Many early roads followed Indian trails, such as the stage road through Lauderdale Springs and Daleville, which were among the first communities to have stagecoach service. Original surveys showed a road running southwest to northeast between Lauderdale and Enterprise. This was probably the early route of U.S. Highway 11 and most likely ran through present-day Meridian by way of Sixth Street. One mail and stage route was possibly the “Choctaw Trail.” On this route in 1800 a stagecoach stop was erected in the community of Lauderdale. A major stage line was the Jemison and Ficklin stage line. Coaches arrived in Marion on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings and stopped at the Bains Hotel in the town square so passengers could eat in the hotel’s café. Other important roads were the Marion–Livingston Road and the Gaston Road running from Marion to Alabama by way of Alamucha. An early road to Alabama probably followed the route of Highway 19 through Lauderdale County. Decatur Road from Marion may have followed today’s Seventh Street in Meridian.
By late 1835, Scott, Newton, and Lauderdale County residents had persuaded the legislature to establish a mail route from Jackson eastward through Brandon, to the three county seats of Scott, Newton and Lauderdale counties, passing through Alamucha to the county seat of Sumter County, Alabama. Postal authorities wished to upgrade three routes to Lauderdale County so that the coaches pulled by four horses would have greater speeds.
Traveling Mississippi's coastal region you discover soft, white sandy beaches, daily arts & entertainment events, incredible restaurants, and quaint towns nestled among high-rise casinos along the shore igniting the darkest night! The Northeast Mississippi hills spin you on the world's most powerful literary wheel and you feel the stories penetrate your soul. Parallel to the Mississippi River, Highway 61 trails from Natchez and Vicksburg, two river cities that daily share Mississippi's past through antebellum homes and buildings and structures. Before heading to the Delta, stop in Yazoo City's colorful downtown filled where music flows into the streets, beckoning you to get out of the car to stroll the sidewalks and visit the shops along the way. Then, it's on to the Mississippi Delta, where the blues move you and thrill you and the deep, rich soil your toes dig into feels like home.
So, Mississippi's East Central Region can be easily overlooked. However, through my research for the Mississippi Secretary of State's Bicentennial Book, the East Central Region's history has shouted, whispered, sung, recited, cried and laughed through the many stories it revealed. Join me as I share a few highlights from my research. I know you'll be as amazed as I was!