Picayune Main Street promotes city’s history

Published 7:00 am Friday, February 13, 2015

HISTORICAL: Picayune Main Street director Reba Beebe constructs a display of local history books available for purchase at the train depot.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

HISTORICAL: Picayune Main Street director Reba Beebe constructs a display of local history books available for purchase at the train depot.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey.

There is a story about every town in the United States. Historians tell the tales of important people, places and events that helped shaped the communities of today.
These stories are often shared by word of mouth, but Picayune Main Street has found a unique way to preserve the history of Picayune and its people.
Main Street historian Don Wicks said that back in 2010, Main Street was granted permission to reprint two historical books.
“They were about what Picayune looked like in the 1910s, 1970s and the 1980s,” Wicks said. “Former Picayune Item sports editor Brig. Gen. John Hawkins Napier III wrote 52 articles and those are in anthology form as well.”
Since 2010, Main Street has printed seven historical books and numerous historical cards featuring prominent Picayune.
Main Street donated many of these books to the city, library, schools and the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce, Wicks said.
“It is our goal to get more people interested in the history of Picayune,” Wicks said.
All seven books are available for purchase in various local businesses, Wicks said.
Picayune Main Street’s central office is located at the Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Picayune and Main Street director Reba Beebe would like to encourage anyone who is interested in history to come down and purchase one of their history books.
“It’s important to learn about our ancestors and what Picayune was like in the early 1900s,” Beebe said. “These books and historical cards gets our history out there.”
The books available for purchase include “Nat’s Eye View of Old Picayune Tales of Waaay Back When,” by Nat Lovell for $15. Also by Lovell, “The Way it Was: Memories of Picayune,” which costs $10.
Napier’s book, “Enter a Brief History of Picayune,” costs $5. “Pearl Rivers,” by Don Wicks costs $5.
There is also an anthology of poetry written by Eliza Jane Poitevent Holbrook entitled “A Dead Life, or the Nobleman’s Heir,” for $4.
Napier’s anthology, “Picayune History – As depicted in the Picayune Item 1949-1969,” costs $15. The 2008 Anthology: “A Showcase of Local Writers,” by the Picayune Writers Group costs $15.
Beebe said that the historical figure cards are complimentary. The cards include a short biography of each important figure from Picayune’s history.
These names include Lamont Rowlands, Hilda Formby Hoffmann, Stephan Jarrell, Bertie Lott Rouse, Samuel Grady (Grandpa) Thigpen and Lucius Olen Crosby.
“Proceeds from books sales fund the printing of the books, history cards and the Lower Pearl River Valley Transportation Center and Museum,” Beebe said.
History books can also be purchased at Barze´ Place Antiques, The Glass Porch and Treasures and More.
Learn more about Main Street at www.picayunemainstreet.com and through Facebook at Picayune Main Street.
Picayune Main Street’s office is located at 200 Hwy. 11 S. in the train depot.
For more information, contact Main Street staff by phone at 601-799-3070.

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