A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend the first History Is Lunch program here in Jackson, entitled “Rankin County Re-Photographed” by Paul Davis. Over the years, Davis has found old photos of places and people in Rankin County and gone back to try to take a similar photograph. This is along the lines of our own Before and After series or the many photography and history sites, like this one, that use Photoshop to combine an old photo with the exact same perspective on the same view today.
One of Mr. Davis’s scenes was of the Marquette Cement Manufacturing Company in Brandon, which he mentioned has closed and is up for redevelopment. The latest article I can find on the subject is from Mississippi Business Journal, August 18, 2016, headlined “Brandon plan to build 8,500-seat amphitheater seen as entertainment magnet,” which mentions the “blighted property, the former site of Marquette Cement.” A proposal for groundwater sampling by a company named Terracon dated May 25, 2011 refers to the “former Marquette Cement Company,” and notes that they “operated several open pit limestone and sand/gravel quarries used in their manufacturing operations.”
Anyway, when Davis showed his Marquette before and afters it jogged my memory of this drawing of the proposed plant published in the Manufacturer’s Record in 1951 just as the plant was under construction. The brief mention in the “Manufacturing” chapter also gives us a little background on the types of raw materials that concrete manufacturers look for and where those are located in Mississippi.
LIMESTONE AND MARLS
There are three general areas in Mississippi that offer possibilities for cement manufacture. The first is the area of Paleozoic limestone, cropping out along the Tennessee River and its tributaries in the extreme northeastern corner of the State. The second is the Black Prairie belt extending from Alcorn county on the Tennessee border south to Noxube county. The third area is a belt of Vicksburg limestone extending from near Wayne county in the southeastern part of the State to Warren county on the Mississippi River. It is in this third area, near Brandon in Rankin county, that the Marquette Cement Manufacturing Company is now erecting a plant for the manufacture of Portland cement. Capacity of the Marquette plant will be a million barrels annually.