Today’s post is the third in our reprint of the 1941 publication Mississippi Tourist Guide, which focused on the many attractions along Mississippi’s newly paved highways. (Check out the Intro if you missed it.)
U.S. HIGHWAY 80
Cutting directly across the center of the State, U.S. Highway 80 passes through Mississippi’s three largest cities. It dips from the red clay hills in the east surrounding Meridian, an important railway and highway junction point; through the central prairie, where Jackson, Capitol City of Mississippi, is located; and climbs again into the brown loam hills at Vicksburg, famous for the historic and beautiful Vicksburg National Military Park.
Hickory, named after Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson, and Newton are the next stops after U.S. 80 leaves the city of Meridian.
Just out of Newton U.S. 80 enters Bienville National Forest, an area of 382,820 square miles, devoted to the rehabilitation of cut-over lands.
Just before the highway leaves this tract of forest land it passes through Morton, shipping center for bentonite dug from nearby mines. Located at Morton is Roosevelt State Park, a 494 acre tract of natural forest. Overnight cabins, a clubhouse, camping and picnicking facilities are all provied for the convenience of downsouth travelers.
Brandon, west on the highway from Morton, is famous for the many distinguished state leaders it has produced. Here, the A.J. McLarin Home stands as a symbol of the brilliant history of this old community.
U.S. 80 enters Jackson, Mississippi’s Capital, over Brown Williams Memorial Bridge, spanning the brown waters of Pearl River. (Note: Jackson gets more extensive treatment with other highways.)
Leaving Jackson, U.S. 80 continues its westward swing, passing through the historic town of Clinton, eight miles out of Jackson. Here was fought one of the decisive battles that led up to the seige of Vicksburg. Located at Clinton are Mississippi College and Hillman College for girls, two of the oldest institutions in the State.
Edwards, half-way between Clinton and Vicksburg, is the site of the battle of Champion’s Hill, which drove the Confederate forces back into Vicksburg. A number of markers allow the visitor to follow the course of the struggle.
At Vicksburg, “Gibraltar of the Confederacy”, U.S. 80 junctions with “Old Man River Trail”, U.S. 61. The Vicksburg National Military Park, established in 1899 to commemorate the Campagin, Siege and Defense of Vicksburg, comprises 1,323 acres possessing rare historic and scenic interest. There are 1,598 memorials, monuments and markers in the park; and the trenches, fortifications and earthworks are still clearly discernable–making Vicksburg one of the world’s best marked battlefield. Each year Vicksburg National Military Park attracts increasing numbers of travelers. The National Park Service makes available to visitors free guide and museum service, under the direction of the historical staff of the park. Leaving Vicksburg and the State, U.S. 80 crosses the Mississippi River over a $7,000,000 combination rail and vehicular bridge.
More about Highway 80 and other Mississippi highways. . .