If you’ve ever had a chance to taste one of these delicate treats, then you’ll know why we are pretty proud of the fact that these great wafer cookies are produced right here in Mississippi.

If you have not tasted a Pirouline, then by all means, visit their website.

Pirouline makes every moment magic. Pirouline exists because what we do best is make all the small moments in our life a little more special. The famous Pirouline swirl is your reassurance that you are enjoying the original Pirouline rolled wafers, baked fresh every day right here in Madison, Mississippi. All of those other rolled wafers made in factories overseas (and shipped across the ocean in huge shipping containers) may try to look like Pirouline, but they don’t have our swirl. Or our fresh, delicious taste!

In 1984, 3rd generation Belgium baker Peter De Beukelaer, seeking the American dream, moved to Mississippi and founded Pirouline, an innovative cookie company. Pirouline cookies are slowly toasted, rolled wafers filled with creme and sealed with an iconic and cylindrical stripe. Peter introduced a range of technical and baking innovations to create the trademarked signature swirl on the rolled wafers. Today, Pirouline is still a family business and are produced in a 115,000-square-foot baking facility that supports 200-plus team members.




Natchez Trace Parkway

Route 66 may be “The Mother Road”, but if that is true, then the Natchez Trace is “The Great Grandmother Road.”

With family living in the Natchez area and having spent most of my life in Central Mississippi, I’ve have plenty of opportunities in my life to experience the Natchez Trace. As a matter of fact, I taught my daughter how to drive on the highway on the Trace because the traffic is slower and a lot lighter than the Interstate. And over the years, I’ve stopped along the way to visit the many pull-offs and sites on the Trace.

From Wikipedia:

The Natchez Trace Parkway (also known as the Natchez Trace or simply the Trace) is a National Parkway in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail.

Natchez_Trace_Parkway_LogoThe Natchez Trace Parkway logo can be seen on signs and trail markings along the parkway. Its central feature is a two-lane parkway road that extends 444 miles (715 km) from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. Access to the parkway is limited, with more than 50 access points in the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. The southern end of the route is in Natchez at an intersection with Liberty Road, and the northern end is northeast of Fairview, Tennessee, in the suburban community of Pasquo, Tennessee, at an intersection with Tennessee 100. In addition to Natchez and Nashville, the larger cities along the route include Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi, and Florence, Alabama.

The gentle sloping and curving alignment of the current route closely follows the original foot passage. Its design harkens back to the way the original interweaving trails aligned as an ancient salt-lick-to-grazing-pasture migratory route of the American Bison and other game that moved between grazing the pastures of central and western Mississippi and the salt and other mineral surface deposits of the Cumberland Plateau. The route generally traverses the tops of the low hills and ridges of the watershed divides from northeast to southwest.


Native Americans, following the “traces” of bison and other game, further improved this “walking trail” for foot-borne commerce between major villages located in middle Mississippi and central Tennessee. The route is locally circuitous; however, by traversing this route the bison, and later humans, avoided the endless, energy-taxing climbing and descending of the many hills along the way. Also avoided was the danger to a herd (or groups of human travelers) of being caught en-masse at the bottom of a hollow or valley if attacked by predators. The nature of the route, to this day, affords good all-around visibility for those who travel it.

Construction of the Parkway was begun by the federal government in the 1930s. The development of the modern roadway was one of the many projects of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The road was the proposal of U.S. Congressman T. Jeff Busby of Mississippi, who proposed it as a way to give tribute to the original Natchez Trace. Inspired by the proposal, the Daughters of the American Revolution began planting markers and monuments along the Trace. In 1934, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration ordered a survey. President Roosevelt signed the legislation to create the parkway on May 18, 1938. Construction on the Parkway began in 1939, and the route was to be overseen by the National Park Service. Its length includes more than 45,000 acres (182 km²) and the towering Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge in Williamson County, Tennessee, completed in 1994 and one of only two post-tensioned, segmental concrete arch bridges in the world.

The National Park Service has a website dedicated to the Natchez Trace Parkway that has a lot of great information about the Trace and the sites you can visit along the way.

From their website:

National_Park_ServiceThe history and culture found along the Natchez Trace Parkway is a lifetime worth of exploration for students of history, or just the curious. The number of cultures and historic topics touched by the Natchez Trace seems boundless.

People have been using the Natchez Trace for thousands of years. The Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Natchez, as well as pre-historic American Indians all called the area home for part of the year. The most celebrated travelers of the Natchez Trace were farmers and boatmen from the Ohio River regions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky floating supplies down to ports in Natchez and New Orleans at the beginning of the 1800s. Regardless of where they came from, they were collectively known as “Kaintucks.”

Several famous figures traveled the Natchez Trace. Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was traveling through in 1809, when he died under mysterious circumstances at a small cabin in Tennessee. Andrew Jackson traveled on the Trace with his troops during the War of 1812.

