Today’s post is Chapter 9 in our series re-printing Frank Brooks’ “Travelling by Trolley in Mississippi: Stories about Streetcars,” originally published in 1983. View other posts in the series at the “Streetcars” tab.
Some contemporary residents of Pascagoula and Moss Point may be surprised to learn that streetcars formerly provided their area with a very fine system of public transportation! However, there are still people who live in this coastal setting who remember what fun it was to board the trolley at the Louisville and Nashville Railroad station and ride it to a summer picnic at Beach Park. Others can recall the pleasant ride all the way to the neighboring town of Moss Point.
Pascagoula’s Beach Park provided a site for marvelous holiday gatherings as well as the setting for plays performed by a summer stock company, and, from time to time, for magnificent fireworks displays. On such occasions, to accommodate the large crowds, trailers were added to the streetcars with motors. A very special car which always appeared on festive occasions was the “Longfellow.” It was an old coach from the “Most Point steam road,” that was subsequently renovated and fitted with electricity. According to the fond memories of Mr. Mac M. Morgan of Pascagoula, the “Longfellow” was also frequently rented for children’s birthday parties, as are the trolleys today on New Orleans’ St. Charles line.
The Pascagoula Street Railway and Power Company was incorporated on January 27, 1903. It was a successor to the previously mentioned steam line connecting Pascagoula and Moss Point. The longest line of the P.S.R.&P. Co. started at Dantzler’s Saw Mill northwest of Moss Point, proceeded through downtown Moss Point, entered private right of way on the electrified segment of the Moss Point & Pascagoula R.R. (present day Mississippi Export R.R.), and continued into Pascagoula on Pascagoula Street. On this line, passengers, mail and express were carried on the same trip. The familiar big freight motor which plied its way up and down the “Moss Point” line was known affectionately by local folk as “Jumbo.”
Before the Pascagoula system ceased operations in 1925, it owned and operated a total of nine passenger cars, three of which were trailers, and four freight-related vehicles. They operated on 9.7 miles of track.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Frank A. Brooks, Jr. has loved trains and streetcars for as long as he can remember. He and his wife Jo Anne are parents of 2 children and grandparents of 4. During his active ministry of 43 years in the Presbyterian Church he served in Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia and Arkansas. In retirement, Dr. and Mrs. Brooks live in her hometown Corinth, MS.