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Mississippi: The WPA Guide to the Magnolia State

Compiled and written by the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration
With an introduction by Robert S. McElvaine
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 577
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Mississippi: The WPA Guide to the Magnolia State,was part of a nationwide series of guides in the 1930s that created work during the Depression for artists, writers, teachers, librarians, and other professionals. This classic book is a lively collaborative project that covers a distinct era in Mississippi from the hills to the Delta to the Gulf Coast. Even today this guide is an engaging look at the Magnolia State and includes driving tours featuring many of the state's treasures.

    Along these old roads, the heart of Mississippi comes to life. The guide explores Deep South folkways, frontier hamlets, vanishing homesteads, burgeoning communities, and the local points of pride. In a way that perhaps may never be duplicated, these authors capture state heritage, portray the trying economic systems and challenges Mississippi faced, and hint of a revolution in roadways and in mobility for its citizens. An introduction by Robert S. McElvaine places this historic volume in a modern context.

    eISBN: 978-1-60473-289-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Introduction
    (pp. vii-xii)
    Robert S. McElvaine

    THIS REMARKABLE VOLUME is part of a series of state guides created by the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The FWP was a subdivision of one of the New Deal’s most innovative programs. When the WPA was launched in 1935, it was intended to serve several purposes. One objective was simply to provide small payments to the unemployed in order to help their families survive. Another was to produce “useful” public projects that were not likely to be undertaken by private enterprise. A third goal was to try to preserve...

  3. Foreword
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Harry L. Hopkins

    HERE is a book which takes us vividly into the South in the first period of its greatness and brings us by natural steps up to the contemporary scene where a new South is in the making. To the visitor Mississippi offers modern methods of agriculture in the northern Delta region, a playground on the Gulf Coast, and some of the finest examples of old plantation architecture in Natchez and its other historic towns. This Guide, with its charm, its occasional irony, and its comprehensiveness, could have been written only from self-knowledge and from a knowledge of modern America. It...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    Eri Douglass and Gene Holcomb
  5. Table of Contents
    (pp. xvii-xx)
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. Notations on the Use of the Book
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  9. General Information
    (pp. xxix-xxxii)
  10. Calender of Events
    (pp. xxxiii-xxxiv)
  11. I. Mississippi:: The General Background

    • Mississippi Past and Present
      (pp. 3-30)

      Were a person to ask, “What is Mississippi?” he undoubtedly would be told, “It is a farming State where nearly everyone who may vote votes the Democratic ticket,” or “It is a place where half the population is Negro and the remainder is Anglo-Saxon,” or, more vaguely, “That is where everybody grows cotton on land which only a few of them own.” And these answers, in themselves, would be correct, though their connotations would be wrong. For while the white people of Mississippi are mostly Democrats, Anglo-Saxons, and farmers, they are not one big family of Democratic and Anglo-Saxon farmers....

    • Before the White Man Came
      (pp. 31-59)

      Taking its name from the majestic river that forms the greater portion of its western boundary, Mississippi is bounded on the north by Tennessee, on the east by Alabama, and at the northeast corner by the Tennessee River. To outline a part of the southern boundary, Louisiana extends eastward like the toe of a boot as far as the Pearl River, which flows southward to form the southern portion of the western boundary. The remainder of the southern boundary is the Mississippi Sound, a shallow body of water lying north of a chain of low, sandy keys that act as...

    • The State in the Making
      (pp. 60-133)

      Nearly a century before theMayfloweranchored at Plymouth Rock in 1620, Mississippi’s history began. Spanish treasure ships linking the western hemisphere to the dynastic empire of Charles V made the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico a Spanish Main.

      In 1528 Panfilo de Narvaez, armed with a grant from Charles V, landed in Florida. Before the year was out the leader of the expedition—his ships scattered and his following reduced—vanished into a Gulf storm; there were few survivors. The expedition of Nunez Beltran Guzman two years later fared little better. Guzman failed to discover the fabulous “seven...

    • The Creative Effort
      (pp. 134-162)

      Since a people’s artistic expression, and what they choose from the art of others, is determined largely by their way of life, it is best for understanding to look first at the Mississippian, then at his creative efforts. A brief survey of his traditions and environment will reveal the Mississippian’s capacity for enjoyment, his humors, and his philosophy; and it is these, going beyond externals, that strike the notes of his character as it is revealed in the records he has left.

