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Meridian, Mississippi

Meridian, Mississippi
Meridian, Mississippi FIPS code GNIS feature ID Website 28-46640 0673491

Nickname(s): Queen City

Location of Meridian in Lauderdale County

Coordinates: 32°22′29″N 88°42′15″W / 32.37472°N 88.70417°W / 32.37472; -88.70417 Country State County Founded Incorporated Government - Mayor Area - Total - Land - Water Elevation Population (2000) - Total - Density Time zone - Summer (DST) ZIP code(s) Area code(s) United States Mississippi Lauderdale 1854 February 10, 1860 John Robert Smith 45.9 sq mi (118.8 km2) 45.1 sq mi (116.9 km2) 0.8 sq mi (1.9 km2) 344 ft (105 m) 39,968 153.1/sq mi (396.5/km2) CST (UTC-6) CDT (UTC-5) 39301-39307 601

Meridian is a city in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, United States. The city is the county seat of Lauderdale County, the sixth largest city in Mississippi,[1] and the principal city of the Meridian, Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area. The city’s 38,314 inhabitants, as reported in the 2007 United States Census estimates, are governed by a city council headed by Mayor John Robert Smith. The city is located 93 mi (150 km) east of Jackson, MS; 154 mi (248 km) west of Birmingham, AL; 202 mi (325 km) northeast of New Orleans, LA; and 231 mi (372 km) southeast of Memphis, TN.[2] Meridian has a rich past and deep roots in railroading history. Established in 1860 at the intersection of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and Southern Railway of Mississippi, the city relied heavily on the rails and goods transported on them.[3] The city’s historic Amtrak station now provides several other modes of transportation including the Meridian Transit System, Greyhound Buses, and Trailways, averaging 242,360 passengers per year.[4][5] During the American Civil War much of the city was burned to the ground by General William Tecumseh Sherman in the Battle of Meridian.[6] After the war, the city was rebuilt and entered a "Golden Age." Between 1890 and 1930, Meridian was the largest city in Mississippi and a leading center for manufacturing in the South.[7] During this time, many of the sites and buildings in the city’s nine registered historic districts were built, and most still survive today.[8] Since the 1950s, the city’s population has been declining,[9] but the decline has slowed somewhat after an annexation in 2006[10] and the influx of displaced coastal residents after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.[11] The reason for the population decline lies in the city’s struggle to create a modern economy based on newer industries after the decline of the railroad industry.[8] In 2003, Mainstreet


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Meridian intensified the economic revitalization by launching its "Vision 2003" program, attempting to restore downtown to its original prosperity.[12]

Meridian, Mississippi
new development on their respective land sections. Ball erected a small wooden station house on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad named Sowashee Station by the owners of the railroad after the nearby Sowashee Creek. Fierce competition continued between Ball and Ragsdale; Ragsdale wanted to name the new settlement Ragsdale City, and Ball (along with most citizens) supported Meridian.[15] When the Southern Railway of Mississippi intersected the Mobile and Ohio in Meridian, William Crosby Smedes, the president of the Southern Railway, sided with Ball and suggested to the owners of the Mobile and Ohio that Sowashee be renamed Meridian. The Mobile and Ohio accepted the name, and the town was officially incorporated as Meridian on February 10, 1860.[13][15]


A monument in Rose Hill Cemetery honoring Lewis A. Ragsdale, one of the founders of Meridian. Originally inhabited by the Choctaw Native Americans, the area which is now called Meridian was purchased by the United States under the terms of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830.[7] After the treaty was ratified, European-American settlers officially began to move into the area after decades of squatting. Richard McLemore, the first settler of Meridian,[7] began offering free land to newcomers in order to attract more settlers to the region and develop the area.[8] Most of Richard McLemore’s land was bought by Lewis A. Ragsdale, a lawyer from Alabama, in 1853. John T. Ball, a merchant from Kemper County, bought the remaining 80 acres.[13] Ragsdale and Ball, now known as the founders of the city,[14] began to compete with each other by laying out lots for

Union General William Tecumseh Sherman invaded Meridian in 1864 When the American Civil War began in 1861, Meridian was a small village. The town’s strategic position at the railroad junction led to the construction of several military installations for the war.[13] During the Battle of Meridian in 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman led troops into the city, destroying the railroads and burning much of the area to the ground. After the destruction of the city, Sherman is reported to have said,


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"Meridian with its depots, store-houses, arsenal, hospitals, offices, hotels, and cantonments no longer exists."[6] Despite the destruction, the railroad lines in the city were repaired only 26 working days after the battle.[7] The town experienced a boom in the aftermath of the Civil War and entered a "Golden Age" around the turn of the 20th century. The railroads in the area provided for a means of transportation and an influx of industries, which caused a population boom.[8] Between 1890 and 1930 Meridian was the largest city in Mississippi and a leading center for manufacturing in the South.[7] Industry profits helped finance the construction of most of the city’s major buildings, including the Grand Opera House in 1890, the Wechsler School in 1894, two Carnegie libraries in 1913, and the Threefoot Building, Meridian’s tallest skyscraper, in 1929.[7] The city’s population continued to climb until it peaked in the 1950s. The decline of the railroad industry caused significant job losses, resulting in a population decline as workers left for other areas. The population has since continued to decrease as the city has struggled to create a modern economy based on newer industries.[8] During the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, Meridian was a major center of organizing and activism. James Chaney and other local residents, along with Michael and Rita Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, volunteers from the North, worked on creating a community center to help prepare African Americans in the area to regain the power to vote.[16] Whites in the area didn’t agree with the activism, and racial tension often translated to violence. In June 1964 Chaney, Schwerner, and Goodman went to Neshoba County, Mississippi to meet with members of a black church which had been bombed and burned. The three young men disappeared that night on their way back to Meridian,[16] and their bodies were discovered two months later. Seven Klansmen were convicted for the murders and three were acquitted in the Mississippi civil rights workers murders trial.[17] In 2005 the case was reopened, and Edgar Ray Killen was convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison.[18] Meridian later honored Chaney by renaming a portion of 49th Ave after him and holding a memorial service annually.[19]