Whether famous, infamous, or anonymous, travelers of the Natchez Trace relied heavily on this wilderness road. The Trace was a road home, a path of exploration, and a link to the growing population of the Old Southwest. Over time, new roads and population centers were developed and steamships carried people and supplies upstream. The Old Trace fell out of use. Reestablished as a unit of the National Park Service in 1938, the Natchez Trace Parkway was completed in 2005. The route still serves as a connection between population centers, and allows modern travelers to explore and discover the history and culture of earlier generations.

Here’s a short video tour of the Trace that I think you’ll enjoy!


82 Counties, 1 Mississippi

When I was in the eighth grade, I was required to take two classes that were both one semester long. The first was a Civics class that was focused on teaching the basics of U.S. Citizenship and how the United States worked. The second semester, the class changed its focus to the State Of Mississippi. We learned about our state legislature, the local governance, and Mississippi history. It was one of my first formal exposures to my responsibilities as a citizen and the pride of being a resident of the Great State Of Mississippi.

I’m not sure if schools still teach Civics or State classes like that, but if not, then it is a sad thing because if kids do not learn the things to be proud about in their Country and their State, then how can they be expected to have enough pride in where they live to try and make it better. That’s one of the underlying reasons for the website in the first place. I wanted to build a website where people could come and browse for hours and learn about the greatness of Mississippi.

Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Anyway, when I was in my State Civics class, one of the first things we had to do was memorize the names of all eighty-two counties and then recite them back to the class. I’m not sure if the memorization had any impact on my understanding of the state, but I can tell you for certain that it made me more aware of the wide variety of lifestyles that occur naturally within the arbitrary political lines that separate us.

From the deep gullies of Adams County to the flat, alluvial plain of Sunflower County to the gulf shores of Harrison County to the low hills of Lauderdale County; the land itself influences the people who live there in ways that we can scarcely imagine. Generations of writers from William Faulkner to Eudora Welty to Willie Morris to John Grisham to Greg Iles have all spent thousands of words and pages trying to explain the impact of this soil on its people.

There’s no way I can convey in this short article the depth of the roots of the people who are born and raised here. Nor can I explain any part of what I’m trying to describe. People who were born and raised here know instinctively what I’m trying to say, but words are such fickle things they come in floods and yet still fail to adequately convey my meaning.

The best possible reaction to this post would be for people to post their feelings or descriptions of the county they were born and raised in below in the comment section and then we could all work together to give a more complete picture of the life, the land and the people that live in eighty-two separate counties that collectively make up the Great State Of Mississippi.

Here’s the full list of all the State Counties (click here to learn more):

CountyCounty seatEstablishedPopulationArea
Adams CountyNatchez179932,297460 sq mi
Alcorn CountyCorinth187037,057400 sq mi
Amite CountyLiberty180913,131730 sq mi
Attala CountyKosciusko183319,564735 sq mi
Benton CountyAshland18708,729407 sq mi
Bolivar CountyCleveland and Rosedale183634,145876 sq mi
Calhoun CountyPittsboro185214,962587 sq mi
Carroll CountyCarrollton and Vaiden183310,597628 sq mi
Chickasaw CountyHouston and Okolona183617,392502 sq mi
Choctaw CountyAckerman18338,547419 sq mi
Claiborne CountyPort Gibson18029,604487 sq mi
Clarke CountyQuitman183316,732691 sq mi
Clay CountyWest Point187120,634409 sq mi
Coahoma CountyClarksdale183626,151554 sq mi
Copiah CountyHazlehurst182329,449777 sq mi
Covington CountyCollins181919,568414 sq mi
DeSoto CountyHernando1836161,252478 sq mi
Forrest CountyHattiesburg190674,934467 sq mi
Franklin CountyMeadville18098,118565 sq mi
George CountyLucedale191022,578478 sq mi
Greene CountyLeakesville181114,400713 sq mi
Grenada CountyGrenada187021,906422 sq mi
Hancock CountyBay Saint Louis181243,929477 sq mi
Harrison CountyGulfport and Biloxi1841187,105581 sq mi
Hinds CountyJackson and Raymond1821245,285869 sq mi
Holmes CountyLexington183319,198756 sq mi
Humphreys CountyBelzoni19189,375418 sq mi
Issaquena CountyMayersville18441,406413 sq mi
Itawamba CountyFulton183623,401532 sq mi
Jackson CountyPascagoula1812139,668727 sq mi
Jasper CountyBay Springs and Paulding183317,062676 sq mi
Jefferson CountyFayette17997,726519 sq mi
Jefferson Davis CountyPrentiss190612,487408 sq mi
Jones CountyLaurel and Ellisville182667,761694 sq mi
Kemper CountyDe Kalb183310,456766 sq mi
Lafayette CountyOxford183647,351631 sq mi
Lamar CountyPurvis190455,658497 sq mi
Lauderdale CountyMeridian183380,261704 sq mi
Lawrence CountyMonticello181412,929431 sq mi
Leake CountyCarthage183323,805583 sq mi
Lee CountyTupelo186682,910450 sq mi
Leflore CountyGreenwood187132,317592 sq mi
Lincoln CountyBrookhaven187034,869586 sq mi
Lowndes CountyColumbus183059,779502 sq mi
Madison CountyCanton182895,203719 sq mi
Marion CountyColumbia181127,088542 sq mi
Marshall CountyHolly Springs183637,144706 sq mi
Monroe CountyAberdeen182136,989764 sq mi
Montgomery CountyWinona187110,925407 sq mi
Neshoba CountyPhiladelphia183329,676570 sq mi
Newton CountyDecatur183621,720578 sq mi
Noxubee CountyMacon183311,545695 sq mi
Oktibbeha CountyStarkville183347,671458 sq mi
Panola CountyBatesville and Sardis183634,707684 sq mi
Pearl River CountyPoplarville189055,834812 sq mi
Perry CountyNew Augusta182012,250647 sq mi
Pike CountyMagnolia181540,404409 sq mi
Pontotoc CountyPontotoc183629,957497 sq mi
Prentiss CountyBooneville187025,276415 sq mi
Quitman CountyMarks18778,223405 sq mi
Rankin CountyBrandon1828141,617775 sq mi
Scott CountyForest183328,264609 sq mi
Sharkey CountyRolling Fork18764,916428 sq mi
Simpson CountyMendenhall182427,503589 sq mi
Smith CountyRaleigh183316,491636 sq mi
Stone CountyWiggins191617,786445 sq mi
Sunflower CountyIndianola184429,450694 sq mi
Tallahatchie CountyCharleston and Sumner183315,378644 sq mi
Tate CountySenatobia187328,886404 sq mi
Tippah CountyRipley183622,232458 sq mi
Tishomingo CountyIuka183619,593424 sq mi
Tunica CountyTunica183610,778455 sq mi
Union CountyNew Albany187027,134416 sq mi
Walthall CountyTylertown191215,443404 sq mi
Warren CountyVicksburg180948,773587 sq mi
Washington CountyGreenville182751,137724 sq mi
Wayne CountyWaynesboro180920,747810 sq mi
Webster CountyWalthall187410,253423 sq mi
Wilkinson CountyWoodville18029,878677 sq mi
Winston CountyLouisville183319,198607 sq mi
Yalobusha CountyWater Valley and Coffeeville183312,678467 sq mi
Yazoo CountyYazoo City182328,065920 sq mi

