Today’s post is the sixth 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.)
Mississippi Highway 6
Miss. Highway 6 is stamped by strong scenic contrasts, the result of varying soil types. It rolls down from the southern slopes of the Tennessee River Hills to cross the Tombigbee River into the Black Prairie Belt, then climbs the crest of the Pontotoc Ridge to follow the cut-up surface of the North Central plateau. Entering the Delta at Batesville, the route follows snaky rivers and bayous past flat, far-flung cotton fields into Clarksdale, cotton center for this region.
Clarksdale is typical of the thriving Delta towns that are surrounded by white cotton fields and humming gins. Farmers for miles around bring their cotton to Clarksdale for ginning and marketing.
Marks, 16 miles east of Clarksdale, is where the highway crosses the Coldwater River, which often floods the surrounding area in a time of high water.
At Batesville, farther east, Miss. 6 junctions with U.S. 51, which leads to Jcckson, Capital City of Mississippi. North of Batesville on U.S. 51 is the Sardis dam and reservoir, largest earthen flood control dam in the world.
Oxford, half-way point on highway 6, is located on a small wooded plateau overlooking the snug valleys of the Central Hills. Here, traditions of the Old South are maintained to a degree not usually followed by most ante-bellum towns in the State. Hidden among the beautiful cedar, magnolia and oak trees are many charming colonial homes, centers of the cultural life that Oxford fosters. Most of the town’s social and cultural life centers around the University of Mississippi, located here. Among the many historically interesting homes and buildings are the home of William Faulkner, famous Southern novelist and short story writer; the home of L.Q.C. Lamar, noted Southern leader in the United States Senate; the law office of Senator William V. Sullivan and the Old Opera House.
The Mississippi educational system includes the following institutions of higher learning which are state-supported: University of Mississippi, Oxford, established in 1848; Mississippi State, State College, established in 1878; Mississippi State College for Women, Columbus, established in 1884; Mississippi Southern College, Hattiesburg, established in 1910; Delta State Teachers College, Cleveland, established in 1924. (MissPres Quiz: Which state-supported institution of higher education operating in 1941 is missing from this list?)
Pontotoc, where Miss. 6 climbs into the rugged hills of eastern Mississippi, is well known in Mississippi for its individualistic atmosphere. Formerly the center of the Chickasaw Indian territory, Pontotoc has a colorful past history. Among the interesting sights found in this quaint community are the Chickasaw College, the Jack Fontaine Home, the Turner Thomason Home, the Frank A. Clark Home and the Captain Bolton Home.
Tupelo, where Miss. 6 junctions with U.S. 45, is a modern, progressive town with many unusual features to attract the cross-state traveler.
More about Highway 6 and other Mississippi highways . . .