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The two RV Gypsies
walk around the town of Meridian, MS
September 1, 2017

USA state showing location of MississippiMS map showing location of Meridian

Meridian is the sixth largest city in Mississippi. It is the county seat of Lauderdale County and the principal city of the Meridian, Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area. Along major highways, the city is 93 miles east of Jackson, Mississippi; 154 miles southwest of Birmingham, Alabama; 202 miles northeast of New Orleans, Louisiana; and 231 miles southeast of Memphis, Tennessee.

Established in 1860, at the intersection of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and Southern Railway of Mississippi, Meridian's economy was built on the railways and goods transported on them, and it became a strategic trading center. During the American Civil War, General William Tacoma Sherman burned much of the city to the ground in the Battle of Meridian (February 1864).

Rebuilt after the war, the city entered a "Golden Age", as it become the largest city in Mississippi between 1890 and 1930, and a leading center for manufacturing in the South, with 44 trains arriving and departing daily. Union Station, (shown in the photos below) built in 1906, gives access to the Meridian Transit System, Greyhound Buses, and Trailways, averaging 242,360 passengers per year. Although the economy slowed with the decline of the railroad industry, the city has diversified, with healthcare, military, and manufacturing employing the most people in 2010.

Union Station

Union Station

Marion Franklin "Moe" Bandy, Jr. (born February 12, 1944) is a country music singer. He was most popular during the 1970s, when he had several hit songs, both alone and with his singing partner, Joe Stampley. Moe Bandy was born in Meridian. His grandfather worked on the railroads with Jimmie Rodgers, and was the boss of the railway yard in Meridian and Jimmie Rodgers worked for him.

sign about Moe Bandy

Below: bench placed in honor of Victims of Violent Crime.

bench placed in honor of Victims of Violent Crime

Below: Dedicated to Mississippians of Lauderdale County who made the supreme sacrifice while defending our constitution and freedom,

sacrifice monument

Below: A Civil War Monument

A Civil War Monument

Below: Carter, the monument has been a centerpiece of Meridian's downtown landscape since it was dedicated. The Meridian doughboy statue is the only one of its kind in Mississippi (unlike the ubiquitous Confederate memorials across the state). An intricate grilled door with a large American Legion emblem encloses the original plaque.

The Meridian doughboy statue

plaque for The Meridian doughboy statue

Meridian Rhythm and Blues and Soul Music sign

sign: Country Music comes of age

The city has been selected as the future location of the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center (MAEC). Jimmie Rodgers, the "Father of Country Music", was born in Meridian. Highland Park houses a museum which displays memorabilia of his life and career, as well as railroad equipment from the steam-engine era.

Elvis Presley palque

sign: Birthplace of Jimmie Rodgers

 Jimmie Rodgers plaque

Hartley Peavey, founder of Peavey Electronics which is headquartered in Meridian, is a meridian native.

Sela Ward was born in Meridian in 1956.

Hartley Peavey plaque

Sela Ward plaque

Marty Stuart plaque

Morgan Freeman plaque

Endora Welty plaque

William Faulkern plaque

Tennessee Williams plaque

B.B. King plaque

Mississippi arts  plaque

International Sweethearts of Rhythm plaque

Walter Anderson plaque

Moe Bandy plaque

Mac McAnally plaque

George Ohr plaque

Below: The two RV Gypsies entered Weidmann's, Mississippi's oldest restaurant, but it was too expensive for them.

Weidmann's, Mississippi's oldest restaurant

Weidmann's, Mississippi's oldest restaurant

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