Today’s post is the fourteenth (and last) 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 78
Cutting obliquely across the State, U.S. 78 runs through country that illustrates the history of northern Mississippi’s cultural and economic development. In the eastern part it drops rapidly away from wooded pine hills into the low-rolling fringes of the prairie. Here the new dairies and bottom-land pastures encircling Tupelo give a picture of the State’s attempts toward diversification. The highway then climbs through a rugged region of small dairy and cotton farms to reach at last a section of the north central hills, which before the War between the States developed a culture similar in its refinement and prosperity to that of the Natchez country. In these hills a number of beautiful homes remain as evidence of this glorious past.
On highway 25 just north of Fulton, the first stop on HIghway 78 as the traveler enters the eastern part of the state, is Tishomingo State Park, a beautiful tract of land, rich in natural vegetation and interesting rock formations. Cabin accommodations and meals are available to travelers who wish to enjoy the recreational opportunities at this delightful park.
Fulton, 14 miles from the state line, is one of the few towns in the South that maintains the institution of the town pump. Except for this picturesque touch, Fulton is a modern lumbering and farming center for Itawamba County.
Between Fulton and Tupelo is Tombigbee State Park, another of the beautiful woodlands developed by the State as a camping site and recreational center for tourists and residents. Comfortable cabins and excellent meals can be obtained here at reasonable rates.
Tupelo, largest town on the route, is probably Mississippi’s best example of the “New South” of diversified farming and industry. In 1936 Tupelo was struck by a violent tornado which killed and injured scores of inhabitants and destroyed a large part of the best residential area. A credit to the pioneer spirit and initiative of this wide-awake community has been the rapid rehabilitation of the devastated area. Five large industrial plants and the government fish hatchery are particular points of interest.
New Albany, north on the highway from Tupelo, was once a stagecoach stop. It has not lost all of the atmosphere of an old Southern town. Also, noted for its historic background is Hickory Flat, further along the route.
Between Hickory Flat and Holly Springs is a government re-forestation camp, where workmen are creating a park of several hundred acres. The camp’s lookout tower affords a magnificent view of the wooded hills of this section.
Holly Springs, located on the edge of the Holly Springs National Forest, has many evidences of the early culture brought to this community by its aristocratic settlers. Beautiful old homes, shaded streets and delightful gardens make it one of the most attractive towns in the state. Many of the homes are opened to visitors.
Six miles south of Holly Springs (on Miss. Highway 7) is located Spring Lake State Park (now Wall Doxey State Park), one of Mississippi’s beautiful recreational spots.
Last stop on U.S. 78 before it crosses the state line into Tennessee is Olive Branch, located just 19 miles southeast of Memphis. The Milton Brocker home here is a last reminder of the pioneer days of this historic little community.
More about Highway 78 and other Mississippi highways . . .