When you drive around the state you may pass through a community and wonder how it got its name. From time to time we find out, and this is one of those times.
I went to Isola look for an old school, and all I found was a slab. And I'd have never found it had I not been directed to the afternoon domino game going on at the auto parts store in the little village.
The game looked to be the seat of knowledge in the area. Or at least where a good bit of the available knowledge was seated. So I asked if there was an old school nearby.
They said they could do me one better. They could tell me where an old school USED to be.
I'll be honest with you, though. I think what I was looking for would have been even older than the construction I found with linoleum tile on a concrete slab. I am pretty sure the school that gave this community its name must have been wood frame construction because it was built a long time ago.
This little place came into existence as Dawson Lake. It is in Humphreys County, now. But way back yonder, when the schoolhouse I was looking for was built, all of this was still in Washington County before Humphreys was split from it.
The school board and the Superintendent of Schools were in Greenville, half way across the Delta. It was the farthest schoolhouse from home base.
To which the County School Superintendent remarked, "That has to be the most isolated school in Mississippi." And the name (Isolated) stuck. Well, most of it.
A lot of the story goes on to say that when the village incorporated they kind of liked the name "Isolated." But when the post office put in their two cents, the name was too long to suite them. So they shortened it simply to what the town is known by today, "Isola."
It's about seven miles up Highway 49 from Belzoni. And when you're driving through there now, you might still think the "isolated" description still fits the place.
But, there are enough people in the area to get up a hot game of dominos in the afternoon at the parts store. And it has a parts store. There are plenty of places smaller than that.
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