      Of the two million individuals who are now Mississippians, slightly more than half are Negroes. The remainder, to...

  12. II. Main Street and Courthouse Square

    • Biloxi
      (pp. 165-179)

      BILOXI * (22 alt., 14,850 pop.), the first permanent white settlement in the Mississippi Valley, holds within its narrow streets and aged, provincial houses the charm of an Old World village that has turned to fishing and the entertainment of tourists. Confined to the low ridge of a narrow, finger-like peninsula, the city stretches long and lean between the Mississippi Sound on the south and the Bay of Biloxi on the north. Howard Avenue is its backbone. Lined with one- and two-story business structures, whose stuccoed exterior walls have mellowed to a soft cream color that is in keeping with...

    • Columbus
      (pp. 179-189)

      COLUMBUS (250 alt., 10,743 POP.), sprawling leisurely along the banks of Tombigbee and Luxapalila Rivers, is a city in which there is room to breathe. A comfortable old-tree shaded town, the streets are broad, the sidewalks wide, lawns are spacious, and houses are set apart in a manner characteristic of the lavish ante-bellum period in which they were built. It is the junction of the Old South with the New, with gracious lines of Georgian porticos forming a belt of mellowed beauty about a modern business district, where 20th century facades and white Doric columns stand side by side.


    • Greenwood
      (pp. 189-193)

      GREENWOOD (143 alt., 11,123 pop.), the heart of what is reputed to be the greatest long staple cotton growing area in the world, is an enlarged edition of the little towns and villages that dot the Yazoo- Mississippi Delta. Completely surrounded by cotton fields, and centered about its gins, compresses and warehouses, the growing, ginning, and marketing of cotton keep up the pulse of its social and industrial life. Cotton built the gins and compresses and the pretentious mansions on the Boulevard. The fickleness of cotton crops and prices sets the standard that accustoms the city to taking its pleasures...

    • Gulfport
      (pp. 194-200)

      GULFPORT (19 alt., 12,547 pop.), fronting the Gulf of Mexico and flanked by a line of historic towns of narrow streets and old landmarks, is a planned city, with no antecedents earlier than those of the 20th century. Conceived by the Gulf & Ship Island Company as a model of unobstructed expansiveness, the old live-oaks and indigenous shrubs that characterize the Coast, were sacrificed to an atmosphere of wide, airy streets and narrow, formally planted parkways. The streets, paralleling the white concrete sea wall with arrow-like straightness, allow no informalities or small outcroppings of individuality to mar their directness. The...

    • Holly Springs
      (pp. 200-208)

      HOLLY SPRINGS (602 alt., 2,271 pop.), with its lovely old homes and business houses, its immense trees and boxwood hedges, gives evidence of the early culture brought to north central Mississippi by the turbulent but romantic times of the 1830’s. Its heart is a courthouse square, shady, informal, with a four-faced clock in the typically Mississippi courthouse tower. Set back from the square along oak-shaded streets are homes of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival architecture, their faded grandeur eloquent expression of a culture that sprang into being, flowered, and died with one generation.

      The trading center for a wide farming...

    • Jackson
      (pp. 208-222)

      JACKSON * (294 alt., 48,282 pop.), spreading along a high bluff, with the Pearl River forming its eastern boundary, is Mississippi’s largest city and its capital. Viewed from an upper story window of an office building it is an unconsolidated city of breadth and space. Nowhere is there an over-concentration. On the south, well-spaced civic buildings surround a block-long flower garden. Near the center, the Governor’s mansion, occupying an entire block, looks out upon the business district from a lawn that is wide and shaded with trees. The business district, confined almost exclusively to Capitol Street and characterized by modern...

    • Laurel
      (pp. 222-227)

      LAUREL (243 alt., 18,017 pop.), seat of Jones County and situated on the northeastern edge of the vast yellow pine forests of southeastern Mississippi, is a new city. When Newt Knight and his followers were organizing a “Free State of Jones” and waging a private battle against Confederate troops in the 1860’s, the site of Laurel was a gallberry flat separating two grassy ridges. Hence its story is not, like that of many Mississippi towns, richly flavored with the essence of the ante-bellum South, but reveals in a few fast-moving chapters a swift transition from forest through lumber camp to...

