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A road that settled Mississippi



Before Highway 84 in the 1800s, St. Stephens Road connected then-Mississippi capital Natchez to Fort St. Stephens in Alabama as the main wagon and trade route that settled Mississippi.

 

At the March Institute for Learning in Retirement luncheon, David Higgs, former Co-Lin humanities division chair, discussed the history and culture marks left on the road that brought the Scots-Irish peoples who populated to the Mississippi territory then mostly occupied by native Americans territories.  Trees, waterways, lakes, red bluffs and fertile field along the road made for a pleasant journey through what are now present-day Adams, Franklin, Lincoln, Lawrence, Jefferson Davis, Covington, Jones, and Wayne counties , Higgs said.

 

  Planning for the road dates to January 1809, when the Territorial General Assembly appointed three commissioners “to employ a fit person to open a road from Pearl river, where the present Choctaw boundary line crosses the same, the nearest and best way to the Chickasawhay river.” 

 

St. Stephens Road ran east and west as a main thoroughfare back in the early 1800s, and is responsible for many of the settlements that are still here today. 

 

A stage coach stop was located near the Old Brook settlement and is probably one of the reasons that Brookhaven exists today. People would stop on their way through to rest their oxen or horses and eventually many stayed.

 

St. Stephens Road was constructed between 1806 and 1811 and the opening of the road enabled safer travel through this area ceded by the Treaty of Mount Dexter. 




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