Today we take you to another Mississippi town with an odd name. It took its name from a favorite commodity that weary travelers looked forward to when getting there.
I guess it could have been called Davis or Davisville, after the man who built the inn there. But instead, it acquired its name from the drink he brewed and sold to folks traveling through the area.
Well the area is where we'll start. It's in the piney woods of Mississippi. And it is an area, actually. It's not an incorporated town.
Pretty much anything that isn't Collins or Mt. Olive or Taylorsville can be counted as being in it. "It" being Hot Coffee, Mississippi.
Now although it really isn't a town so much as it is a place, it has it's suburbs. Between the Hot Coffee sign and the downtown Hot Coffee sign. And Hot Coffee has its claim to fame.
Actress Stella Stevens is often listed as being from Hot Coffee, Mississippi. (now we know where the "hot" comes from!) but actually she was born in Yazoo City.
But people traveling through are constantly asking Lynda Sanford at McDonald's store where Hot Coffee got its name.
"Yes they do and that's exactly why I had this little brochure printed," said Sanford. "So uh, after several years of having to repeat that story, Miss Nelda Mitchell and I put together this little come on home Hot Coffee brochure. Now when they ask, I just hand them the brochure and show them where it is and they can read about it."
Well, the gist of the story is this. Mr. Davis, who built the inn back in pioneer days, brewed coffee. And the travelers would mark their progress on their journey by how much longer it would be before they could get a cup of hot coffee. Then, in the way terms get shorthanded, after a while they just referred to how much farther it was to "hot coffee." and long after Mr. Davis closed the inn and quit making coffee, the name still sticks.
And Hot Coffee still changes like everywhere else. Harpers Store in downtown Hot Coffee, run for years by Judy and Herbert Harper, has closed.
Herbert had a coffin from the old days on display on an upper shelf with a glove hanging out from the lid, connected to a thin strand of fishing wire which he could pull from the other side of the store and make it wave at customers. That kept him in plenty of hot water.
But some things don't change. There's always a pot of hot coffee ready for modern travelers at McDonald's store in Hot Coffee, Mississippi.
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