Meridian, Mississippi

Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner

Meridian’s Grand Opera House, renovated in 2006 To try to revamp the economy, Meridian is undergoing a major gentrification effort. The project owes its beginning to the construction of a new Amtrak Station in 1997, which sparked a citywide effort to restore downtown to its lively prosperity of the early 20th century.[3] After the Rosenbaum Building was renovated and reopened 2001 and


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Weidmann’s restaurant reopened in 2002,[20] Mainstreet Meridian launched a program called "Vision 2003," prioritizing the continued revitalization of downtown. Mainstreet Meridian, along with The Riley Foundation, helped renovate the historic Grand Opera House in 2006 into the "Mississippi State University Riley Center for Education and the Performing Arts." A 6-story parking garage, built to provide parking for the future Riley Center, opened in 2005.[12][20] Plans are now underway to renovate the Threefoot Building into an upscale hotel before the end of 2009.[21] Many more projects have been designed and proposed in the city, including bridge improvements in several locations, the construction of several museums in downtown, an African-American Business District on 5th Street, as well as several murals and public arts projects on various buildings’ facades.[22] Mainstreet Meridian also plans to increase residential housing and create more night time activities in downtown. More downtown property and business owner involvement is also encouraged.[12]

Meridian, Mississippi
1 East End Historic District — roughly bounded by 18th St, 11th Ave, 14th St, 14th Ave, 5th St, and 17th Ave. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 21, 1987. Its significance lies in its large collection of late 19th and early 20th century Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style cottages built during Meridian’s "Golden Age." 2 Highlands Historic District — bounded by 15th St, 34th Ave, 19th St, and 36th Ave.[8] The district grew from the introduction of Meridian’s light rail streetcar system in 1883. The streetcar line began on 8th Street, continued up 34th Avenue, then turned west between 19th and 20th Streets and continued into Highland Park, just outside the western boundary of the district. The streetcar line provided transportation in and to the area that allowed it to develop. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 21, 1987. 3 Meridian Downtown Historic District — runs from railroad tracks north to 6th St between 18th and 26th Ave, excluding Ragsdale Survey Block 71. The district is actually a combination of two older districts, Meridian Urban Center Historic District and Union Station Historic District. In 2005, Meridian’s city council voted to combine these two districts into one large district. The new district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 16, 2007. 4 Meridian Urban Center Historic District — roughly bounded by 21st and 25th Aves, 6th St, and the former Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 18, 1979. In 1872, the streets in this district were beginning to develop around the new railroads. The rails provided economic success in the area, which resulted in a large range of late 19th and early 20th Century architectural styles including Italianate row buildings and an Art Deco skyscraper known as the Threefoot Building. The Urban Center Historic District was combined with the Union Station Historic District in 2005 and became the Meridian Downtown Historic District. 5 Union Station Historic District — roughly bounded by 18th and 19th Aves, 5th St, and the former Gulf, Mobile and

Historic Districts
Meridian contains nine registered historic districts illustrating the city’s rich history. One district, the Meridian Downtown Historic District, is a combination of two older districts, the Meridian Urban Center Historic District and the Union Station Historic District. Many architectural styles are present in the districts, most from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Italianate, Art Deco, Late Victorian, and Bungalow. The districts are:[23][24]


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Ohio Railroad. Originally added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 as the Meridian Depot District, the district contains Union Station, Terminal Hotel, General Supply Co., and the Soule’ Steam Feed complex. Before 1905, this area was primarily residential, but the construction of the Union Station in 1905-1906 led to the development of this area in business and industry. The name change occurred in 2000, after completion of the renovated Union Station Multi-Modal Transportation Facility. The Union Station Historic District was combined with the Urban Center Historic District in 2005 and became the Meridian Downtown Historic District.

Meridian, Mississippi
Mississippi’s railroad economy. The district has a large percentage of brick structures, built as an alternative to the wooden frame residences made popular by the lumber industry and mills in Meridian. 8 Poplar Springs Road Historic District — roughly bounded by 29th St, 23rd Ave, 22nd St, and 29th Ave. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 21, 1987. It is a collection of residences representing the prosperity of Meridian at the turn of the 20th century and pre-Depression era. The district developed around Poplar Springs Road (now Poplar Springs Drive), at the time a winding country road leading into the north of the city. Hundreds of shade trees were planted and still contribute to the streetscape of the Poplar Springs Historic District. 9 West End Historic District — roughly bounded by 7th St, 28th Ave, Shearer’s Branch, and 5th St. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. It presents continuous streetscapes of historic buildings built during this time period. The period of significance for West End dates from 1870 to 1936, representing the rise of Meridian from its destruction during the American Civil War to the position of Mississippi’s largest city. The steady growth of Meridian’s economy during this time made possible the expansion of this district.

