National Register Listing in
Stone County, Mississippi

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Mississippi is home to several historically black colleges and universities, including Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, and Mississippi Valley State University.
Stone County, Mississippi, located in the southeastern part of the state, has a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Biloxi and Pascagoula, who lived off the land and waterways. European exploration began in the 16th century when Spanish explorers arrived in search of new lands. However, it wasn't until the late 18th century that permanent settlements were established.

In the early 1800s, the area was part of the Mississippi Territory, and as more settlers arrived, a county was needed to govern the growing population. Stone County was established in 1916 and was named after John M. Stone, Mississippi's governor at the time. The county seat, Wiggins, was named after Wiggins Hatten, a prominent landowner in the area.

Like many counties in Mississippi, Stone County prospered from agriculture, with cotton being the primary crop. The county also had an abundance of lumber resources, leading to the establishment of sawmills and logging camps. With the arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s, the county's economy flourished, and the timber industry became a significant factor in its growth.

Throughout the 20th century, Stone County experienced both highs and lows. The Great Depression had a severe impact on the local economy, leading to a decline in the timber industry and widespread poverty. However, the development of Highway 49, a major north-south route, brought renewed opportunities for growth and tourism.

Today, Stone County has evolved into a charming rural community with a mix of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Its natural beauty, including the Desoto National Forest, offers outdoor recreational activities that draw visitors from near and far. While the county continues to face challenges, it remains a testament to the resilience and determination of its inhabitants over the centuries.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Stone County, Mississippi.

  • 1916 - Stone County is created and named after John Marshall Stone, the Governor of Mississippi at the time.
  • Early 1800s - The area that is now Stone County was predominantly inhabited by the Choctaw Native American tribe.
  • 1811 - The first European settlers, mostly of English and Scottish descent, begin to arrive in the area.
  • 1833 - The town of Wiggins is established as the county seat of Stone County.
  • Late 1800s - The timber industry booms in Stone County, attracting more settlers and leading to economic growth.
  • Early 1900s - Agriculture becomes an important industry in Stone County, with farming and poultry production taking center stage.
  • 1920s-1930s - Stone County experiences a decline in population and economic activity due to the Great Depression.
  • 1960s - The construction of Highway 49 and 26 opens up more opportunities for commerce and tourism in Stone County.
  • 1981 - The Old Firehouse Museum is established in Wiggins, showcasing the history and heritage of Stone County.
  • 1999 - Hurricane Georges hits Stone County, causing significant damage to infrastructure and homes.
  • 2005 - Hurricane Katrina devastates Stone County and the entire Gulf Coast region, leading to a long and difficult recovery.
  • Present - Stone County continues to grow and develop, with a mix of agriculture, tourism, and small businesses shaping its economy.