Map Courtesy of

Atlas Roofing Corporation

If you spend any significant time in Meridian, Mississippi, you’ll hear someone mention Atlas Roofing Corporation. The company is a lot like Peavey Corporation in the sense that if you live in Meridian, someone you know or someone you are related to works or used to work there.

From their website:

atlas-logoAtlas® Roofing Corporation is an innovative, customer-oriented manufacturer of residential and commercial building materials. Atlas has grown from a single roofing shingle manufacturing facility in 1982 into an industry leader with 19 plants in North America and worldwide product distribution. All Atlas products are manufactured in state-of-the-art facilities and shipped worldwide from its network of manufacturing plants and distribution facilities in the United States and Canada. Atlas Roofing Corporation is made up of 6 major divisions: Wall Insulation, Roof Insulation, Roof Shingles, Roof Underlayment, Web Technologies, and Atlas EPS.

Check out the timeline of their growth by clicking here.





Ward’s Restaurant

wards_logoBack when I was a student at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS, one of the local favorites for burgers was the Ward’s Restaurant on Hardy Street just before you cross the bridge over I-59. Well, the address is technically 101 Thornhill Drive, Hattiesburg, MS, but if you decide to visit Hattiesburg, just stop and ask someone where the Ward’s on Hardy Street is and they’ll get you there. As they say, you can’t miss it.

What I can confirm is that if you’ve never had a Ward’s Chili Dog, a “Big One” with Chili and Cheese or a “Ward’s Quarter” then you’ve lived a sheltered life. So, as soon as you can, find the Ward’s nearest you and order a great burger and frosty mug of homemade root beer and then decide whether I’m telling you the truth.

From the Ward’s website:

Richard and Ed Ward opened the first Ward’s location May 28, 1978. The two brothers rotated shifts with one working early and one working late. It was years before some customers ever realized there were two of them! They thought one hard-working man owned and operated the new concept on his own. The years of hard work and long hours paid off as Ward’s developed its own identity and following of loyal customers. Known for delicious homemade chili and smooth as silk homemade Root beer, Ward’s has grown to 39 locations over the past 35 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

wards_chili_dogThe signature hamburgers are lovingly referred to as the “Big One” and the “Little On.” Dressed with Ward’s homemade chili and signature sauce these favorites are two of the most popular on the menu. The homemade chili is not just used on hamburgers. OH NO! Ward’s chili is served on our own Chili Dogs. What better way to conquer the munchies than with a Big One Combo and a Ward’s Chili Dog on the side!

For those who choose not to indulge in Ward’s Chili there are other options! The Ward’s Quarter is just what your personal trainer would approve of! Lettuce and tomato dress this burger just right to make you feel good about yourself. However, if you insist, there is also a delicious line of salads and wraps available to help you watch your waistline.

