Stacey Saucier and his brother recently added to their Copiah County hunting land with an additional 600 acres about a mile north of the Lincoln County line. As they were exploring their new acquisition looking for hot spots, they ran across this. An outcropping of limestone.
This particular spot runs about 75 yards along the bank of a creek bottom. Now, large outcroppings of rock in this part of the state are rare. And as Stacey brought it up in conversation with a friend, the dim memory of a long ago legend was recalled.
"A friend mentioned that there was a limestone wall in Claiborne County," said Saucier.
A couple of clicks on Google revealed a newspaper article from the New York Times from 1900 quoting the New Orleans Picayune talking about the Great Wall of Mississippi, or the Brandywine Wall.
"What I think it is, is a part of the Brandywine Stone Wall."
The article said it was believed the Brandywine Wall was built by some ancient superior civilization, long forgotten. It also said the wall took its name from nearby Brandywine Creek that flows into Copiah County from extreme southeast Claiborne County. And the wall was near this creek. So, I went to where my map said the Brandywine Community was. And all that's left of it is the old Brandywine Methodist Church. And I saw no signs of a huge rock wall.
Well, I thought I had spotted it in a pasture right down the road. The shadow looked like it might be hiding a rock wall underneath the lip. That's what I wanted to see, anyway. But a closer look showed it was just an area of erosion. Nothing but dirt. Well, there was a little river gravel.
There are places where there is a rock bottom to Brandywine Creek, creating some little waterfalls. But no wall. As I was driving back toward Pleasant Hill on a road that parallels the creek, suddenly, I saw a yard full of rocks. Big rocks. Jeff Leonard says he spent his childhood breaking and hauling these rocks up from a huge deposit out behind his house, along Brandywine Creek, for his dad.
Leonard says, "My daddy told me that as far as you dig these rocks back, the more that, there's rocks."
Devoid of any soil on top, the bed of rock would be flat and resemble a stone road or wall. I'm sure I wasn't at "the" spot the old geologist thought might have been man-made, but I'm pretty sure it was this same rock outcropping they had seen elsewhere. And it is, of course, entirely natural. Which is why you don't hear a lot about the Brandywine Wall anymore, I guess. Except in ancient, forgotten lore.
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