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A Day in Mississippi 4/19/2021

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I woke up at the Quality Inn in Hattiesburg then went to McDonald's and ate in the car again. This is because they don't want to spend the money to clean their dining area. We headed next to Laurel, our first stop of the morning.

The highway on the way to Laurel on Interstate 59.

The Southern Railway station in Laurel built 1913. I drove us to the steam engine in town.

Illinois Central 0-6-0 286 in Daphne Park built 1914. We left Laurel and headed to Meridian.

The highway on the way to Meridian on Interstate 59 and first we went to Highland Park for the steam engine.

Meridian and Bigbee 2-8-0 116 built for the Susquehanna and New York Railroad in 1917.

Gulf, Mobile and Ohio caboose 2892, originally X187, built 1928.

The fashioned after the Meridian and Bigbee train station in Highland Park now the Jimmie Rodgers Museum.

Historical sign for Jimmie Rodgers. We went to downtown Meridian.

The Meridian Union Station is Amtrak's station in this city.

Southern Railway coach 660 built in 1927 owned by the Meridian Chapter NRHS.

Louisana & Arkansas 6157 "Miss Alva" orginally numbered 4127 "Monteith" built in 1911.

Meridian & Bigbee caboose 106.

Meridian Railroad Express Agency building.

The REA building plaque.

Meridian historical signs.

Meridian Union Station.

The tower of Meridian Union Station.

Meridian Union Station. We left here for Canton.

Life is a highway on Interstate 20.

Crossing Ross R. Barnett Reservoir on Mississippi Highway 43 on the way to Canton.

The Canton Illinois Central station built in 1879.

The plaque on the wall. We purposely drove through Vaughan looking for a Casey Jones wreck sign or plaque but could not find one. Elizabeth did some research on her phone and found there was a museum and plaque in Water Valley. First though, we drove over to West, Mississippi.

The highway to West.

The Illinois Central West station which used to be in Pickens but was moved to Vaughan. From from 1980 to 2004, it housed the Casey Jones Museum there. However, it was moved to West in 2008 after the town received a grant to relocate the station. This station was built in 1880.

The sign on the station at West. From here I drove us to Grenada.

The highway to Grenada.

The Mississippi Central/Mississippi and Tennessee Grenada station built in 1870.

The historical plaque about the depot. Two surprises awaited us here.

Helm Leasing GP-38-3 918, originally Penn Central 7795.

Grenada Railroad SD40-2 8148, originally Burlington Northern 8148. Our next stop was Water Valley.

The highway to Water Valley.

We stopped at the Casey Jones Museum in Water Valley.

Illinois Central caboose 9581.

The Water Valley Illinois Central station, built in 1858, home to the Casey Jones Museum run by the Lions Club.

The Casey Jones plaque.

Illinois Central banana car 50418.

Museum scene.

One last view of the Water Valley station. We next drove to Oxford and on the campus of Mississippi University, known as Ole Miss, where Archie Manning, the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, played during his college days.

The 1871 Illinois Central Oxford depot.

The historical sign.

The plaque on the wall. From here, we drove to Holly Springs.

The Mississippi Central Holly Springs station built in 1858. It was much larger and grander than we would have expected for a small town.

Mississippi Central GP16 1604, originally Charleston and West Carolina GP7 206.

Mississippi Central GP16 1605, originally Chicago and Eastern Illinois GP9 236.

Mississippi Central 1605 and 1604 at Holly Springs.

Mississippi Central CF7 488, originally Santa Fe F7 337L. We tried to find somewhere for dinner. The Huddle House was closed and there were no other options, we stopped at Subway which we took to our hotel. For some reason, there were no steakhouses or family restaurants open on a Monday in this part of the state, which we found very odd. We checked in to the Quality Inn and after dinner, we worked on the stories before calling it a night.