Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Gravel Pit, Back When -- Updated

From the Cooper Postcard Collection at MDAH
I originally posted this as a Then and Now contrast, but learned in the dark of the night last night that the area I was thinking was THE gravel pit was not one and the same.

Note the post card brags that in its heyday, it was one of the world's largest gravel pits.

If anyone knows more of its history and who operated it, please feel free to leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.
Update I: After much debate on Facebook as to which gravel pit the above postcard represents, (whether it is off Nola Road toward Monticello or off Highway 51 North, just south of Wesson) I have decided to include the photograph of a gravel pit lake off Highway 51 North.

Update II: More debate and conclusion: My expert on this matter is convincing with his evidence that the gravel pit in the postcard is the one off Nola Road toward Monticello, as it is older and was served by rail lines that were incorporated in the late 1880s.  He also states that while the northern lake may be the larger body of water, the pit itself off Nola Road (which is northeast of town, as stated in Bobby Jones' book Mississippi Gumbo) was the bigger of the two operations.

Update III: I am told by my impeccable source that the gravel pit off Nola Road has been leased and has resumed operations as a gravel pit on a small scale.  That's good news!

Unfortunately, there is no Google Streetview of that gravel pit, so I'll leave it at that, with the admonition that the picture below is of a different gravel pit after all.
Snagged from Google Streetview, off Highway 51 North, just south of Wesson


  1. Dad belonged to Sportsman's Lake at the Gravel Pit northeast of Brookhaven. We fished, camped out and swam there in the 60's. I was told that the Maddux family had lived near there at one time. I have also been to the gravel pit area near Wesson.....not sure which one is depicted in the post card....though Daddy said the one east of town was biggest in the world at one time!!

  2. Hi, Bettie, yes, there was some confusion on the part of many, but thanks to help from John Case, we have determined that the postcard is most likely of the one east of town off Nola Road.