    • Meridian
      (pp. 227-233)

      MERIDIAN (341 alt., 31,954 pop.), Mississippi’s second largest city, lies among the most southerly of the Appalachian foothills, a region characterized by heavy forests and outcroppings of buff-colored limestone. In harmony with the surrounding hills, native rock is used for building material, and elms and live-oaks like giant grenadiers line the walks. Yet it is a railroad and industrial town, and as such has its shops and districts where the poorer workmen live.

      Laid out with singular lack of design, Meridian, viewed from the air, is like a vast spider web with a multitude of streets intersecting at curious angles...

    • Natchez
      (pp. 233-253)

      NATCHEZ (202 alt., 13,422 pop.), overlooking the Mississippi River from a series of lofty, alluvial bluffs, conscientiously presents its age in the appearance of its low-roofed, time-worn buildings and in what its people say and do. It is one of the earliest white settlements in the State, and was at one time the center of ante-bellum culture. Its people, its buildings, its aged trees, and its general Old South atmosphere conspire to keep these facts evident. Beginning with three narrow parks that overlook the docks and river front, the city proper spreads fanwise, with the Confederate Memorial Park as its...

    • Oxford
      (pp. 254-261)

      OXFORD (458 alt., 2,890 pop.), on a small wooded plateau overlooking the snug valleys of the Central Hills, retains the persuasive charm and culture of the Old South. Its character, like the essence of its appeal, is compounded of intangibles as elusive as the scent of its jasmines and as delicate as the humor of its town clock, the four faces of which seldom agree. It has been the county seat of Lafayette and the site of the State university for nearly a century, and it is these two factors, education and law, that give to it its tone today....

    • Tupelo
      (pp. 261-266)

      TUPELO (289 alt., 6,361 pop.) is perhaps Mississippi’s best example of what contemporary commentators call the “New South”—industry rising in the midst of agriculture and agricultural customs. It has a pattern-like consistency of one-story, clapboard residences and two- and three-story red brick business buildings. These business houses, with stores on the street level and offices or factories in the upper stories, lie knotted in the angle formed by the crossing of the Mobile & Ohio and Frisco railroad tracks. The main residential section, emerging gradually from the business district, stretches into the slowly climbing hills north and west. A...

    • Vicksburg
      (pp. 266-282)

      VICKSBURG (206 alt., 22,943 pop.), Mississippi’s third largest city and major river port, is a leisurely town, rich in historic associations and natural beauty. Sprawling over the highest of a line of bluffs and overlooking the junction of the Yazoo Canal and the Mississippi River, it is a city of precipitous streets, natural terraces, and wooded ravines. During the War between the States Vicksburg was called the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy” and was the objective of the western campaigns. Since the war, and without relinquishing the customs and traditions of a river community, it has emerged from reconstruction and yellow...

  13. III. Tours

    • Tour 1 (Mobile, Ala.)—Biloxi—Gulfport—(New Orleans, La.). US 90 Alabama Line to Louisiana Line, 88 m.
      (pp. 285-302)

      Louisville & Nashville R.R. parallels route throughout.

      Concrete and black-top paving two lanes wide.

      Accommodations of all kinds available.

      Bait, tackle, and small boats for fishing can be obtained along route. In the cities arrangements can be made for renting boats and equipment for deep-water fishing.

      Caution:Do not attempt fishing or hunting in inland streams and bayous without experienced guides, or deep-water fishing without experienced boat pilots. Do not dive into the water without first ascertaining its depth. The Gulf along the Coast is shallow, particularly at low tide, and only in the channels or passes is there sufficient...

    • Side Tour 1A Gulfport to Ship Island, 12 m.
      (pp. 303-304)

      Excursion boats leave yacht harbor and west pier at Gulfport twice daily during summer season. Round-trip fare $I.

      Surf bathing and other aquatic sports.

      No overnight accommodations.

