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Lecture series to kick off with travel and economic development

PORCHES TO HOST LECTURE – The first lecture to accompany the Smithsonian traveling exhibition “Journey Stories” will be held at Porches Restaurant in Wesson on Monday, December 14, at 7 p.m. Celia and Al McSweyn, proprietors of Porches, will discuss the impact of travel on local economic development. Call 601-894-2100 before December 10 for reservations; seating will be limited.


During the next few weeks, as the Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs, I hope to keep you informed about a lecture series that will accompany the Smithsonian Exhibition on display at the Depot Museum in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. This exhibit was received for Copiah County through a competitive grant written from our office to the Mississippi Humanities Council.  In accordance with the grant stipulations, several lectures will accompany the theme of the exhibit and these events will take place across our county.

Called “Journey Stories”, the exhibition follows changes in modes of transportation, people, events, and most anything one can imagine that connects movement and story.  Follow us over the next few weeks as we journey through Copiah.

The first stop on the lecture series is Wesson with a topic of Travel and Economic Development. The topic is as relevant to the town today as it was in 1882 when electric lights were installed in Mississippi Mills.  Back then, train passengers on the Illinois Central Railroad would marvel and sometimes spend time in town to see the “little lights in bottles”.  This electrical novelty was within three years after Thomas Edison perfected his electric lighting plant and bulb and before either New York or Chicago had adopted the new lighting system.  Today tourists come from I-55, but they still come to marvel with the current attraction being food from one of the best restaurants in the town, Porches.

This lecture by Al McSweyn, proprietor of Porches, is intended to attract merchants in the region, but all are welcome. Those who attend should come ready to listen and ask questions. In order to grow and flourish economically from a tourist trade, Copiah can learn from one of its best.  Porches Restaurant brings a clientele from Jackson and New Orleans. Why are tourists willing to come to this quaint town for lunch and how do their proprietors keep repeat business the way they do and have people say:

“Great find!  My sister and I love to come here on one of our “girls only” outings. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is charming. The food is also worth a repeat visit.”

Date: Monday, December 14

Place: Porches Restaurant

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Seating will be limited, so call 601-894-2100 before December 10 for reservations.

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