Walt's Look Around: River Road - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: River Road

Posted: Updated:
LAWRENCE COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It's a scenic little drive in a quiet part of the county that runs through a community with the colorful name of China Lee and crosses a hundred-year-old iron bridge. Bo Bourn's grandfather's log cabin sits on the high bluff overlooking a left-behind branch of White Sand Creek, just off River Road. White Sand Creek is the free-flowing stream that is crossed by the nearby iron bridge.

All of that is well and good and you could probably find similar settings all over Mississippi. But in doing research to save the bridge, Bo Bourn surprisingly discovered that River Road is one of the oldest roads in the state.

 "And there was really no record of this road being that old then when I started researching a little bit further on maps and had the Natchez Trace you had St. Stephen's Road and you had River Road," said Bourn.

Back in 1811 or there about, River Road connected Cooper Ferry at Monticello to the Ford's Ferry in the Sandy Hook Community, 50 miles away in Marion County. There's only about 5 or 6 miles of the road left today. But what's here is in the exact same roadbed as it has been for 200 years. Kay Allen, the president of the Lawrence County Historical Society says she thinks she knows why it hasn't changed.

 "I think it's because it really wasn't very well traveled or very used or it would certainly not been the same," said Allen. 

The China Lee community on River Road was named for China Lee Church, which first met under a Chinaberry tree in Mr. Lee's yard, hence the name China Lee. Crystal Williams has lived in China Lee for 13 years now and likes it here. 

"It's quiet. You know we basically try to get along. Basically we're family, all come to church here at China Lee to try to come together," said Williams. 

Well, at noon on the 12th of October, all of the community and the highway department and the supervisors and the historical society will all come together in the front yard of Bo Bourn's grandfather's cabin for a fish fry in celebration of the fact that 200-year-old River Road and the White Sand Creek bridge have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, indicating the verification that this quiet little lane was once an integral part of the settlement of our state. And then, hopefully, after the scraps have been cleaned up, things will settle back to the quietness that the decades have yet to disturbed on River Road.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow