I received a request from Mr. Bo Bourne of the Preserve River Road group down in Lawrence County to spread the word about an online petition they’d like interested MissPresers to sign. This petition will be presented to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History as part of a request to designate the road as a Mississippi Landmark.
According to the Preserve River Road website:
River Road is the original pioneer highway between LeFleur’s Bluff, Monticello and Columbia. River Road was the primary corridor for over land travelers between the three port cities on the Pearl Road during the Mississippi territory days. Mississippi was admitted to the Union on December 10th 1817 as the 20th state. As Mississippi was seeking a capital city for the state, Columbia served briefly as the Capital in 1821 and Monticello, according to local folklore, served as the State Capital for a day. During these formative years of the State, River Road was a highway for legislators, statesmen, frontiersmen and settlers.
The nominating committee’s hope is to add River Road along side White Sand Creek Bridge to Mississippi’s list of historic places.
White Sand Creek Bridge was placed on the listing by a group of concerned citizens, the Lawrence County Historical Society and MDAH in 1989.
With a Mississippi Department of Archives and History Landmark designation we hope to preserve and protect the historic and scenic nature of the landscape, road and bridge, so generations to come can experience what the pioneer traveler experienced in the deep south of Mississippi in the yesteryears. These views into our past are rapidly disappearing from our landscape and history.
Lawrence County has a rich and very old history as one of the early counties in the state (formed while Mississippi was still a territory in 1814), and its historical society has been actively involved in preserving their early history since the 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, I count about 30 buildings listed on the National Register or designated as Mississippi Landmarks, which is a really high number for a lightly populated county like Lawrence. It’s interesting now to see the desire to preserve larger landscapes such as River Road.
The nominating committee has set up a very nice website to tell the story of River Road and Lawrence County’s place in Mississippi’s history. Check it out at http://preserveriverroad.com and while there, click over to the petition and add your name if you so choose. Even better, take a drive down to Lawrence County and experience River Road for yourself.