From Breakfast, to lunch and on through out the evening Ward’s has something for almost any appetite and to please any taste. New menu concepts include the addition of Sweet Potato Fries and Real Fruit Smoothies. Ward’s is the best of both worlds merging the ole time menu items of years past and the best of whats new.

Mississippi State Beverage – Milk

Milk was designated the official state beverage of Mississippi in 1984. Milk has been called a nearly perfect food – a source of protein, calcium, and several other important nutrients.

Of the 26 States that have selected an official beverage 20 of them have picked milk. Rhode Island chose milk flavored coffee, which is close but not the same.

Here’s the list of “milk” States:

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Viking Range

Viking Range Corporation is an appliance company located in Greenwood, Mississippi that manufactures kitchen appliances for residential and commercial use. Viking introduced the first professional-grade range for home use in 1987. The company offers three complete lines of premium appliances including cooking, ventilation, kitchen clean-up and refrigeration, and outdoor appliances. Viking’s latest offering is a commercial line of kitchen appliances for use in restaurants. Although Viking was purchased by the The Middleby Corporation in 2012, the new owner has expressed a long term commitment to keeping the existing Mississippi manufacturing plants in place and operating in Mississippi.

Check out this short promotional video released in January, 2015:


From the Viking website:

Viking Range was founded by Fred Carl, Jr. in the 1980s. In the midst of building his own home, he discovered the range he wanted did not exist. So Carl took to the drawing board and after countless late nights, he finally arrived at a hybrid that corralled the cooking power and features of a professional range into a design feasible for home use.

Carl persuaded a small commercial company in southern California to produce the first Viking range for him. After two years of trial, error and extensive testing, the first Viking ranges received American Gas Association certification in late 1986 and shipped in January 1987. Incredible consumer response quickly overwhelmed the contract manufacturer.

Viking soon opened its own manufacturing plant in Greenwood, Mississippi, and realized there was room for professional performance in every corner of the kitchen. By the end of the decade, Viking was operating three manufacturing facilities in Greenwood, and the Viking kitchen grew to include built-in cooking, ventilation, refrigeration, kitchen cleanup, and outdoor products. Since 2000, additional facilities have been added as the company and its product line grew. A dishwasher plant, a distribution center, and a tool and die center brought the total square footage of Viking manufacturing and distribution facilities to more than 500,000 square feet.

Viking has continued its aggressive new product development initiatives and has expanded its product offerings to encompass the entire kitchen, both indoors and outdoors. In addition to its flagship freestanding ranges, the current Viking product line includes ventilation, built-in range tops and cooktops, built-in ovens, warming drawers, dishwashers, trash compactors, refrigerators, freezers, wine cellars, and an entire line of outdoor products including grills, warming drawers, refrigeration and stainless steel cabinetry.


In 2001, Viking began renovations on the historic Hotel Irving in downtown Greenwood. Renamed The Alluvian and designed as an upscale boutique hotel offering unparalleled amenities, the hotel opened to widespread acclaim in May 2003. In addition, The Alluvian Spa; Giardina’s Restaurant, a Mississippi Delta dining landmark since 1936; and the Viking Cooking School and Retail Store provide an entertaining and memorable experience, resulting in the renowned Viking facilities becoming a unique and popular tourist destination.

On December 31, 2012, The Middleby Corporation, a global leader in the commercial foodservice equipment industry, acquired Viking. Middleby has more than 50 companies in its portfolio and has a proven track record of acquiring and growing companies through bringing innovative, patented products to the market. Many synergies and growth opportunities exist between Viking and other Middleby brands and the acquisition of Viking strategically positioned Middleby to expand into the residential market with a strong, leading brand. Middleby has an established presence outside of the U.S., which will help Viking expand to new markets in the future.

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USA International Ballet Competition

Years ago, the Jackson Auditorium was renamed “Thalia Mara Hall” and I am sad to say that I didn’t know who Thalia Mara was, but eventually I discovered that she was directly responsible for bringing the International Ballet Competition to Jackson, Mississippi. Mississippi has benefited immeasurably from Thalia Mara’s presence in our State even if she wasn’t born here!

“The USA International Ballet Competition, or USA IBC, is one of the world’s top competitions for ballet. Located in Jackson, Mississippi, this competition is attended by dancers from all over the world to represent their country for bronze, silver, or gold medals in a variety of categories of ballet in an Olympic-style competition.” – Wikipedia

From the USA IBC website:

The dance world comes to Jackson because Thalia Mara found her way here in 1975.

The first International Ballet Competition premiered in Varna in 1964 and eventually grew into a cycle of ballet competitions that rotated among the three cities of Varna, Moscow and Tokyo. In 1975, the Jackson Ballet Guild invited Thalia Mara, renowned ballet teacher and educator, to develop a professional ballet company and school for the state of Mississippi. As a part of her development plan, she introduced city leaders to the idea of ballet competitions and convinced them to secure the USA IBC for the city of Jackson. In 1978, the nonprofit corporation, Mississippi Ballet International, Inc. (MBI), was created to produce the first International Ballet Competition in the United States. Robert Joffrey, renowned Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet, agreed to chair the first international panel of jurors. With the help of local, national and international endorsements, combined with the energy and commitment of the citizens of Jackson, the first USA International Ballet Competition was held in June 1979, featuring 70 dancers from 15 countries.

