Stone County's unique bicentennial project - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Stone County's unique bicentennial project

The project celebrates the county's 100th birthday and Mississippi's bicentennial. (Photo source: WLOX) The project celebrates the county's 100th birthday and Mississippi's bicentennial. (Photo source: WLOX)
STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Mississippi is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. The bicentennial is being recognized in a variety of ways.

If you travel to Stone County, you'll notice poles placed around the area. There are seven sets, each featuring three poles with information about history and inspirational messages. 

The project celebrates the county's 100th birthday and Mississippi's bicentennial. We became a state in 1817, and Stone County wanted to recognize that in a unique way.

"With a bicentennial grant through the Mississippi Humanities Council and the Department of Archives and History, we were able to celebrate outside and celebrate our businesses that are 100 years old in Stone County and the state's 200th birthday," said project coordinator Kathryn Lewis.

In the early 20th century, India's Mahatma Gandhi motivated his country and the world to put up peace poles. Communities are still doing it today, and Stone County wanted to do its own version of the Gandhi peace poles with a connection to the Mississippi bicentennial in an effort to recognize and share local culture and history.

"We want people to walk around and look at the poles. Each pole has a message. They're community poles that tell who we are, a sense of place," Lewis said. 

In conjunction with Mississippi's bicentennial, Stone County has also constructed a mosaic mural out in front of the courthouse in downtown Wiggins. By placing the poles in public places, like Blaylock Park and out in front of the library, the goal is to reach people, especially kids and spread a positive message.

"We want them to understand that's what this community is, and that is a positive place for them to live, grow up, and go out and make a difference in the world," said Lewis.

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