      SHIP ISLAND, a low white sandy bar lying between the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico, is approximately seven miles long and half a mile wide, its length roughly paralleling the mainland east to west. The island has a strategic position, an excellent harbor formed by a “V” of deep water. The place is rich in early history and legend.

      Intermittently from 1699 until the late 1720’s Ship Island was the harbor...

    • Tour 2 (Livingston, Ala.)—Meridian—Jackson—Vicksburg—(Monroe, La.). US 80. Alabama Line to Louisiana Line, 157.7 m.
      (pp. 304-314)

      Alabama & Great Southern R.R. parallels route between the Alabama Line and Meridian, Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. between Meridian and Vicksburg.

      Concrete roadbed two lanes wide, well marked.

      Accommodations of all kinds.

      US 80 runs across the center of the State through Mississippi’s three largest cities. It dips from the red clay hills on the east through the central prairie to climb again into the brown loam hills at Vicksburg. The only large stream crossed is the Pearl River at Jackson. The scene alternates between field and forest. Settlements are older in the western section. Meridian was insignificant at...

    • Tour 3 (Memphis, Tenn.)—Clarksdale—Vicksburg—Natchez—(Baton Rouge, La). US 61. Tennessee Line to Louisiana Line, 334.6 m.
      (pp. 315-346)

      Two-thirds route hard-surfaced, two lanes wide, rest being paved.

      Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. parallels route throughout.

      Accommodations of all kinds available; hotels chiefly in cities.

      Caution:Look out for stock wandering on road at night.

      US 61 passes through the State’s great alluvial plain, an extensive flat land with sluggish rivers, lakes, and bayous. The land, often lying below the level of the Mississippi River, which flows between a system of high man-made embankments called levees, is not strictly a river delta. But for thousands of years the river has deposited over it the rich topsoil of half a...

    • Side Tour 3A Clarksdale—Greenville—Rolling Fork, 133.5 m. State I.
      (pp. 346-357)

      Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. parallels route between Sherard and Rolling Fork. One-third hard-surfaced roadbed; rest graveled; two lanes wide.

      Accommodations in cities.

      This route roughly parallels the Mississippi River between Clarksdale and Greenville; it passes through the oldest and some of the most interesting of the Delta plantations and rims a number of beautiful lakes. The lakes, old beds left when the Mississippi River carved out new channels, have retained the horseshoe shape of the pronounced river bends. They are bordered by bright green willow brakes, and gnarled cypress trees that turn russet brown in fall. Part of this...

    • Side Tour 3B Woodville to Fort Adams., 20 m. Fort Adams Road.
      (pp. 358-360)

      Graveled roadbed, two lanes wide.

      No accommodations.

      This route winds through the bluff hills in the extreme southwestern corner of Mississippi, a tiny part of the State that holds more than its share of historic interest.

      Fort Adams Rd. branches W. from US 61(see Tour 3, Sec. b)at Woodville,0 m.

      At1 theSITE OF THE HILLS(R), the plantation of John Joor, a close friend of Andrew Jackson, under whom he served as an officer at the Battle of New Orleans. General Joor acquired two brass cannon captured in the battle, placing one in...

    • Tour 4 (Jackson, Tenn.)—Corinth—Tupelo—Columbus—Meridian—Waynesboro—(Mobile, Ala.). US 45. Tennessee Line to Alabama Line, 298.6 m.
      (pp. 361-373)

      Route one-eighth paved; remainder, being paved.

      Mobile & Ohio R.R. parallels route between Corinth and Shannon, between Macon and Meridian, and between Quitman and Waynesboro.

      St. Louis & San Francisco R.R. parallels route between Aberdeen and Columbus.

      Accommodations in cities.

      US 45 in Mississippi runs from the foothills of the Tennessee River in the northeastern corner of the State to the red clay hills of Wayne County in the southeast. Between Tupelo and Scooba it traverses the Black Prairie Belt, formerly one of the richest cotton growing sections of the State but now supplementing that crop with diversified farming and...

    • Side Tour 4A Shannon—West Point—Macon, 84.1 m. State 23, State 25.
      (pp. 373-377)

      Mobile & Ohio R.R. parallels route.

      Graveled roadbed two lanes wide.