At the conclusion of the first competition, a sanction was received from the International Dance Committee of the International Theater Institute (ITI) of UNESCO for the USA IBC. Thus, Jackson joined other ITI‑sanctioned competitions that rotated each year among Varna, Moscow, and Tokyo.

In 1982, the United States Congress passed a Joint Resolution designating Jackson as the official home of the International Ballet Competition. The second USA IBC was held the same summer with 78 dancers representing 19 countries. The 1982 competition was featured in a 90‑minute ABC/PBS film, To Dance For Gold, which aired around the world. Subsequent competitions have enjoyed an ever-growing number of competitor applications in addition to worldwide publicity and acclaim.

The USA International Ballet Competition provides an opportunity for dancers to test themselves against recognized international standards of dance excellence and showcase their technical skill and artistic talent; it provides a forum for communication and intercultural exchange, and educates, enlightens and develops future artists and audience support for the art of dance.

From The New York Times:

MaraThaliaThalia Mara died at the age of 92 in October, 2003.

Born in Chicago to Russian parents, Ms. Mara trained with some of the great ballet figures of the 20th century, among them Adolph Bolm, Olga Preobajenska, Nicholas Legat and Michel Fokine. She made her professional debut in 1926 with the Ravinia Park Opera Ballets in Chicago, leaving after a year to join the Carina Ari Ballet in Paris.

Ms. Mara directed the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 1947 and also danced there with her husband, Arthur Mahoney, from whom she separated in 1964.

The two founded the National Academy of Ballet and Theater Arts in New York in 1962. The school closed in 1973.

Ms. Mara wrote 11 books on ballet, many of which were dance students’ easy-to-read instructional works, including ”The Language of Ballet,” ”So You Want to Be a Ballet Dancer” and the ”Steps in Ballet” series. Many were translated and published in other countries.

Ms. Mara moved to Jackson, Miss., in the mid-1970’s, at an invitation of the Jackson Ballet Guild to create a professional ballet troupe. She worked with the company for six years, resigning in 1981. A judge at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, Ms. Mara worked with Robert Joffrey, the artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet, and the dance writer Walter Terry to create a competition on that circuit in Jackson. She served as the artistic director for the triennial USA International Ballet Competition from 1986 to 1994.

Ms. Mara founded the nonprofit Thalia Mara Arts International Foundation, which sponsored teacher training scholarships, a piano competition and performances in Jackson by dance companies and musicians. In 1994 the city’s Municipal Auditorium was renamed Thalia Mara Hall.

Biloxi Lighthouse

Having traveled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast hundreds of times in my life, I’ve often driven past the Biloxi Lighthouse. With all the tall casinos and condos in the area, the lighthouse does not seem as imposing as perhaps it once was. But it is still a beloved sight to see once you hit the coast.

From the City Of Biloxi Website:

The Biloxi Lighthouse was erected in 1848 and was one of the first cast-iron lighthouses in the South. It is the city’s signature landmark and has become a post-Katrina symbol of the city’s resolve and resilience.

The light was civilian operated from 1848 to 1939, and is notable for its several female lightkeepers, including Maria Younghans, who tended the light for 53 years. In 1939, the U.S. Coast Guard assumed responsibility for the light’s operation.

After being declared surplus property in 1968, the Biloxi Lighthouse was deeded to the City of Biloxi, which eventually opened it to public tours.

The lighthouse has withstood many storms over the years. Katrina’s storm surge enveloped a third of the 64-foot tall lighthouse, and the constant pounding from the water and winds toppled many bricks that lined the interior of the cast iron tower. The storm’s winds also broke many of the windows in the light cupola and destroyed the structure’s electrical system

In March 2010, the city re-opened the lighthouse to public tours after a 14-month, $400,000 restoration that was funded by FEMA and MEMA and completed by Biloxi contractor J.O. Collins.

Guided tours: Daily at 9, 9:15 and 9:30 a.m., weather permitting. No reservations required, except for group tours, which can be arranged by calling (228) 374-3105.

Admission: $5, adults, $2 students, with discounts for groups.

Location: The lighthouse is in the middle of U.S. 90 at Porter Avenue, south of the new Biloxi Visitors Center, and just west of I-110 loop and Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. More info: Email Biloxi’s museums office at or call (228) 374-3105.

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Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum

Where Coca-Cola was first bottled in 1894!

The Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum features the history of one of the Nation’s beloved beverages, along with equipment of the type that Joseph Biedenharn used to bottle Coke for the first time anywhere in the world in 1894.

biedenharn-coca-colaA wide variety of original Coca-Cola advertising and memorabilia is on display to allow the visitor to follow the evolution of “The Pause That Refreshes!”

