The City of Crystal Springs celebrates an important milestone this weekend during the Tomato Festival; the town is 150 years old. The Copiah County Historical and Genealogical Society plans several events to celebrate the sesquicentennial, in addition to the usual fun to be found at the Tomato Festival.
Truck farming and the railroad had a great deal of influence on the development of the town, and both will be well represented during the sesquicentennial activities.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, the historical society will unveil a marker, at the south end of Railroad Park, in memory of those who were killed and injured in a collision between a bus and a train on August 5, 1942. The collision killed 15 people and injured many more at the Marion Avenue and Railroad Avenue crossing in downtown Crystal Springs.
Members of the society and the Copiah Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution will be in period costumes and will greet visitors at the MacDowell Music Club Tour of Homes on Georgetown Street immediately following the memorial dedication service until 2 p.m.
Throughout the day the historical society booth will offer sesquicentennial souvenir posters and books, raffle tickets for a framed print of Nathan Bedford Forrest, and Copiah County cemetery CD’s and books. The cemetery CD’s, an ongoing project, are the first in a set which include transcriptions and photographs of markers from 50 Copiah County cemeteries. Future volumes will cover the rest of the cemeteries in the county. All proceeds from these items will be used for the society’s historic preservation projects in the county, including cemetery preservation and funding a county archives. The booth will be located across from the Police Department on the south end of Railroad Park.
The sesquicentennial will wrap up Saturday evening beginning at 6:30 p.m., with a “Walk Through History,” a tour of the Crystal Springs Cemetery on South Jackson Street. Costumed society members will portray some of Crystal Springs’ prominent citizens from the past in a guided tour of the cemetery. The Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp No. 712, a group of Civil War re-enactors, will be on hand. H.K. Edgerton, who will be with the SCV, is a nationally recognized re-enactor. Local musicians and others will provide entertainment, including Bonnie McCoy.
The event will conclude at 8:30 p.m. with a drawing for a large matted and framed portrait of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate General, by Gordon Phillips.
Admission is free so bring the children and join in on the fun. You might just learn something you didn’t already know about Crystal Springs!