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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Hermanville in Claiborne County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Town of Rocky Springs

 
 
The Town of Rocky Springs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 22, 2010
1. The Town of Rocky Springs Marker
Inscription. At the end of this trail is evidence of a once thriving rural community. First settled in the late 1790's, the town grew from a watering place along the Natchez Trace, and took its name from the source of that water -- the Rocky Spring. In 1860, a total of 2,616 people lived in this area covering about 25 square miles. The population of the town proper included 3 merchants, 4 physicians, 4 teachers, 3 clergy and 13 artisans; while the surrounding farming community included 54 planters, 28 overseers and over 2,000 slaves who nurtured the crop that made the town possible -- cotton.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Natchez Trace marker series.
 
Location. 32° 5.345′ N, 90° 48.788′ W. Marker is near Hermanville, Mississippi, in Claiborne County. Marker can be reached from Natchez Trace Parkway (at milepost 54.8). Touch for map. Marker is located next to parking lot at the end of the turnoff access road from the Natchez Trace Parkway to the Rocky Springs townsite. Marker is in this post office area: Hermanville MS 39086, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Federals Occupy Rocky Springs (about 400 feet away, measured
The Town of Rocky Springs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
2. The Town of Rocky Springs Marker
in a direct line); Rocky Springs (approx. ľ mile away); The Old Natchez Trace (approx. 0.3 miles away); To The Railroad (approx. 1.4 miles away); Owens Creek (approx. 2.1 miles away); Concentration of Troops (approx. 2.9 miles away); Historic Crossroads (approx. 5.3 miles away); Grant at Hankinson's Ferry (approx. 5.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hermanville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Legends of America: Rocky Springs - Bandits and Bibles on the Natchez Trace. (Submitted on January 6, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
2. Jackson Audubon Society: Rocky Springs and the Natchez Trace Parkway. Article by Skipper Anding (Submitted on January 6, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

3. The Better Chancery Practice Blog: Rocky Springs. Blog authored by Judge Larry Primeaux on February 22, 2014 (Submitted on January 6, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

4. Old Port Gibson Road: Civil War Route to Raymond. Article by Rebecca Blackwell Drake (Submitted on January 6, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
The Site of the Rocky Springs image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 22, 2010
3. The Site of the Rocky Springs
Located south of marker; not on the Townsite of Rocky Springs Interpretive Trail
 

5. Wikipedia: Rocky Springs, Mississippi. (Submitted on January 6, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
6. MSGenWeb: Historic Rocky Springs, Claiborne County, MS. (Submitted on January 6, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
7. Preservation in Mississippi: Rocky Springs Methodist Church, Claiborne County. (Submitted on January 6, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
8. NPS Natchez Trace: Rocky Springs Trail. (Submitted on January 6, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Man-Made FeaturesSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
Interpretive Trail to Townsite<br>and Rocky Springs Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
4. Interpretive Trail to Townsite
and Rocky Springs Methodist Church
The Old Natchez Trace image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
5. The Old Natchez Trace
The beginning of the Townsite of Rocky Springs Interpretive Trail
The Old Natchez Trace Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
6. The Old Natchez Trace Interpretive Sign
You are standing on a segment of the Old Natchez Trace. This southern portion of the Trace served as the main traveled road between Natchez and Jackson until the Civil War period. Due to a nearby “rocky spring,” a town and station on the Old Natchez Trace were established here.
Rocky Springs Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
7. Rocky Springs Interpretive Sign
Called “the Rocky Spring” by early travelers, the town later became Rocky Springs, a rural community covering about 25 square miles. Settlement of the area began in the late 1790's and continued until about 1860, reaching a peak of approximately 2600 people. Several businesses were established at different times, among them carpenters, wheelwrights, a well digger, cabinet makers, a cotton gin maker, and blacksmiths.
Death of Rocky Springs Interpretive Trail image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 22, 2010
8. Death of Rocky Springs Interpretive Trail
The nearby spring no longer flows. Today only the church and cemetery, two rusting safes, and several abandoned cisterns mark the area. The Civil War, yellow fever, destructive crop insects, and poor land management brought an end to this once prosperous rural community.
Slope below Rocky Springs Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
9. Slope below Rocky Springs Methodist Church
Slope Restoration Project Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
10. Slope Restoration Project Interpretive Sign
The slope ahead of you is composed of loess (lo'es) soil, a type of wind-blown soil deposited here many thousands of years ago. Being very fine grained, this soil erodes easily, both from natural and man-made causes. The National Park Service is trying to preserve the trees with a vegetative restoration project. You can help by not climbing the slope.
Erosion Gully image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
11. Erosion Gully
Erosion Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
12. Erosion Interpretive Sign
From the time this land was settled in the early 1800's, few farmers practiced good soil conservation measures. After 1820, subsistence farming gave way to a plantation economy where even the hillsides were cleared and planted. Erosion scars, slow to heal, can still be seen today.
Civil War Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
13. Civil War Interpretive Sign
During the four years that the Civil War raged, many areas in both North and South would experience its devastation. A letter written in 1863 stated, “My slaves, horses, and mules are carried off, my fences torn down, and my crops destroyed ...”
Trail at Yellow Fever Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
14. Trail at Yellow Fever Interpretive Sign
Yellow Fever Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
15. Yellow Fever Interpretive Sign
During the summer and fall of 1878, yellow fever struck the area. Pastor J.W. Sandwell on November 18, 1878, wrote that there were 180 yellow fever cases and 43 deaths. He added, “... none but the allusive God can see it is all for our good and His glory.”
Trail at Boll Weevil and Town Site Interpretive Signs image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
16. Trail at Boll Weevil and Town Site Interpretive Signs
Boll Weevil Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
17. Boll Weevil Interpretive Sign
Although Rocky Springs tried to recover after the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, in the early 1900's the boll weevil struck, devastating the cotton crop. After this final disaster, the population declined rapidly and the last store in the area closed its doors during the 1930's.
The Town Site Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
18. The Town Site Interpretive Sign
← Across the bridge is a loop trail through the town site.

