center down in Ocean Springs.

Current Exhibit

Ocean Springs History Museum presents

Ishee Visionary Builder

Mississippi Gulf Coast contractor & developer Carroll Ishee (1921-1982) is an artist whose medium was brick, concrete, lumber, and glass crafted into buildings set thoughtfully in unmolested natural landscapes. His houses draw from concepts commonly found in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, mid-century modern design, and Japanese homes. This exhibit emphasizes the most notable period of his work between 1964-1980.

If you’re unfamiliar with the name Ishee, he is synonymous with creative houses, tucked away on densely wooded lots.  Despite the originality of his designs, he had no formal education as a designer or builder making his work all the more impressive.  There is not much information available about Ishee, so an exhibit highlighting his career is definitely something worth checking out.

Categories: Architectural Research, Cool Old Places, Gulf Coast, Historic Preservation, Ocean Springs, Preservation People/Events, Recent Past


17 replies

  1. thanks, mr roselle, for bringing this to ‘our’ attention. i wish i could visit this exhibition.

    for the last 10 years(at least) of my father’s life, he lived in an ishee house on halstead road just a bit north of east beach road in ocean springs. it was a remarkable ‘tout ensemble’–house and lot, and my father purchased it because of its ‘ishee qualities’. i was lucky enough to spend some time there, too, and i will always remember those occasions.

    the house was essentially one room, with a tall roof, but divided by functional walls and levels; the site was ‘in the woods, overlooking a stream’, and there was lots of glass; it was ‘very private’ on the street side but completely open on two of the other sides.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. in the small world dept—since mr roselle’s ishee blog, i have been furthering my education about him, but i have a long way to go! it turns out that he was born in hattiesburg(my hometown) on july 23, 1921; my father’s birthday was july 7, 1921! i now wonder about his hattiesburg background and when he left there for the coast….


  3. I located several house addresses looking for any in existence, but sadly, found none. Ishee himself apparently lived in both Hattiesburg and Biloxi, including a house on West Beach in Biloxi in 1967, which is, of course, long gone. Ishee graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 1938. He was stationed in Camp Blanding FL in 1941 and was a Sergeant. By 1945, he was listed as 1st LT, living on 906 Columbia Road in Hattiesburg, and received the Silver Star medal for gallantry in action. In 1948 he was still living in Hattiesburg. He designed a model home for the Gulf Hills project in Biloxi in 1956.


  4. this is great sleuthing, ms suza! i have found a name for a grandson online, which i will follow up. i know that i knew people (my parents’ age) who were in his hhs class— think my mother was class of 39. i have written the museum to ask more about the exhibit but no reply yet. has anyone in our group seen it?


  5. Thanks for the information. I live here on the Coast but could have missed it.


  6. hey, mr rosell and ms suza—

    i have never had any response from the ocean springs museum about the show, nor could i find more data about a grandson; but, thinking that the ‘ishee’ last name was uncommon, yikes, this isn’t the case–many of them, and all over ms! not giving up on my sleuthing, however.


  7. Under the meme of It Ain’t All About Moonlight and Magnolias, I found this veeerrry interesting. David Ishee of Gulfport is an associate justice of the Mississippi State Supreme Court. I’m thinking he was previously on the Mississippi court of appeals.

    Both Carroll Ishee and Carrroll Benton Ishee, Jr.( a native of Philadelphia, Mississippi) died in 1982. Carroll Ishee, Sr. is reported to have had serious heart problems. Duly noted that the 1982 time of the death of Carroll Benton Ishee, Jr. was when Callero’s Contra supply plane flying out of New Orleans was shot down in El Salvador.



  8. It was Eugene Hasenfus who was the only survivor of that Tom Posey-Mario Calero C-47 Contra Supply Plane that was shot down and crashed in1984. Hasenfus parachuted to safety but all the other American crewmembers died in the burning crash. Hasenfus went to trial and was sentenced to a 35- year prison term but released a short time later. I received word that Tom Posey died in federal prison but cannot confirm that. I think that it best to let the matter die.


  9. Minor correction: Berry’s plane was a converted DC 6. Posey’s plane was a low& slow C 47 (DC 3).


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