Thursday, February 7, 2008
Rocky Mountain waiting to be enjoyed
Long ago one of the main attractions here was Rocky Mountain. Actually, its elevation is 658 feet above sea level and it’s one of the highest points around here, supposed to be one of the highest points between Chicago and New Orleans.
Since we aren’t situated on a river nor a big body of water, Rocky Mountain was quite a diversion in the late 1800s and early 1900s, people would bike to Rocky Mountain or lots of people walked to Rocky Mountain and would carry a picnic for an afternoon’s outing.
Walking was definitely in style as very few people had the newfangled automobile. A few may have used buggies or wagons but that entailed using the horses for the afternoon or day. On the top of the mountain was a breathtaking view of Holly Springs when I was last up there 65 years or more ago. I was probably not up there more than two or three times. The way it got its name was that it was covered in rocks. The only cave that I ever knew about located in Marshall County was up there but I wasn’t brave enough to spelunk the cave as I was mortally scared to death of spiders or snakes. The top of the cave was a layer of solid rock which was unusual for Mississippi but it seems there are lots of layers of sandstone on the big hills in North Mississippi.
However, Mississippi has less rocks than any other state besides Louisiana which hardly has any at all. Most of our rocks are sandstone that are hollow and easily crushed and not good for anything.
At the museum the late Hugh H. Rather who was always one of our best friends here at the museum gave us a stalactite that he took from the cave when he was a child. Originally, there was a house up there that burned and I don’t know the year nor who owned it but they were kin to Charles Dean.
When the Baptist Church bought Sue Burns’ house which was located on half the back parking lot in the back of the church, the antebellum house was moved to Rocky Mountain to save the structure but it was never renovated so I suppose it fell into disrepair and then fell down.
Today, the mountain sits there unloved and neglected and fallen into a wasteland but full of trees silently waiting for someone to reclaim it, to use it and enjoy it, for someone to build there and live there again. Such a place that would be to enjoy spring and summer or fall and winter. It must be magnificent when it snows all though I’ve never seen it from that angle.
When I was young, Boy Scouts would go there camping sometimes and maybe they have since; I don’t know. There are other high points in the county. One that is even higher is on the next ridge to the west of Rocky Mountain and it is called Rhine Mountain for the family named Rhine who used to live around there. One the very top of it is a cemetery and in the cemetery are Dr. Bobby Tyson’s grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Greene, the Raglands (Patti’s and Joanie’s kin) the McClatchys (C.B.’s kin) and others, the Talliaferros (Jones kin), Kizer (kin to Ki Jones).
The road up there has been cut off and someone built a house on it so to get there, you would have to go through the house, not a good idea. We had a tour up there a few years ago and Dr. Malcolm McAuley (Deaton’s son) of Tupelo owned it. He built a road up there and provided a wagon with a tractor to take us to the top of Rhine Mountain and from up there it was a promontory cliff on the south- western side just rising out of the field where that glacier left it a million years ago.
We had ridden up the back sloping side of the hill. We could see for miles to the west, to the south, and to the east (Byhalia, Waterford and Potts Camp. The view was incredible. It, too, was covered in rocks.
There are two other mountains both marked on our oldest map as being Indian Mounds. One is in the vicinity of Laws Hill and one is near Waterford. The Indians used them as ceremonial sites and may have built mounds on top of the two highest hills. They would be fun to explore but my days of exploring are becoming limited as all of my exploring buddies aren’t here anymore and the new ones don’t know what fun that is. They sadly think watching T.V. is more fun, but it isn’t.
Not long ago, I went exploring in Tennessee not far from here where dinosaur bones were found and found a rock that looks like a petrified turtle. Maybe it was. It can’t speak and I had to use my imagination, but it is a beautiful fossil.
Correction from last week:
There wasn’t a Super Bowl in Hawaii, it was an NFL meeting. The balloon rides were at another party in the summertime. And the sleigh was pulled by a tractor across the frozen lake, not ole Dobbin.
Please travel to Tunica to the four million dollar museum and see Melody Golding’s exhibit on Katrina. It is fabulous.
Melody’s entire exhibit is in this vast expanse, which used to be a cotton field.
Lucia Lynn wrote and sang the accompanying music to the exhibit, which consists of photos and a video that Melody is making into a documentary, to be viewed by the world.
The exhibit will only be there until April. Take your hankie!
• Eva Roman was so proud of her heritage. She was Gen. Hood’s niece. He was a very famous Confederate general.
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