County Road 11: Stonewall Museum

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STONEWALL, Miss. (WTOK) -- The town of Stonewall was once a thriving area with a cotton mill that produced much of the country's blue jean materials. The community is best known for the mill, but it also has a rich history in many other endeavors, and some are doing their best to keep those memories alive.

(Photo Source: WTOK-TV)

The Stonewall Museum pays homage to the city's rich history. It opened ten years ago and after a couple of moves, settled in its current location at the old Stonewall High School.

You will learn that the town once boomed with it's lifeblood coming from a cotton mill that operated from 1868 until closing in 2002.

"It could have been a great historical building, but it was torn down," said Jerry Rich, the mayor of Stonewall. "Part of it is still standing, and you can go down and see the old office and everything."

"It's very interesting to me, because I was never inside the cotton mill," said Lucy Rasco, the president of the Stonewall Historical Society. "My daddy worked there, but I was never inside the cotton mill."

Another prominent feature of the museum is honoring great sports teams, and athletic heroes from days gone by.

"Back in the days, they had a semi-pro team here and Erwin Mills sponsored them," said Rich. "Then we went from that when school got here to football, baseball, basketball. We were a member of the old Rebel Conference. I don't know if people remember that."

But it all goes back to the mill as this tiny town continues to recover from its closing some 17 years ago. There are signs of a rebirth with development in some in the downtown district. But whatever the future holds, folks around these parts are fixtures, and are very proud of its past.

"At one time, all the blue jean material was manufactured at this cotton mill," said Rasco.

"I'll be 76 years old in November," said Rich. "I have never left Stonewall except when I had to be activated to go to Desert Storm."

The Stonewall Museum, linking a bustling industrial past to a hopeful economic future in rural Clarke County.

The Stonewall museum is located at 801 Erwin Avenue.

It's open to the public on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons.

For tours and more information, call (601) 659-7033