Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Jewell of a Building -- Updated

The Jewell Campbell Building
From the C.W. Witbeck Collection at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.  
The date is recorded as March 19, 1951.  

The building today.  Photo courtesy of Marti Parker.  For years it was the home of MP&L. Today is it houses Center Point Entergy.

UPDATE: This building is located on South Railroad Avenue and was originally home to the town's first Coca-Cola Bottling Company.  (Jewell Campbell, a builder and developer and owner of Dixie Lumber Co., served as Mayor of Brookhaven from 1949 to 1953.)

I learned of the building's original use when I happened to be flipping through Durr Walker's history book on Lincoln County when I noticed a photograph on page 78, depicting the Ulmer Company in the same location with the same sign on the building front as shown in the second photo here.

Next to Ulmer Company is a mule-drawn wagon loaded with Coca-Cola cases, standing in front of a transom-windowed building with Coca Cola signs and logos covering much of the front upper facade.  The caption identifies it as the town's first Coca Cola bottling plant.  The photo was taken in the 1940s, and the wagon was being used because of gas-rationing during WWII.

Below is a rather poor photograph I took of a picture hanging in the rear room of the Iron Horse restaurant, run by Gregg Woodcox. It is labeled circa 1920.


  1. I am not certain, but the middle pic with the Ulmer Print Shop brings my attention to the pipes on the ground in front of the small hedge in the foreground. I believe that is the small lot of land in front of the Trustmark Bank branch, just east of the railroad track on North Railroad Ave. The buildling would be south of the Daily Leader offices, facing the tracks. I do remember a print shop being there when I was a kid, and Mr. Case's TV Repair Shop was maybe in that white building just north of the print shop.

  2. Pretty sure this bldg is on east side of S. Railroad Ave. just before intersection with E. Chickasaw St. The bldg to right of Campbell bldg was later razed and the land was unofficial parking lot. I think insurance offices were later located in Campbell bldg.

  3. Hmm.. Others have suggested the same thing as Jldel. I did a Google Street View drive by today and the building on S. Railroad, just before E. Chickasaw, pretty much matches up, except I detect steps there today that I do not seem to see in this picture.

    I am hoping that once Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac leaves the region that I can get the attention of Mr. Campbell's daughter and ask her for the definitive answer.

    Thanks to everyone who offered up suggestions as to the location.

  4. I absolutely stand corrected. Jldel is correct, it is on the South end of Railroad Ave. Does anyone remember the gas utility office where the gas bills were paid and water heaters were sold? Is that what was in that building at one time, back around the 60s?

  5. I don't, but surely wish I did. :))

  6. The Campbell building is Centerpoint Energy where gas bills are indeed paid! Its look has not changed much in several decades though I believe Sukie is correct about there being steps. Standing on these steps and looking toward the RR tracks you would be looking at the back of the Foster-Smith log cabin on the other side of the tracks.

    1. Yes the gas company office. is a current view.