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Old 09-07-2017, 07:46 AM
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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The part of Lamar County to the west of Hattiesburg has been experiencing a population surge for a long time. Could it be partially explained by a post-Hurricane Katrina exodus from the coast?
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:12 PM
Location: Jack-town, Sip by way of AL and FL
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I think, while Hattiesburg is seeing an influx of people from Katrina and other things, the surge in Lamar County is people from Hattiesburg moving out there to get out of the city. It's not like there is a long commute. You see the same thing in Lauderdale County around Meridian. I think Tupelo is seeing the same, with all the numerous communities around there.

I hear Hattiesburg has a good economy right now, and Tupelo is doing well. I don't think there is an exodus from the MS Coast during Katrina as much as it is from New Orleans, and Meridian saw some of that too, and Columbus.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:21 PM
Location: Lake Oswego, Manhattan, Aspen
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A lot of the credit goes to the York Family. While I was still working on my first degree (early-to-mid Eighties), they were developing Canebrake, the nucleus of Lamar County's boom. Instead of the usual local yokels (who were cranking out plans in a style we'll call Junior College Drafting Department Colonial Ranch Contemporary), the Yorks hired top-notch designers - Architect, Landscape Architect, Graphic Designer, & Interior Designer - all out of Jackson, to work on Canebrake. http://canebrakecommunity.com/wp-con...1/slide001.png

It's hard to remember, but before Canebrake, everything in Mississippi was being built in the same, ugly, quasi-Colonial brick-veneered anti-style which had prevailed since the Great Depression. It was depressing. Boathouses were all just these ugly, utilitarian structures, like something out of the woodworking projects pages of a 1959 Popular Science Magazine. And then, along came Canebrake, with gorgeous things like THIS double-height stunner: https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7526/2...131bdc2a_c.jpg Instantly, this was the new standard, throughout the Deep South.

And Canebrake is where Mississippi's love affair with the French Acadian style began. Before that paradigm shift, if it wasn't drab & dinky American Colonial, it was of-the-Devil. But suddenly, you had this wonderful Acadiana/Adirondaks synthesis: http://canebrakecommunity.com/wp-con...1/photo-31.jpg And the Lamar County Mystique was thus born.

The Yorks' early investment in great design, is a model which SHOULD be followed by anyone who's developing anything significant, in the Deep South. (I have, wherever I've put office buildings, and have never regretted the extra upfront costs) Canebrake, and various individual structures within Canebrake, won all sorts of awards, and have been published, endlessly. And the designers have all won awards, been in books, been in magazines... At one point, you couldn't pick up a Southern publication dealing with the aesthetics of the built environment, without seeing something about Canebrake, or about someone involved in its design. http://s3.amazonaws.com/timeinc-hous...jpg?1277734790

The Graphics Specialist even arranged for the original Gatehouse at Canebrake, to have its identity sign hand-painted, in colorful tiles, by Jackson's Gail Pittman, who went on to found her own Ceramic Housewares empire (GAIL PITTMAN OFFICIAL STORE™ | HAND PAINTED POTTERY,HAND PAINTED CERAMICS,DINNERWARE SETS,TABLEWARE). NOBODY, back then, was thinking outside-the-box, like that - not in Mississippi, anyway. Nobody but the Yorks had the SMARTS to let their design team do something like that. And it's paid off for them, and for Lamar County. Canebrake had (and has) such a powerful mystique, and garnered so much national publicity, and has remained a magnet for so many wealthy people (http://media.jrn.com/images/b9938575...28jbg3.2-0.jpg), that it has cemented that side of the Hattiesburg Metro, as THE place to live and shop.

And again, the Yorks led the way, when it came to retail developments. It's changed for the worse, in the quarter-century since it was built, but when it was new, The Arbor at Turtle Creek was like nothing anybody had seen, before. First time WE pulled into that place, I wanted to - well... I wanted to buy, or eat, or do SOMETHING there - buy/do/eat whatever it was those places in that strip center were selling, or WHATEVER. The arches, the lattice, the colors, the giant Rolls Royce Velvet Green neoclassical latticework pylon sign... I was SPELLBOUND. Like most everybody else in Mississippi, at that point, I was up-from-nothing, but was smart and ambitious and doing well, and looking for bigger and better and more sophisticated, and THERE IT WAS, looking so European and chic. The Yorks enabled a degree of showmanship and CLASS, which hadn't existed in South Mississippi, since that region's timber barons had built their Roman Revival Banks and Victorian mansions, in the 1890s. After Canebrake and The Arbor were completed, the other parts of Greater Hattiesburg became irrelevant.

So, naturally, when people move to the region, they tend to move to the Lamar County side of Hattiesburg.
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