The restored candy store and office area will take you back to a simpler, sweeter time with furnishings and displays from the 1890s. We offer our visitors ice cream, fountain Cokes, Coke floats and a wide selection of Coke souvenirs.

Visit Beidenharn’s Website To Learn More!

Flag Of Mississippi

The new Flag of Mississippi features a white magnolia blossom and the words “In God We Trust” on a red field with a gold-bordered blue pale. This flag was chosen by the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag and was approved by state referendum on November 3, 2020. Afterward, it was passed by the state legislature on January 6, 2021, and became the official state flag of the U.S. state of Mississippi on January 11, 2021.

The previous Flag of the State of Mississippi was adopted by the U.S. state of Mississippi in 1894, replacing the flag that had been adopted in 1861.

Flag of Mississippi

In 2000 after a fair amount of controversy regarding the State’s flag which included the Confederate Flag in the canton corner, the Supreme Court of Mississippi ruled that state legislation in 1906 had repealed the adoption of the state flag in 1894, so what was considered to be the official state flag was only so through custom and usage.

Mississippi Flag Proposed In 2001

On January 12, 2001, Governor David Ronald (Ronnie) Musgrove signed House Bill No. 524. This bill was precipitated by a series of design proposals intended to remove the representation of the Confederate battle flag from the canton corner of the current State flag. Some Mississippians were offended by the official design and proposed a new design they thought would be more acceptable to the entire populace of the State. The legislature and the Governor decided to put an end to the controversy over the State flag and passed a law that would put the design of the Mississippi State Flag to a vote. This vote would determine whether the State flag that had flown over Mississippi for 107 years would continue to fly over the State or whether a new design would be raised over the State capitol. The vote was scheduled for April 17, 2001. [Source]

From Wikipedia: “The proposal would have replaced the Confederate battle flag with a blue canton with 20 stars. The outer ring of 13 stars would represent the original Thirteen Colonies, the ring of six stars would represent the six nations that have had sovereignty over Mississippi territory (various Native American nations as a collective nation, French Empire, Spanish Empire, Great Britain, the United States and the Confederate States), and the inner and slightly larger star would represent Mississippi itself. The 20 stars would also represent Mississippi’s status as the 20th member of the United States.

The new flag was soundly defeated in a vote of 64% (488,630 votes) to 36% (267,812) and the old flag was retained.”

The pledge to the state flag is:

I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.

—Mississippi Code Ann., Section 37-13-7, 1972

The Great Seal Of Mississippi

Adopted in 1798 (when Mississippi was still a U.S. territory), the great seal of Mississippi displays an eagle with spread wings and a shield with stars and stripes centered on its chest. The eagle clasps an olive branch and arrows in its talons (symbols of peace and strength).

The eagle is proudly positioned in the center of the seal, with its wings spread wide and its head held high. A bunting of stars and stripes adorns its chest. In its talons, the eagle grasps an olive branch symbolizing a desire for peace and a quiver of arrows representing the power to wage war. The outer circle of the seal holds the words “The Great Seal of the State of Mississippi”.


Teddy Bear

From Wikipedia:

The name Teddy Bear comes from former United States President Theodore Roosevelt, who was commonly known as “Teddy” (though he loathed being referred to as such). The name originated from an incident on a bear hunting trip in Sharkey County, Mississippi in November 1902, to which Roosevelt was invited by Mississippi Governor Andrew H. Longino. There were several other hunters competing, and most of them had already killed an animal. A suite of Roosevelt’s attendants, led by Holt Collier, cornered, clubbed, and tied an American Black Bear to a willow tree after a long exhausting chase with hounds. They called Roosevelt to the site and suggested that he should shoot it. He refused to shoot the bear himself, deeming this unsportsmanlike, but instructed that the bear be killed to put it out of its misery, and it became the topic of a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902. While the initial cartoon of an adult black bear lassoed by a handler and a disgusted Roosevelt had symbolic overtones, later issues of that and other Berryman cartoons made the bear smaller and cuter.

Morris Michtom saw the drawing of Roosevelt and was inspired to create a new toy. He created a little stuffed bear cub and put it in his shop window with a sign that read “Teddy’s bear,” after sending a bear to Roosevelt and receiving permission to use his name. The toys were an immediate success and Michtom founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.

Early teddy bears were made to look like real bears, with extended snouts and beady eyes. Modern teddy bears tend to have larger eyes and foreheads and smaller noses, babylike features that enhance the toy’s cuteness. Teddy bears are also manufactured to represent different species of bear, such as polar bears and grizzly bears, as well as pandas.

While early teddy bears were covered in tawny mohair fur, modern teddy bears are manufactured in a wide variety of commercially available fabrics, most commonly synthetic fur, but also velour, denim, cotton, satin, and canvas.

Neshoba County Fair

The Neshoba County Fair, also known as Mississippi’s Giant House Party, is an annual event of agricultural, political, and social entertainment held a few miles from Philadelphia, Mississippi. The fair was first established in 1889 and is the nation’s largest campground fair. The event usually starts at the end of July lasting a week.