      Accommodations in towns.

      This route is a central artery through the gently rolling Black Prairie Belt, a dairying, and alfalfa and cotton growing country of warm black soil, good drainage, and long, mild seasons for cultivation. Except for the first few miles, where hills thinly forested with oak, gum, and elm furnish the landscape, the scene is typically prairie. From Okolona southward to Macon practically every acre of land is being used either for farming or dairying, and the careful economy of the country is everywhere evident. Unbroken stretches...

    • Side Tour 4B Shuqualak—Meridian, 54.2 m. State 39.
      (pp. 377-379)

      Graveled highway two lanes wide.

      Accommodations chiefly in cities.

      State 39 between Shuqualak and Meridian is a less traveled but more scenic route than US 45. Climbing abruptly out of the flat, fertile Black Prairie, State 39 rides the backbone or a series of ridges that extend southward. The fresh greenness of the pines, which have found foothold in every ravine and on every hillside, and the intense redness of the sandy clay soil make for a landscape of extravagant color. This is a country of small patches of cotton and corn, of peach and pear orchards, and here and...

    • Tour 5 (Memphis, Tenn.)—Grenada—Jackson—Brookhaven—McComb—(New Orleans, La.). US 51. Tennessee Line to Louisiana Line, 307.2 m.
      (pp. 379-397)

      Illinois Central R.R. parallels route throughout.

      Route paved throughout, two lanes wide.

      Accommodations in cities.

      Cutting down the middle of the State between the Tennessee Line and Jackson, US 51 traverses a country with a fairly old, prosperous, and advanced culture. That in the bluff hills between Memphis and Jackson was not dissimilar to that of Natchez, and, though not scenically or historically as rich as US 61, the route is filled with points of more than local interest.

      Crossing the Mississippi Line,0 m.,16 m. S. of Memphis US 51 follows the approximate route of the old, planked,...

    • Tour 6 (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)—Columbus—Winona—Greenwood—Greenville—(Lake Village, Ark.). US 82. Alabama Line to Arkansas Line, 168 m.
      (pp. 397-406)

      Columbus & Greenville R.R. parallels route throughout.

      Graveled highway for most part with a few miles of concrete. Paving in process.

      Accommodations in larger towns.

      US 82, cutting across north central Mississippi, makes clear the geographical and cultural divisions of the area. The eastern section runs through the lower Tennessee Hills, then descends into the low-rolling Black Prairie Belt, where is Columbus, the center of the prairie’s antebellum culture. West of the land of cattle and corn the route winds through the flatwoods of shortleaf pines, crossing the Big Black swamp, where farms are few and logs are “snaked” from...

    • Tour 7 Clarksdale—Indianola—Yazoo City—Jackson—Hattiesburg—Gulfport. US 49, US 49W. Clarksdale to Gulfport, 317 m.
      (pp. 406-420)

      Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. parallels route between Clarksdale and Jackson;

      Gulf & Ship Island between Jackson and Gulfport.

      Route paved throughout; two lanes wide.

      Tourist accommodations in larger towns.

      US 49 swings southward through the Delta and, until it meets the bluff hills at Yazoo City, in a hundred miles gives a good presentation of the new Delta and the old. The rapidly growing towns in the northern section have for the most part been established since 1900; many of the extensive plantations lying between them are owned and operated by corporations. Southward, the route traverses a section along...

    • Side Tour 7A Tutwiler—Greenwood—Lexington—Pickens. US 49E, State 12. Tutwiler to Pickens, 98.2 m.
      (pp. 420-423)

      Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. parallels route to Tchula.

      Paved highway to Greenwood; remainder under construction.

      Accommodations in towns.

      US 49E, branching southward from US 49W at Tutwiler, follows the eastern rim of the Delta to Tchula. At Tchula the route swings eastward to climb from the Delta into one of the oldest settled sections of the Central Hills and to end at Pickens. The Delta is flat and black, with numerous lakes and bayous; it is a cotton land divided into extensive plantations and cultivated by the labor of Negro tenants. The hill country is the stronghold of the...