Merrehope Historical Home 6 Merrehope Historic District — bounded by 33rd Ave, 30th Ave, 14th St, and 8th St. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 19, 1988. Following the Civil War, Meridian’s economy boomed through railroading, logging and textile enterprises. As Meridian began to grow northward, so did the need for housing. The housing development period for this district was late 1860 through 1940. 7 Mid-Town Historic District — bounded by 23rd Ave, 15th St, 28th Ave, and 22nd St. The district is a collection of architectural and historically important 20th Century residences representing the houses of Meridian’s wealthy industrialists, professionals and merchants, as well as the working class. Because of this historic architecture, the district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 21, 1987. The homes in the district are associated with Meridian’s rapid growth at the beginning of the century, when the city was the center of


City Hall before restoration efforts Meridian has operated under the mayorcouncil or "strong mayor" form of government since 1985.[25] A mayor is elected every four years by the population at large, and the five members of the city council are elected


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
City of Meridian Population by year[1][36] Year 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Population 42,017 41,993 41,937 42,117 42,016 42,013 42,075 41,720 41,330 41,266 ±% -.06% -.13% +.43% -.24% -.01% +.15% -.84% -.93% -.15% Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Population 39,877 39,392 39,301 39,204 38,746 38,490 38,251 38,314

Meridian, Mississippi

±% -3.37% -1.22% -0.23% -0.25% -1.17% -0.66% -0.62% +0.16%

every four years from each of the city’s five wards. The mayor, the chief executive officer of the city, is responsible for administering and leading the day-to-day operations of city government. The city council is the legislative arm of the government, setting policy and annually adopting the city’s operating budget.[26] City Hall is located at 601 24th Avenue, and since September 13, 2007, the building has been undergoing a restoration to its original 1915 appearance. Temporary City Hall is located at 2412 7th Street.[27] The current mayor, John Robert Smith (R), has been in office since 1993 and has been recognized as an arts leader throughout the city and state,[28] working on projects such as the restoration of Meridian’s Grand Opera House, the future Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Center, upkeep and improvement of Bonita Lakes Park, the building of Bonita Lakes Mall, and development and construction of the Union Station multi-modal transportation center.[29] He is also co-chairman of the National Forum on the Future of Passenger Rail, a member of Amtrak’s board of directors, and a member of the transportation committees of the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.[30] The current members of the city council are Dr. George M. Thomas, representative of Ward 1 and Vice-President of the council, Mary A.B. Perry, representative from Ward 2, Barbara Henson, representative from Ward 3, Jesse E. Palmer, Sr., representative from Ward 4 and President of the council, and John C. Harris, representative from Ward 5. The council clerk is Pam McInnis.[26]

The Mississippi Senate district map divides the city into three sections.[31] The northern tip of the city is in the 31st State Senate District and seats Terry Clark Burton (R). A strip of the city from the southwest corner up to the northeast corner resides in the 32nd State Senate District and seats Sampson Jackson, II (D). The western and southeastern portions of the city lie in the 33rd State Senate District and seat Videt Carmichael (R).[32] In the Mississippi House of Representatives districts, the city is divided into four districts.[33]The southern and eastern portions of the city reside in House District 81 and is represented by Steven A. Horne (R). The city’s core makes up the entirety of House District 82 and is represented by Charles L. Young, Sr. (D). Surrounding House District 82 is House District 83, represented by Greg Snowden (R). The western section of the city, along with a small section in the north, lie in House District 84 and are represented by Tad Campbell (R).[34]

The city is located in Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district and represented by Gregg Harper (R), who has been in office since 2009. Lauderdale County, home to Meridian, has voted for the Republican party in the past four elections, as has the state as a whole.[35]

As of the census of 2000,[37] the city’s population was 39,968 people. Since then, the


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population has continued to slowly decline, as was the trend in the preceding years. Of the 17,890 housing units inside city limits, 15,966 were occupied, 10,026 of them by families. The population density was 885.9 inhabitants per square mile (342.0 /km²). Out of the 15,966 occupied households, 31.1% had children under the age of 18, 36.2% were married couples living together, 23.3% consisted of a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.06. The racial makeup of the city was 54.37% African American, 43.99% White, 0.60% Asian, 0.17% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.08% of the population. The city’s African American majority places it on a small list of such places. The median income for a household in the city was $25,085, and the median income for a family was $31,062. Males had a median income of $29,404 versus $19,702 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,255. About 24.6% of families and 28.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.8% of those under age 18 and 22.0% of those age 65 or over.

Meridian, Mississippi
The natural terrain of the area has been modified in the urban core of the city by grading, but it maintains its gentle rolling character in the outlying areas. Numerous small creeks are found throughout the city and small lakes and woodlands lie in the northern and southern portions of the city.[8] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.9 sq mi (118.9 km2), of which 45.1 sq mi (116.8 km2) is land and 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2) is water.

Meridian is in the Humid subtropical climate zone. The average high temperature during summer months (June through August) is around 90 °F (32 °C) and the average low temperature is around 70 °F (21 °C). In winter months (December through February) the average high temperature is around 60 °F (16 °C) and the average low temperature is around 35 °F (2 °C). The warmest month of the year is July with an average high temperature of 92.9 °F (33.8 °C), and the coldest month of the year is January with an average low temperature of 34.7 °F (1.5 °C). The average annual precipitation in the city is 58.65 in (148.97 cm). Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, and the wettest month of the year is March in which an average of 6.93 in (17.60 cm) of rain falls.[40]. The Meridian area can sometimes experience severe Thunderstorms which produce strong winds, large hail and sometimes a tornado .