From the Neshoba County website:

The Neshoba County Fair is called Mississippi’s Giant House Party, and it is just that. Neshoba County families gather from across the country every summer for a week long family reunion and house party like no other.

The Fair cabin is the center of activity for families staying at the fair and the front porch is the most popular place for gathering. Porches are for sitting, visiting and just watching the neighborhood activities. Neighborhoods such as Happy Hollow, Sunset Strip, Founders Square and Greenleaf Hollow all have their own personalities and traditions.

As Robert Craycroft said in The Neshoba County Fair: Place and Paradox in Mississippi, “Conversation is the underlying reality of the Fair. It is the impetus for thousands of  people to live in crowded cabins under the intense August sun, and it is the glue that has brought together and has held together generation after generation of Neshoba Countians.”

Great food is another attraction at the Fair. Meals are the result of months of planing and preparation. Friends and visitors that stop by to visit are often invited to stay for a  meal. Gallons of tea, lemonade and coolers of   ice are always plentiful in every cabin.

There are plenty of other things that make up a day at  the Fair besides visiting and eating. There are merry-go-rounds to ride, prizes to win, new friends to make and old ones to see again. There are races to get excited about, exhibits to see and politicians to shake hands with. There’s an antique car parade to watch and something called a chair race that just can’t be explained. In fact the Fair itself can’t really be explained. Only when you’ve walked in the sawdust covered Square on hot summer day can you begin to understand.


The Neshoba County Fair has its roots in the agricultural fairs and the church camp meetings popular in the nineteenth century. The Lake Patron’s Union in Scott County  was a regional fair held on the former site of a  Methodist camp meeting and served as a model for Neshoba Countians wanting to establish a fair of their own.

The first fair was called the Coldwater Fair and was held in 1889. Two years later in 1891 the fair was organized as a private corporation called the Neshoba County Stock and Agricultural Fair Association and  was moved to its present site. Admission was charged for the first time in order to operate the fair. The Neshoba County Fair remains a self-supporting non-profit organization today with operating funds derived mainly from admissions and concessions.

Families coming to the Fair began camping on the grounds for the duration of the fair. In 1894 a pavilion was constructed and a hotel was built to accommodate visitors. Cabins began to replace wagons and tents and in 1898 the oaks were planted that shade Founder’s Square today. The first cabins were simple one story structures with some being log cabins.

In 1896 Governor McLaurin spoke at the Fair which began the tradition of the Neshoba County Fair as a political forum for local, state, and national politicians. Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp and John Glenn are among the national figures who have visited the Fair during their campaigns.

Improvements and additions were made to the grounds through the years. The race track was built it 1914 and the Fairgrounds received electricity in 1939. The Fair was not held during World War II, but was reopened in 1946. More cabins were built establishing distinct neighborhoods beyond the Square. The Fair was expanded to a seven day schedule and entertainment began to come from nationally known stars.

The Neshoba County Fair has grown from a two-day meeting of local farmers and their families to an eight day Giant House Party in over 600 cabins and over 200 RV campers. The traditions of the Fair continue today. Families still gather for reunions and friends, old and new, visit every summer as they have since 1889.

Mississippi Coat of Arms and Motto

The committee to design a Coat of Arms was appointed by legislative action February 7, 1894, and the design proposed by that committee was accepted and became the official Coat of Arms. The committee recommended for the Coat of Arms a “Shield in color blue, with an eagle upon it with extended pinions, holding in the right talon a palm branch and a bundle of arrows in the left talon, with the word “Mississippi” above the eagle; the lettering on the shield and the eagle to be in gold; below the shield two branches of the cotton stalk, saltier-wise, as in submitted design, and a scroll below extending upward and one each side three-fourths of the length of the shield; upon the scroll, which is to be red, the motto be printed in gold letters upon white spaces, as in design accompanying, the motto to be –VIRTUTE et ARMIS” which means by valor and arms.


Mississippi’s Official State Bird is the Mockingbird, but the mockingbird is also the Official State Bird of Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and Texas.

The Mississippi Federation of Women’s Clubs selected the mockingbird as their club bird and lobbied the state to adopt the mockingbird as the official state bird of Mississippi.

The bill to designate the mockingbird the official state bird of Mississippi was approved in the Mississippi House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously. The legislation was signed by the Governor on February 23, 1944.


Bomgar is a leader in enterprise remote support solutions for easily and securely supporting computing systems and mobile devices. The company’s products help organizations improve tech support efficiency and performance by enabling them to securely support nearly any device or system, anywhere in the world — including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry and more.

bomgarsquareSince 2003, more than 8,500 corporate customers across 65 countries have chosen Bomgar as their platform for remote support. Bomgar clients include some of the world’s leading IT outsourcers, systems integrators, software vendors, hospitals and healthcare organizations, government institutions, colleges and universities, legal and accounting firms, and insurance and financial institutions.

For six consecutive years, Bomgar has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in North America. Bomgar is privately-held with offices in Jackson, Atlanta, Washington D.C., London, Paris, and Singapore.

