Sometimes I get stuck in a rut on the internet, visiting only the few sites that are part of my routine. Then out of the blue, I find out that people have been working like busy bees on this other interesting site that combines three things I love: historic places, models, and maps. Last weekend, someone sent me a link to the National Register of Historic Places’ Google 3d Warehouse, which used Google’s mapping technology along with its Sketchup modeling program to place models on a map to show where the real buildings are.
Mississippi modelers have already been busy. While only a few Hattiesburg sites are shown on the National Register map–Beverly Drive-In Theater and the Hattiesburg P.O.–their creator, Jack Clark of the JC3D Studio, has done many more in Hattiesburg. These are compiled into a collection called “Historic Hattiesburg, Mississippi” Looking at his Forrest County Courthouse led me to another broader collection called US County Courthouses, where I found a model of Alabama’s Monroe County Courthouse, constructed by our contractor friends the Lewmans and site of the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird. That led me to a third collection called “Literary Landmarks” where I came back to Mississippi and the Eudora Welty House and “Rowan Oak” (both of which should certainly be included in the National Register’s collection). The Eudora Welty House is also in the Jackson, Mississippi collection, wherein lies an ambitious model of our New Capitol.
Admittedly, details get lost in the process, and the model will never replace the real thing, but as I clicked around, I ended up in the Bay St. Louis collection, where I found a number of places that, since Katrina, exist only in model and memory.
Sites like this make the internet seem like a real “World Wide Web” and remind us that web surfing used to be fun. Check it out, and if you enjoy modeling, give it a whirl and add some of your favorite Mississippi buildings to the map!
Categories: Cool Old Places