Meridian is located at 32°22′29″N 88°42′15″W / 32.37472°N 88.70417°W / 32.37472; -88.70417 (32.374841, [38] in the North Central Hills re-88.704160) gion of the state. The city is 93 mi (150 km) (1.5 hours) east of Jackson, MS; 154 mi (248 km) (2 hours) west of Birmingham, AL; 202 mi (325 km) (3 hours) northeast of New Orleans, LA; 231 mi (372 km) (4 hours) southeast of Memphis, TN; and 297 mi (478 km) (5 hours) west of Atlanta, GA.[2] The region’s geology consists of sands and clays from the paleocene and eocene epochs and soil in the ultisol order.[39] The area surrounding the city is covered with cotton and corn fields along with oak and pine forests, and its topography consists of clay hills and the bottom lands of the head waters of the Chickasawhay River.[13]

In Meridian’s early days, the economy depended greatly upon the railroads in the area. The city was the largest in Mississippi at the turn of the 20th Century with five major rail lines and 44 trains coming in and out of the city daily.[3] The city’s economy not only depended on the rails but the goods, such as timber and cotton, transported on them. With these rail-based industries, the city was a great economic power in the state and region between 1890 and 1930.[7] Though its economy slowed with the decline of the railroading industry in the 1950s, the city has adapted, moving from a largely rail-based economy to a very diverse one. The city’s 178 healthcare and social assistance


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Industries in Meridian, Mississippi[42] Industry Type Healthcare & social assistance Retail trade Manufacturing Food services Waste management, & remediation service Wholesale trade Administrative & support Information Professional, scientific, & technical services Accommodation Arts, entertainment, & recreation Rental & leasing Real estate Educational services Other institutions contribute greatly to its economy by providing 5,698 jobs to residents of Meridian and the surrounding area. Retail is another major employer in the city, with 378 institutions employing 4,892 people.[42] Nearly $2 billion annually is spent on retail purchases in the city.[43] The city is also home to two military facilities, Naval Air Station Meridian and Key Field, which supply more than 4,000 jobs to the city’s residents.[44] Peavey Electronics Corporation, which has manufactured guitars, amplifiers, and sound equipment since 1965, operates its headquarters in the city. Other businesses in the area include Avery Dennison, Structural Steel Services, Sara Lee, Tower Automotive, and Teikuro Corporation. The city is also home to four industrial parks. New businesses in the city are expected to bring in more than $250 million in new investments and add around 670 jobs.[44] Phase I of the construction of Meridian Crossroads, a shopping center in the Bonita Lakes area of the city, was completed in November 2007. The completion of Phase I has provided a major boost to retail in the area, and Phase II is projected to boost the region’s economy even more.[22] Institutions 178 378 54 107 54 74 51 32 118 21 16 25 40 8 129

Meridian, Mississippi

Employees 5,698 4,892 2,493 2,446 2,074 1,692 1000-2499 573 500-999 295 157 132 97 20-99 649

In downtown, the MSU Riley Center provides revenue from tourism, arts, and entertainment sales. The Riley Center attracted almost 63,000 visitors in its second season in 2007.[22]


Meridian’s Amtrak Station. Amtrak’s Crescent line connects Meridian with the cities of New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore,


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Meridian, Mississippi

Interstate Highways Interstate 20, runs west to Jackson, Mississippi and east to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Interstate 59, joining with I-20 in the city, runs north to Tuscaloosa, Alabama and south to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and New Orleans. An addition to Interstate 85 is planned, and will terminate just across the Alabama state line from the city through Demopolis and Selma, Alabama to Montgomery.[45]

U.S. Highways U.S. Highway 11 runs parallel to Interstate 59. U.S. Highway 45 runs north to Columbus, Mississippi and south to Quitman, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama. U.S. Highway 80 runs west to Jackson, Mississippi and east to Demopolis, Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama.

State Highways Mississippi Highway 19 Mississippi Highway 39 Mississippi Highway 145 Mississippi Highway 493 Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; and New Orleans, Louisiana. The Amtrak Station (also called Meridian Multi-Modal Transportation Center and locally Union Station) is located at 1901 Front Street, part of the Meridian Downtown Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally built in 1906 but later demolished in 1966 and rebuilt in 1997, the station includes several modes of passenger transportation including the Meridian Transit System, AMTRAK, Norfolk Southern rail corridor, Greyhound Buses, Trailways and other providers of transit services. The number of passengers on Amtrak trains, Greyhound buses, and Meridian Transit System buses averages 242,360 per year.[5] before the Great Depression. During the Depression, residents of the city contemplated abandoning the airport because of the cost of maintenance, but in 1935 Brothers Fred and Al Key, managers of the airport, thought of a way to keep the airport operating. From June 4 until July 1, 1935, the brothers flew over the city in their plane, the "Ole Miss." The record they established in their 27 days aloft, totaling 653 hours and 34 minutes, attracted enough publicity and funds to the city to keep the airport running. Key Field is therefore named after the brothers, whose flight endurance record remains unbroken in conventional flight. The airport offers 4 non-stop daily flights to Atlanta via Delta Connection, operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines in Atlanta, Georgia.

