Meridian in the Beginning

One of my favorite things is looking through old city directories–aren’t they cool? Ok, maybe not cool in the traditional sense, but interesting. One that contains all sorts of valuable information is the 1888 directory for Meridian, the first one that I know of for that city. Someone must have commissioned a whole series of line drawings of the city for this directory, and I think they’re so wonderful and they reproduce so nicely, I decided I would simply have to run them on MissPres as an occasional series.

As most of you probably know, Meridian was a boom town in the 1880s, a city on the make. As the city’s own website states:

As timber, cotton and the rails used for transporting them brought good times back to Lauderdale County, Meridian entered its most progressive era, known as the Golden Age. From 1890 until 1930, Meridian was the state’s largest city and a leader in manufacturing. During this time, much of the existing skyline was built.

Before the now familiar downtown skyline was built, this line drawing from 1888 shows a town of wooden commercial buildings with railroad tracks front and center, a hub of activity.

To truly examine the details, click on the image for a much larger view.

Below see the same view from the 1889 Sanborn map for Meridian, which you can also see larger by clicking. Enjoy!

Categories: Architectural Research, Meridian

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