3 on the Road: Simpson County - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 on the Road: Simpson County

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
SIMPSON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Simpson County gets visited a lot, being on the direct route between Jackson and the Coast. But most of us hit the county at one end and, with the exception of the red lights in Magee, zip right through without stopping.

We’re in Magee today so we’ll start our quick tour of Simpson County here. The first settlers sunk roots in what would become Magee and Simpson County nearly 200 years ago.

This was all pretty much a piney woods forest back then. And it took until after the Civil War before things really started getting settled to any great degree.

And in 1900 with the creation of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad, the towns along the tracks really took off. The railroad went from Jackson to the newly established town of Gulf Port through brand new places like Hattiesburg. And through established places here in Simpson County like Magee, and  Braxton and D’lo.

They did something a few years ago in Simpson County that I think every county should consider. They established a Heritage Trail of historic sites in the county and placed markers at those sites so stories that aren’t especially taught in school anymore won’t be forgotten by present and future generations.

The Heritage Trail is a great guide to follow if you want to discover Simpson County.

Out in the west part of the county is Pinola. The Heritage trail tells its importance. Nearby, the first county seat of Westville is pretty much just a cemetery today. Talk about a town dying.

One of Mississippi’s few waterfalls is in Simpson County. Merit Falls between Mendenhall and Pinola. In the winter it is an element of activity in a sometimes-frozen world. (Not this winter, so far)

In the summertime, it’s really active, period, as one of the state’s favorite swimming holes.

The strong River is another of the county’s natural assets. You can get a close look at it in the D’lo water park, which we will later in the week.

One of the county’s personalities, Johnny Knight, left a bunch of paintings behind, as well as the totem pole in front of the Mendenhall Library. And the most unusual house in the county, a tree house out in the woods just east of Mendenhall.

Summer Friday nights are fun in downtown Mendenhall when people bring their old cars out to drive up and down Main Street, or to park and let us get a close look.

All that to say there is a lot more to stop and see in Simpson County than just at the red lights on Highway 49 in Magee. And we’re taking this week to do just that, stop and see Simpson County on WLBT, 3 on the road. 

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