Air Transportation
The town is served by Meridian Regional Airport, located at Key Field, 2811 Airport Boulevard South, 3 mi (4.8 km) southwest of the city. The airport opened in 1930, just


Meridian is home to two post-secondary educational institutions. Meridian Community College is located at 910 Highway 19 N and


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Name The Meridian Star Memo Digest East MS Business Journal Mississippi Business Journal Online Name WTOK WTOK-DT2 WTOK-DT3 WMAW-TV WMDN WGBC W47CG WIIQ Programming ABC Affiliate Fox Meridian Meridian’s CW Public Broadcasting CBS Affiliate NBC Affiliate TBN Affiliate Public Broadcasting Published daily weekly monthly daily online Analog 11 — — 14 24 30 47 49

Meridian, Mississippi
Website UHF Digital 49.1 49.2 49.3 44.1 26.1 30.1 — 19.1

VHF Digital 11.1 11.2 11.3 14.1 — — — —

offers free tuition for four semesters to graduates from the Meridian Public and Lauderdale County School Districts as well as homeschooled children who reside inside Lauderdale County.[46] Mississippi State University also operates a campus in the city. Seven hundred sixty-three students from 33 counties throughout the state and several in Alabama attend the college.[47] The city’s youth attend schools in the Meridian Public School District, which includes 7 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 2 junior high schools, and 2 high schools.[48] Some children in the city limits attend schools in the Lauderdale County School District as well. The city also contains several private schools including Calvary Christian School, Lamar School, Russell Christian Academy, and St. Patrick’s Catholic School.

The headquarters of Meridian’s primary newspaper, The Meridian Star

Sites of Interest
Around Town Carousels Abound[1] is a public arts project of 62 carousel horses, representing the historic Dentzel Carousel in Highland Park (see below). Sixty-two pieces have been sponsored by local businesses and citizens, and design of the horses was conceived and painted by local artists. They are placed throughout the city and county.[49] Bonita Lakes is a city-owned, 3,300 acre (13 km²) park including three lakes. The park also includes the Long Creek Reservoir and Lakeview Municipal Golf Course, along with nature trails, a jogging and walking track, biking paths, horseback riding trails, pavilions, picnic facilities, boat ramps, paddle boats, concessions, and fishing. The site is also the possible future home of the

Media and Publishing
Newspapers, Magazines, and Journals Television Radio


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
FM Call sign WKZB WJXM WZKR WUCL WMSO WLKO WOKK WJDQ WMLV WMAW-FM AM Call sign WFFX WMER WNBN WMOX WALT WSJC WYLS Frequency 1450 1390 1290 1010 910 810 670 Website Genre Sports Gospel Gospel Talk Talk Religious, Talk Frequency 106.9 105.7 103.3 102.1 101.3 98.9 97.1 95.1 93.5 88.1 Website Genre

Meridian, Mississippi

Classic rock, 60s, 70s, 80s Hip-hop, R&B Country Classic Country Country Christian Contemporary Country Top 40 Adult Contemporary Public Radio

Urban Contemporary Gospel The Causeyville General Store opened in 1895 as a general store and gristmill. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has many original fixtures and demonstrations of the working gristmill. It is also the home of Meridian’s Mechanical Musical Museum, one of the most popular attractions in the area.[4] Different Seasons[4], formerly known as Crossroads, is one of the gay bars featured in the Kevin Smith (executive producer)/Malcolm Ingram (director) film Small Town Gay Bar and one of only 6 gay bars in Mississippi.[51] Dunn’s Falls[5] is a 65 ft (19.8 m) waterfall created in the mid 1850s by John Dunn, an Irish immigrant,[52] once used as a power source for a gristmill and the manufacture of Stetson hats. The park is a natural wildlife refuge including a picnic area with barbecue grills, a gristmill pond, several campsites, and hiking and swimming areas. The Frank W. Williams Home, built in 1886, is a fine example of the Queen Anne style of residential architecture, with stained glass, oak paneling, parquet floors and

Upper lake at Bonita Lakes park Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center[2] (pending government legislature for funding). Besides the lakes, the Bonita Lakes area includes Bonita Lakes Mall[3], Bonita Lakes Crossing, and Bonita Lakes Plaza. The 633,685 sq ft (58,871 m2)[50] mall offers over 100 shopping venues, including department stores, specialty shops, restaurants, eateries, and United Artists Theatres.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Meridian, Mississippi
theater, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1923 in the Moorish Revival style by the Hamasa Shrine and leased to the Saenger Theater chain in 1927. Saenger originally leased the building for 25 years and renewed for an additional 20, ending in 1972.[53] With seating for 1800 persons, the silent movie era was a prosperous time for the Temple. At the time, it was one of the largest stages in the United States, second only to the Roxy Theater in New York City.

