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Collection Title: Hattiesburg Department of Urban Development / Historic Preservation Planner

Accession Number: AM 99-111

Dates: 1991

Volume: .25 cu.ft.

Given By: Donated by Ms. Linda McMurtrey.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

The 1991 Hattiesburg Survey for the Department of Planning and Community Development/ Recreation of Hattiesburg, Mississippi was intended to identify historically and architecturally significant structures in three neighborhoods which met the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places. It was a joint effort of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Hattiesburg Historic Commission, and the City of Hattiesburg with its consultant Koch and Wilson Architects. The three neighborhoods targeted by the survey were North Main Street, Newman/Buschman Streets, and Mobile Street.

Mobile Street was the main street of a historically black neighborhood near downtown Hattiesburg. There were shops, restaurants, movie theaters, and a historic 1890's hotel, all aimed at black customers during the Jim Crow era when African Americans were denied access to racially segregated public accommodations. The Mobile Street businesses thrived with both local customers and black military personnel stationed at nearby Camp Shelby. Today, because of several floods and the success of the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties, most of the black-owned businesses of Mobile Street have closed and the buildings have been demolished.

The hotel, located at 507 Mobile Street and known as the Woods Guest House in the sixties, served during Freedom Summer 1964 as the headquarters for Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) staff as well as the headquarters of Hattiesburg native Mrs. Victoria Jackson Gray's campaign for the U.S. Senate on the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) ticket. The hotel was destroyed by fire in September 1998. The Masonic Lodge, at 522 Mobile Street, served as the sixties headquarters of the Hattiesburg Ministers Union, later Delta Ministry, an organization of pastors and rabbis under the National Council of Churches, which assisted local blacks to register to vote. In the front of the Lodge was the radio and television repair shop of local Civil Rights leader Mr. J.C. Fairley. The Lodge is still standing. Gone are most of the buildings on either side of the 500 block of Mobile Street, including the beauty salon of Mrs. Peggy Jean Connor, who served as Executive Secretary of the MFDP.

The collection includes:

  1. 1991 Hattiesburg Survey for the Department of Planning and Community Development/Recreation
  2. Photocopy of "Historic Hattiesburg: The History & Architecture of Hattiesburg's First Neighborhoods," prepared by the Hattiesburg Department of Planning and Community Development.

Related Collections:

Randall (Herbert) Freedom Summer Photographs
Woods Guest House/C.O.F.O.-Hattiesburg Headquarters Brick


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