The WPA Guide to Mississippi: The Magnolia State
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The Magnolia State of Mississippi is beautifully depicted in this WPA Guide originally published in 1938. While this Southern state is by no means average, the guide focuses on the daily lives of typical people from the region. There are two essays about farmers which contrast between the white farmers of the Central and Tennessee Hills and African American farmers of the Delta.
1934, covers an area of 382,820 acres in Scott, Smith, and Jasper Counties; in shape it is an irregular, squat L, extending W. approximately 20 miles from this point, and N. and S. more than 35 miles. The forest has not yet attained impressive height, but the shortleaf pine is restocking naturally and quickly. FOREST, 68 m. (481 alt., 2,176 pop.), is the seat of Scott Co. and the headquarters of the Bienville Forest supervisor. The town is so named because of the dense pine growth which once
m. (open by permission from office, 8:30 to 5 weekdays), utilizing the largest bentonite deposit in the State. The stratum averages three feet in thickness and underlies 100 acres. Because of its nearness to the surface the mine has the appearance of a great opened pit. In 1934 the State Geological Survey made a detailed examination of the field, which had been noted three years earlier, and in 1936 the Attapulgus Clay Co. began development of the mineral. The product is a grayish, clay-like
periodic dredging. In this model there is an apparatus that reproduces actual tides, and a machine that reproduces the waves, both of which are electrically operated and controlled. Thirty-five minutes of operation in this study of tides equals a 24-hour day. The model is on the plateau but is housed in a building 200 feet square. The route continues L. on Washington St. (US 80-61). US 80 crosses the VICKSBURG TOLL BRIDGE, 157.7 m. (cars $1.25, passengers 25¢, pedestrians free) over the
here originally were uplanders, coming from Georgia and the Carolinas with the great migration of 1815. They were an independent-spirited people, brought no slaves with them, and settled far apart, clearing a few acres and building sturdy, compact log cabins. They made their living by raising sheep and by cultivating patches of potatoes and corn. After the War between the States, when the Gulf & Ship Island R.R. opened the country to the lumber industry, the Piney Woods became prosperous, then
and place it in long white sacks, which they trail behind them. Each movement is graceful and rhythmic, and is often performed to the accompaniment of song. These cotton-picking songs are rarely sung in chorus, but rather as a number of harmonizing solos. The tune varies from a minor note of despair to a triumphant major: “Old Massa say, ‘Pick Dat Cotton! (oratorical tone) Can’t pick cotton, Massa (whining tone) Cotton seed am rotten! Ha! Ha! Ha!” MINTER CITY, 23.8 m. (350 pop.), was settled