Frank W. Williams Home detailed gingerbread. Many original features and antique furnishings are in the home. The house is located at 905 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Drive on the same lot at the Merrehope Historical Home.[4] Merrehope is a stately 20-room Victorian mansion, restored and furnished by the Meridian Restorations Foundation, Inc. Originally, part of the home was used as headquarters for Confederate General Leonidas Polk and was spared by Union General William T. Sherman and his troops when they attacked the city during the Civil War and burned much of it to the ground.[4] The home is located at 905 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Drive on the same lot as the Frank Williams Home and is one of few homes in Meridian that remained standing after Sherman’s raid during the Civil War.[6] The city’s former Grand Opera House, renovated in September 2006, is remarkable for being preserved to its original beauty while incorporating the latest in modern technology and amenities. The Grand Opera House and the adjacent Marks-Rothenberg Department store were built in 1889 by two half brothers, Israel Marks and Levi Rothenberg. In addition to the extensive theater renovation, the department store was completely transformed into a state-of-the-art conference facility. Together the theater and conference space currently make up the Mississippi State University Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts[6], owned and operated by Mississippi State UniversityMeridian Campus.[7] The Hamasa Shrine Temple Theater houses a 778-pipe organ, the equivalent of a 100-piece symphony orchestra, one of two organs of its kind known to exist. This beautiful

Dentzel Carousel in Highland Park Highland Park houses a Jimmie Rodgers museum which displays the original guitar of "The Singing Brakeman" and other memorabilia of his life and career, as well as railroad equipment from the steam-engine era. In addition to the museum building itself, there are outside memorials, and a vintage steam locomotive on display. Highland park also houses a 19th century carousel manufactured around 1895 by Gustav Dentzel of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Highland Park Dentzel Carousel has been in operation since 1909, is a National Historic Landmark, and is the world’s only two-row stationary Dentzel menagerie in existence. Original oil paintings of museum quality adorn the top crown of the carousel, and all 28 animals and 2 chariots on the carousel are meticulously hand-carved of bass and poplar wood and have recently been restored to their original beauty. The Dentzel Carousel arrived in Meridian in 1909 and has since occupied the same location in Highland Park. Its house, also a National Historic Landmark, is the only remaining original carousel building built from a Dentzel blueprint.[8] Key Field is the site of the famous flight by brothers Fred and Al Key ("The Flying


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Keys") which set a world endurance flight record in 1935. At 12:32 p.m. on June 4, 1935, brothers Al and Fred Key lifted off in their Curtis-Robbins monoplane, the "Ole Miss," from Meridian’s airport. The record they established in their 27 days aloft, totaling 653 hours and 34 minutes, remains unbroken in conventional flight. Working with other Meridianites such as A.D. Hunter and James Keeton, the Key brothers devised a workable method of air-to-air refueling in order to attempt this feat.[54] Because of that, Key Field is now home to the 186th Air Refueling Wing and the 185th Army Aviation Support Facility, both of the Air National Guard. The site also contains an exhibit reviewing the history of aviation, and is the home of Meridian’s Aviation Museum. Lake Okatibbee[9] is a 4,144 acre (Land area 7,150 acres)[55] lake which offers boating, fishing, swimming, water, skiing, picnicking, hunting, hiking and camping. Splashdown Country Water Park, a 25-room motel, and cabins are located on the lake. The project was authorized by Congress in 1962 primarily for flood reduction on 26,000 acres (110 km2) of residential, industrial and agricultural lands along the upper Chickasawhay River and Okatibbee Creek. Loeb’s Department Store has remained a Mississippi clothing landmark, having passed through four generations of family ownership. Loeb’s has been selling fine men’s and women’s clothing since 1887, when the store was first opened by Alex Loeb.[56] Meridian Crossroads[10] is a 375,000 sq ft (34,800 m2)[43] plaza with many shopping and dining centers. The center is located off exit 154B on Interstate 20 and includes over 30 tenants, including Best Buy, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Lane Bryant, Rue 21, Ross Stores Inc., Petco, LifeWay Christian Bookstore, and Books-A-Million, along with Olive Garden, Chili’s, and Outback Steakhouse. The Meridian Little Theatre[11], one of the South’s oldest subscription-based community theatres, was established in 1932 and currently provides entertainment to residents and visitors to Meridian and Lauderdale County, welcoming over 22,000 theatre-goers each season (October through May), making it Mississippi’s largest community theatre.[57] In 1973, the original theatre

Meridian, Mississippi

Meridian Little Theatre burned to the ground and was reconstructed in 1977.[58] The Meridian Museum of Art[12] originally served as home of the First Presbyterian Church of Meridian until the city bought the building in 1911 and turned it into a Carnegie Library in 1913. In 1970, the library was transformed into an art museum and has since served as the region’s premiere public museum and features rotating exhibitions. The museum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. A Mississippi Blues Trail historic marker has been placed in Meridian, the first site to receive this designation outside the Mississippi Delta. The marker was placed to honor the city as the birthplace of Jimmie Rodgers and emphasizes his importance to the development of the blues style of music in Mississippi.[59] Meridian is the home of Naval Air Station Meridian, a military airport and one of the Navy’s two jet strike pilot training bases. Originally called Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS), construction began in 1957 and the station was commissioned in 1961 at a cost of $60 million. The operations area was named McCain Field in honor of the late Admiral John S. McCain, Sr. of Teoc, Mississippi, grandfather of United States Senator and Presidential candidate(2000, 2008) John S. McCain III. The national headquarters of Peavey Electronics is located in Meridian. Opened by Hartley Peavey in 1965, the company also maintains a museum in the city featuring memorabilia related to the company and many of the musicians using its equipment.[13]


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Union Station Multi-Modal Transportation Center(MMTC) resides in the Depot Historic District of Meridian, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and occupies four city blocks. Union Station includes several modes of passenger transportation including the Meridian Transit System, AMTRAK, Norfolk Southern rail corridor, Greyhound, Trailways and other providers of transit services. Further restoration and development of the Union Station Railroad Museum (REA building) will be a major tourist attraction, inviting MMTC patrons to learn more about Meridian railroading history.