→ A short walk up the hill will bring you to the Rocky Springs Methodist Church. You are invited to visit its quiet sanctuary.
Trail Leading to Townsite of Rocky Springs image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
19. Trail Leading to Townsite of Rocky Springs
The Town of Rocky Springs Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
20. The Town of Rocky Springs Interpretive Sign
The town of Rocky Springs

Population 1860 –- 2,616
Population Today -- 0
Area of Ginhouse Building Foundation image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
21. Area of Ginhouse Building Foundation
Building Foundation Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
22. Building Foundation Interpretive Sign
Associated with any cotton producing area was the local ginhouse, where cotton was taken to be ginned and baled for shipment to mills in the east or in England. Power for the gin was provided either by hand or horse.
Cistern image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
23. Cistern
Cistern Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
24. Cistern Interpretive Sign
This cistern may mark the site of one of several local blacksmith shops which served the surrounding farmsteads and plantations. Here, horses were shod, and farm implements, tools, and other metal items were made or repaired, as replacements normally had to be shipped in from distant points.
Post Office Safe image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
25. Post Office Safe
Safe Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
26. Safe Interpretive Sign
The first post office at Rocky Springs was established in 1821. Postal receipts were listed as $82.52 in 1827, $56.06 in 1828, and $49.23 in 1830. In comparison, nearby Port Gibson, the second largest postal facility in the state after Natchez, averaged about $1,400.00 a year during this same period.
Safe and Cistern image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
27. Safe and Cistern
Safe and Cistern Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
28. Safe and Cistern Interpretive Sign
During the mid-1800's the existence of a church, post office, a Masonic Lodge, two or more stores, several artisanís shops and possibly a school made it desirable to live within a mile of the spring. Perhaps Drexlerís Store was located at this site.
Trail at Erosion Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
29. Trail at Erosion Interpretive Sign
Erosion Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
30. Erosion Interpretive Sign
From the time this land was settled in the early 1800's, few farmers practice good soil conservation measures. After 1820, subsidence farming gave way to a plantation economy where even the hillsides were cleared and planted. The results can be readily seen today.
Rocky Springs Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
31. Rocky Springs Methodist Church
About the Church Interpretive Sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
32. About the Church Interpretive Sign
This church was built in 1837 by the Methodist congregation of Rocky Springs. Earlier the town had been a station for a circuit-riding preacher who stopped by only once or twice a month. The Church is preserved by the former congregation members who hold regular services here and gather here at an annual “homecoming” each spring.
Rocky Springs Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 22, 2010
33. Rocky Springs Methodist Church
As viewed from interpretive trail
Rocky Springs Methodist Church Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
34. Rocky Springs Methodist Church Cemetery
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 473 times since then and 54 times this year. Last updated on January 6, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Photos:   1. submitted on December 19, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   2. submitted on August 17, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   3. submitted on January 21, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   4. submitted on August 17, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   5, 6, 7. submitted on October 20, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   8. submitted on December 19, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32. submitted on October 20, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   33. submitted on December 19, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   34. submitted on October 20, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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