The Bomgar Story

To help pay his college tuition, Joel Bomgar began working as a field network engineer for a Jackson, Mississippi-based systems integrator in 2002. When not in class, he could be found driving around the Jackson area in his 1979 Buick LeSabre providing IT support to local businesses. Often, the non-billable drive time took longer than the actual service calls. It didn’t take long for Joel to realize “there had to be a way” to spend less time driving in the Mississippi heat and more time solving his clients’ problems.

Unable to find an existing solution that would allow him to access and manage his customers’ computers over the internet, Joel decided to take matters into his own hands and develop his own technology. Although he was still working his way through college, Joel spent many late nights coding and eating pizza to develop a functional remote support solution. Leveraging the solution he quickly doubled the number of customers he could support and cut his rather uncomfortable drive time in half. The instant success led him to believe there might be a market for his creation, so he made up a product brochure, launched a static web site and waited.

Much to his surprise, his wait was short as he quickly began receiving calls and orders for the product. After making $24,000 in less than two months, Joel was convinced he had uncovered a significant market opportunity, but knew he could not capitalize on the opportunity alone. He soon enlisted the assistance of two friends and fellow Resident Assistants from school: Nathan McNeill and Patrick Norman – both of whom he knew were smart, hardworking, dedicated problem solvers.

During the next decade, Bomgar’s founding trio successfully led the company from a college campus project to an industry leader. They credit the success to a discipline of focus and a set of core values based in Biblical principles.

In May of 2014, TA Associates, one of the largest and most experienced global growth private equity firms, announced a majority investment in Bomgar. Today, Bomgar serves more than 8,000 leading companies from diverse industries around the world. Bomgar is recognized by industry analysts, professional associations and industry publications for its award-winning Enterprise Remote Support Solutions, which have fundamentally changed how companies around the world deliver remote technical support. Bomgar customers have dramatically reduced costs and improved remote support efficiency while driving customer satisfaction to new levels.

Mississippi Cheese Straws

From the website of the Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory:

Founded in 1991 in Yazoo City, Mississippi, where the love of good food and hospitality run deep, Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory® began in the kitchen of the Yerger family with an heirloom family recipe for cheddar cheese straws. When Mom decided to apply her culinary genius in launching our business, she was inspired by the spirit of our dad, a man who loved life and loved good food.

Our mom has since created a variety of savory cheese-straw flavors, as well as creating the concept of the “cookie straw” to delight those who have a taste for the “sweeter things in life.” Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory’s delicious products are baked and shipped fresh daily from our family-owned bakery to thousands of stores and individuals nationally and internationally.

Our classic gourmet straws and cookies have become staples as gifts for every occasion — weddings, corporate events, holidays and more. They are also perfect to be enjoyed as a delectable indulgence — just for you!

Street Address:

Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory
741 E 8th Street
Yazoo City, Mississippi 39194

By EMail:

By Phone:

Fax 662-746-7162

Birthplace of Barq’s

From Wikipedia:

The Barq’s Brothers Bottling Company was founded in 1890 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, by Edward Charles Edmond Barq and his younger brother, Gaston. The Barq Brothers bottled carbonated water and various soft drinks of their own creation. Early on their most popular creation was an orange-flavored soda called Orangine, which won a gold medal at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois.

Edward Barq moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1897 with his new wife.

The following year he opened the Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works. 1898 is often given as the debut year for what was later to be known as “Barq’s root beer,” but some sources say this particular product was not produced until some two years later.

For many decades Barq’s was not marketed as a “root beer.” This was in part a desire to avoid legal conflict with the Hires Root Beer company, which was attempting to claim a trademark on the term “root beer.” It was also due to differences from other root beers at the time. The base was a sarsaparilla drink of the style of the late 19th century, in a formulation with caffeine, less sugar, and higher carbonation than other brands, though with less of a foamy “head.” It was decided to market the soft drink simply as Barq’s.

The traditional slogan was the simple affirmation “Drink Barq’s. It’s good.”

For a time it was marketed with the slogan “Is it root beer?” before the company decided to market the product as such.

The Barq’s brand was acquired by the Coca-Cola Company in 1995.

Make Mine Mississippi

From the Mississippi Department of Agriculture:

Agriculture, the number one industry in Mississippi , brings $6.3 billion to the state and employs, either directly or indirectly, approximately 29% of the state’s workforce. With approximately 42,000 farms statewide covering 11 million acres, agriculture makes significant contributions to all of Mississippi’s 82 counties.

The Market Development Division is dedicated to promoting and heightening the public’s awareness of Mississippi ‘s agriculture commodities and the farmers and ranchers who produce them. This is accomplished through participation in trade shows, conferences and fairs, international trade, presentations to schools and civic organizations, promotion of local farmers markets, contact with other agricultural organizations and commodity groups, and various other communication outlets.

Make Mine Mississippi Program Program Facts

  • The Make Mine Mississippi was launched April, 1999.
  • As of May, 2007 there are over 965 companies enrolled in the program.
  • Any manufacturer, processor, or producer that adds at least 51% of the value of a product in Mississippi is eligible to participate in the program.