Meridian, Mississippi
• Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery, late U.S. representative • Hartley Peavey, electrical engineer, founder of Peavey Electronics, headquartered in Meridian • Fred Phelps, Preacher and founder of Westboro Baptist Church • Jay Powell, Major League Baseball player • Gail Robinson, Metropolitan Opera star • Jimmie Rodgers, country music singer • David Ruffin, former lead singer of The Temptations • Jimmy Ruffin, singer • J. H. Rush, founder of Rush Foundation Hospital, Meridian’s first private hospital[61] • Pat Sansone, multi-instrumentalist in bands Wilco and The Autumn Defense • Jerry Turner, TV anchorman • Sela Ward, actress • Elliott Street, actor • Gayle Dean Wardlow, Delta Blues historian and author • Skeeter Webb, professional baseball player • Hayley N. Williams, lead singer of Paramore • Papa Williams, Baseball player • Al Wilson, singer, drummer • Charles L. Young, Sr., member of the Mississippi House of Representatives • E. F. Young, Jr., entrepreneur, founder of E.F. Young, Jr. Manufacturing Company, headquartered in Meridian

Notable Meridianites
• Bill Evans (meteorologist) 5-time Emmy award winning meteorologist for WABCTV, the ABC affiliate in New York City. • John Luther Adams, composer • Susan Akin, 1986 Miss America • John Alexander, New York Metropolitan Opera star • Moe Bandy, country music singer • Dennis Ray "Oil Can" Boyd, former Major League Baseball pitcher • James Chaney, 1964 civil rights martyr • Alvin Childress, actor, lead role in "Amos ’n’ Andy Show" • Mike Compton, musician • George Cummings, guitarist, songwriter • Paul Davis, singer • Winfield Dunn, former Governor of Tennessee • John C. Fleming, physician, author of Preventing Addiction; incoming member of the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana • Steve Forbert, recording artist • Charles Baker "Dill" Harris, supporting character from the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird • Ty Herndon, country music singer • Kevin Ivey, Emmy Award winner[60] • Al Key, aviator and former mayor of Meridian • Fred Key, aviator • Greg Keyes, author • Diane Ladd, actress • LisaRaye McCoy, actress • Derrick McKey, professional basketball player • Samuel Mockbee, architect, winner of MacArthur Fellow award

[1] ^ "Population Estimates for All Places: 2000 - 2007". United States Census Bureau. cities/SUB-EST2007-4.html. Retrieved on 2008-10-05. Estimates were taken each year on July 1. [2] ^ "Meridian, MS". 2003. meridian.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-07. [3] ^ "Union Station History". Official website of Meridian, transportunionstation.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-07. [4] ^ "Lauderdale County Tourism". Retrieved on 2008-06-09.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Meridian, Mississippi

[5] ^ "Meridian, MS FAQ". Official website of Meridian, culture_attraction.htm. Retrieved on Retrieved on 2007-06-07. 2008-06-08. [6] ^ "Mississippi History - Sherman’s [15] ^ Mick Nussbaum (2007-08-05). Meridian Campaign". Mississippi "Meridian Railroad History". National Historical Society. April 2007. Railway Historical Society, Queen & Crescent Chapter. index.php?id=2. Retrieved on 2008-06-07. meridian_rr_history.html. Retrieved on [7] ^ "History of Meridian, MS". Official 2008-06-08. website of Meridian, [16] ^ "Biography of Michael Schwerner". University of Missouri-Kansas City. Retrieved on 2008-06-07. [8] ^ "Meridian Multiple Resource Area projects/ftrials/price&bowers/ Nomination" (pdf). National Register of Schwerner.htm. Retrieved on Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-06-08. 1979-12-18. [17] Susan Klopfer. "Civil Rights Murders". multiples/64000416.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-06-07. Chaney_Goodman_Schwerner.htm. [9] "World Gazetteer: Meridian Retrieved on 2008-06-08. Population". [18] Harriet Ryan (2005-06-23). "Ex Klansman receives 60 years for three wg.php?x=&men=gpro&lng=en&des=gamelan&geo=-3780&srt=pnan&col=abcdefghimoq&msz=15 1964 killings". Philadelphia, MS: Retrieved on 2008-06-06. [10] "Meridian Annexation Map" (pdf). trials/killen/062305_sentence_ctv.html. Official website of Meridian, Retrieved on 2008-06-08. [19] "Veterans of The Civil Rights Movement". 2007-05-10. 2006MeridianAnnexMap.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-06-07. Retrieved on 2008-06-08. [11] Georgia E. Frye (2006-08-29). "365 [20] ^ Lynne Jeter (2004-07-19). "Strategic days... ago". Meridian, MS: The Meridian center of the South, Meridian poised for Star. takeoff". The Mississippi Business local_story_241080516.html. Retrieved Journal (Meridian, MS: BNET Business on 2008-06-12. "East Mississippi’s Network). population also has changed in the past articles/mi_qa5277/is_200407/ year. About 6,000 families — totaling ai_n24281501. Retrieved on 2008-06-08. 18,000 people — have relocated to [21] Jennifer Jacob (2008-04-11). "Project Lauderdale, Clarke, Newton and Kemper Moves Forward". Meridian, MS: The counties as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Meridian Star. said Jennifer McCraw, director of Rebuild East Mississippi." local_story_102005346.html. Retrieved [12] ^ "Main Street Meridian - Downtown on 2008-06-08. Revitalization". Official website of [22] ^ "Meridian, MS Annual Report 2007" Meridian, (pdf). Official website of Meridian, cd_mainstreet.htm. Retrieved on 2008-06-07. Annual_report07.pdf. Retrieved on [13] ^ "History of Meridian, MS". Don E. 2008-06-08. Wright. 2004-01-15. [23] "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. ~mslauder/meridian.html. Retrieved on National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 2008-06-07. Retrieved on [14] "City of Meridian, MS - Attractions". 2008-06-08. Official Site of Meridian,