    • Tour 8 (Livingston, Ala.)—Meridian—Laurel—Hattiesburg—Picayune—Santa Rosa—(New Orleans, La.). US 11. Alabama Line to Louisiana Line, 181.9 m.
      (pp. 423-434)

      Highway two lanes wide; three-fourths paved.

      New Orleans & Northeastern R.R. parallels route throughout.

      Accommodations chiefly in cities.

      US 11 runs diagonally across the southeastern corner of the State through the swelling ridges and red clay hills of east central Mississippi; through cut-over lands of the Piney Woods; and at the southern end across a small part of the Coastal Meadow. In the vicinity of Meridian great hills with unbroken forests of longleaf pines crowd to the edge of the highway. Then, almost abruptly, the route breaks from the forest into country where for some years the shrill cry of...

    • Tour 9 (Hamilton, Ala.)—Tupelo—New Albany—Holly Springs—(Memphis, Tenn.). US 78. Alabama Line to Tennessee Line, 124.6 m.
      (pp. 434-441)

      St. Louis & San Francisco R.R. parallels route between Tupelo and Tennessee Line.

      Highway two lanes wide; three-fourths paved, rest graveled.

      Accommodations chiefly in towns.

      Cutting obliquely across the State, US 78 runs through country that illustrates the history of northern Mississippi’s cultural and economic development. In the eastern part it drops rapidly away from wooded pine hills, where crops are small and farmers supplement their incomes by operating one-man sawmills, into the low-rolling fringes of the prairie. Here the new dairies and bottom-land pastures encircling Tupelo give what is probably the State’s best example of the attempt to balance...

    • Tour 10 (Florence, Ala.)—Iuka—Corinth—Walnut—Slayden—(Memphis, Tenn.). US 72. Alabama Line to Tennessee Line, 103.4 m.
      (pp. 441-447)

      Southern R.R. parallels route from Alabama Line to Corinth.

      Graveled highways two lanes wide.

      Accommodations chiefly in towns.

      Skimming across the northernmost part of the State, US 72 traverses a country of rugged contours, with sharp jagged ridges, rocky slopes, and sweeping views of forested valleys and distant purple hills. Corinth and Iuka, on the sites of two important battles of the War between the States, are beginning to prosper by the development of the natural resources of the area. This section—the State’s experimental ground for dairying, road building, and power development—contrasts with the somnolent agricultural villages toward...

    • Tour 11 Waynesboro—Laurel—Brookhaven—Washington. US 84. Waynesboro to Washington, 191.3 m.
      (pp. 447-455)

      Mississippi Central R.R. parallels route between Prentiss and Silver Creek, and between Brookhaven and Washington.

      Graveled roadbed two lanes wide.

      Accommodations in cities and towns.

      US 84 in Mississippi runs through a backwoods country in the eastern part of the State and through the Natchez plantation area in the west. A great part of the country is rural; the highway skirts Sullivan’s Hollow, brushes briefly the Pearl River communities and dairying and truck farms near Brookhaven.

      WAYNESBORO,0 m.(191 alt., 1,120 pop.)(see Tour 4),is at the junctions with US 45(see Tour 4),with which US 84...

    • Tour 12 (Bolivar, Tenn.)—Pontotoc—Bay Springs—Laurel—Lucedale—(Mobile, Ala.). State 15. Tennessee Line to Alabama Line, 330.5 m.
      (pp. 456-471)

      Highway one-third paved; rest graveled, two lanes wide.

      Accommodations chiefly in larger towns.

      State 15 reveals many phases of rural Mississippi life. For a hundred miles or more the scenes are typical of an upland: terraced corn and cotton patches clutching at the rugged Pontotoc Ridge; dog-trot houses with cool open hallways and clean scrubbed galleries; shortleaf pine woods and stumpy cut-over land dotted with nondescript grazing cattle. Between Louisville and Newton the ruggedness is modified but the scenes are more colorful. Sandy red soil and a sprinkling of glistening longleaf pines that shoot suddenly up among the duller shortleaf...

    • Side Tour 12A Springville—Calhoun City—Ackerman, 80.8 m. State 9.
      (pp. 471-475)

      Graveled roadbed, two lanes, short paved sections.

      Accommodations only in larger towns.

