Meridian, Miss Meridian's Poplar Springs Drive Historic District in recent years has been the subject of much debate. If you drive down the long, winding road lined by historic Southern homes and beautiful trees and flowers, you'll notice more and more neglected properties, and the growth of a commerical district. But thanks to a very determined Girl Scout, and supportive neighbors, the historic area received something very special Monday.
City and EMBDC officials officially "cut" the ribbon for Meridian's Poplar Springs Drive Historic Walking Trail. It is about a mile long and has ten markers with important historic information included; information that you can access simply by swiping it with your smartphone. Seventeen-year-old Kate Johnson worked on the project for two years as her Girl Scout Gold project. Her mother, Sarah Johnson, says it's a great start to show the beauty of the district. "It increases everyone's awareness of the history that we have here in Meridian, and if we don't take care of it, we'll lose it," said Johnson. Her daughter Kate, had an innovative idea to tackle for the highest award in Girl Scouting. "My great grandmother lived here on this street for about 40 years, or something like that, and we now live in the same house, " said Kate. "It's been in the family the whole time. I feel like the walking tour is a way to show the community, and the history that's behind the community. "
Johnson heads up the Poplar Springs Historic Community Association. She says in recent years residents have teamed up to tackle commercial encroachment and property neglect. Johnson says the eclectic array of homes started popping up after World War One, and the neighborhood is too unique to let it decline.
"The architecture is incredibly unique. Most people who think about Southern architecture and Mississippi architecture, think of Antebellum homes," explained Johnson. "We don't have Antebellum homes, but we have a very eclectic mix of late century architecture. Mission-style architecture, Victorian architecture, Queen Ann. There are Colonials, there are Tudors. It's really amazing what we have in this little mile strip of houses."