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[24] "Historic Neighborhoods in Meridian". Official website of Meridian, com_historicneighbor.html. Retrieved on 2006-06-08. [25] "Meridian, MS City Council". Official Website of Meridian, govern_council.htm. Retrieved on 2008-06-17. [26] ^ "Meridian, MS Elected & Appointed Officials". Official Website of Meridian, Retrieved on 2008-06-17. [27] "City Hall Relocation". Official website of Meridian, cityhallrelocation.htm. Retrieved on 2008-06-08. [28] "Mayor John Robert Smith Awards for Art Achievement". Americans for the Arts. 2008-03-12. annual_awards/public_leadership/local/ 009.asp. Retrieved on 2008-06-17. [29] "Meridian, MS Mayoral Accomplishments". Official Website of Meridian, mayor_accomplish.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-17. [30] "Reconnecting America - Board of Directors". Reconnecting America. public/directors. Retrieved on 2008-06-17. [31] "Mississippi Senate Districts Map". Mississippi Standing Joint Reapportionment Committee. senate_plan_map.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-06-19. [32] "Mississippi State Senate Members". ss_membs.xml. Retrieved on 2008-06-19. [33] "Mississippi House of Representatives Map". Mississippi Standing Joint Reapportionment Committee. house_plan_map.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-06-19. [34] "Mississippi State House of Representative Members".

Meridian, Mississippi hr_membs.xml. Retrieved on 2008-06-19. [35] "2000 & 2004 Presidential Election Results in Mississippi". David Leip. 2005. state.php?year=2000&fips=28&off=0&elect=0&f=0 Retrieved on 2008-06-17. [36] "Meridian Population Growth, 1990-2004". CD-Population%20Growth.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-10-05. [37] "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-01-31. [38] "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved on 2008-01-31. [39] Stewart (2003). "Dr. Samuel Faulkner : Surface Features". Dr. Samuel Faulkner. physiography3/physiography3.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-08. [40] "Meridian, MS Weather". IDcide. meridian.htm. Retrieved on 2008-06-08. [41] "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/ USMS0232. Retrieved on July 28 2008. [42] ^ "Meridian, Mississippi (MS) Economy and Business Data". Retrieved on 2008-06-08. [43] ^ "Trotman Company - Meridian Crossroads". The Trotman Company. retail_info.aspx?id=73. Retrieved on 2008-06-08. [44] ^ "Business & Industry in Meridian, MS". Official website of Meridian, meridian/cityvp6l.php?movie=memsbus&spon=business. Retrieved on 2008-06-08. [45] "I-85 Extension Corridor Study Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Website". Retrieved on 2008-06-08. [46] "MCC Financial Aid". Meridian Community College.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia finaidfrms.htm. Retrieved on 2008-06-10. [47] "MSU Meridian Quick Facts". Mississippi State University. 2008-03-06. quickfacts.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-10. [48] "Schools in the Meridian Public School District". Meridian Public School District. schools.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-10. [49] "Around Town Carousels Abound". Hope Village for Children. hopevillagemsorg/default.aspx?pid=9. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [50] "Bonita Lakes Mall Fact Sheet". CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.. bonita.nsf/facts. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [51] "Mississippi - USA Gay Bars". Ambush Online. mississi.htm. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [52] "Dunn’s Falls - Pat Harrison Waterway District". Pat Harrison Waterway District. dunns%20falls/. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [53] "Temple Theater, Meridian, Mississippi". The American Theater Society, South Mississippi Gold Coast Chapter. index.htm. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [54] "Key Field ANG Base Meridian RAP, Mississippi". 2006-01-21. facility/key-field.htm. Retrieved on 2008-06-07. [55] "Okatibbee Lake". U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District. 2007-11-06.

Meridian, Mississippi okatib/. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [56] "Loeb’s - About Us". Loeb’s Department Store. aboutus.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [57] "Meridian Little Theatre Today". Meridian Little Theatre. Preview/mlt_timeline_04.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [58] "Meridian Little Theatre History _1973". Preview/mlt_timeline_73.html. "and 1977". Preview/mlt_timeline_77.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [59] Ida Brown (2007-05-03). "Jimmie Rodgers honored with Blues Trail Marker". Meridian, MS: The Meridian Star. local_story_123235658.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [60] "Teary Sockets - The Filmmakers". filmmakers.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-09. [61] "Rush Foundation Hospital - History". Rush Foundation Hospital. history.cfm. Retrieved on 2008-06-09.

External links
• Official City of Meridian Website • Online Videos from Meridian’s Official Website • Attractions in Meridian, MS • Meridian and Lauderdale County Visitor’s Map of Attractions in the City • Meridian Multiple Resource Assessment National Register of Historic Places °

Retrieved from ",_Mississippi" Categories: Cities in Mississippi, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, Meridian, Mississippi, County seats in Mississippi, Meridian micropolitan area, United States communities with African American majority populations, Mississippi Blues Trail This page was last modified on 22 May 2009, at 04:08 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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