      This route breaks in upon a brief stretch of country dominated throughout by strong sectional flavor. Lying among the last outcroppings of the Pontotoc hills, the land is evenly spread with dark bristly growths of shortleaf pine, which furnish the main industry for the people. Independent landowners from the mountains of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee homesteaded the hill lands here in the 1840’s, settling in clans and neighborhoods. Remnants of these clans still exist and the pattern of life has changed but little since that time. Remote from...

    • Tour 13 Junction with State 63—Hattiesburg—Columbia—McComb—Woodville. State 24. Junction with State 63 to Woodville, 206.4 m.
      (pp. 475-484)

      The Gulf, Mobile & Northern R.R. parallels route between McLain and Hattiesburg; Fernwood, Columbia & Gulf R.R. between Columbia and McComb.

      Graveled roadbed two lanes wide.

      Accommodations in cities.

      State 24 wanders through the heart of the Piney Woods, then, skirting the lower part of the truck farming belt between Columbia and McComb, it traverses the southern extremity of a section noted for its ante-bellum prosperity. With the exception of the Hattiesburg, Columbia, McComb, and Woodville areas it runs through a rolling country visited by few Mississippians and fewer out-of-state travelers.

      State 24 branches E. from State 63,0 m....

    • Tour 14 (Winfield, Ala.)—Amory—Tupelo—Oxford—Clarksdale. State 6. Alabama Line to Clarksdale, 178.1 m.
      (pp. 484-490)

      Graveled roadbed, two lanes wide, with short paved sections.

      Accommodations in larger towns.

      State 6 is stamped by strong scenic contrasts, the result of varying soil types which, in turn, have exerted a pronounced influence upon the economic development of the inhabitants. It rolls down from the southern slopes of the Tennessee River Hills to cross the Tombigbee River into the Black Prairie belt, then climbs the crest of the Pontotoc Ridge to follow the cut-up surface of the North Central plateau for 40 isolated miles. Entering the Delta at Batesville the route follows snaky rivers and bayous past flat,...

    • Tour 15 Waynesboro—Leakesville—Lucedale—Moss Point, 114.8 m. State 63.
      (pp. 490-493)

      Graveled roadbed, two lanes wide.

      Accommodations in towns.

      State 63 twists through a remote backwoods section about which little has been written. Formerly the area was covered by unbroken pine forests, but now the virgin timber is gone, and the fields, barren except for scattered stumps, alternate with areas well-wooded with young trees. Between Waynesboro and Lucedale economic and social development has been slower, perhaps, than in any other part of the State. The soil is poor, and the small yield of cotton, corn, ana truck from the farm patches provides for few comforts of life. The homes are often...

    • Tour 16 Vaiden—Kosciusko—Carthage—Raleigh—Junction with US 84. State 35. Vaiden to Junction with US 84, 141.1 m.
      (pp. 493-500)

      Graveled roadbed two lanes wide.

      Accommodations in towns.

      State 35 cuts through a narrow slice of the State that until recent years was hemmed by pine forests and isolated by lack of transportation facilities. The lumber industry, following on the heels of the railroad, was the first outside influence to stamp itself upon it, destroying a large part of the barrier of pines. As the lands were cleared they were in the northern section converted into pastures and toward the south developed into farms with diversified crops. Thus, two new industries were ushered in.

      The creamery and condensery at Kosciusko...

    • Tour 17 (Pickwick, Tenn.)—Iuka—Fulton—Amory—Junction with US 45. State 25. Tennessee Line to Junction with US 45, 108.2 m.
      (pp. 500-506)

      Graveled highway two lanes wide.

      Accommodations chiefly in towns.

      State 25 winds through the foothills of the Tennessee mountains, the most primitive and picturesque section of the State. Here tiny villages are perched perilously on peaks, and shallow plow marks crook dizzily down hillsides to cabins hanging miraculously to the edges of deep ravines. It is Mississippi’s chief stronghold of the ballad and old time customs; the natives, of English, Scottish and Irish stock, are sturdy and self-sufficient, slow to accept changes. Many use the spinning wheels, wash troughs, and quilts or their forebears. Each householder cultivates his own limited...

  14. PART IV Appendices

  15. Index
    (pp. 531-545)