Park, museum work back on track

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 7, 2002

WESSON — A technicality has slowed progress in efforts tocreate a town park and museum, but things should be worked outsoon, putting the project back on track, according toofficials.

The Mill Town Park and Museum, which will be located on BeechStreet near Highway 51, could be completed by 2004 now that legalmatters are almost sorted out, said Joy Wesbrooks, chairman ofEntergy’s Team City, the group of Wesson residents in charge of theproject.

“We’ve had a little bit of delay, because when the town deededthe land to the chamber of commerce, we realized that part of theland on the north corner belonged to Entergy,” Wesbrooksexplained.

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Entergy, which is sponsoring the project, gave permission forTeam City to continue with their efforts while a title for the landis being made to the chamber of commerce, Wesbrooks stated.

So far the grown up area around the old Wesson Electric buildinghas been cleared, revealing a large drainage ditch between thebuilding and the railroad tracks.

“I feel good about the progress. It’s been slow because of thelegality, but now it should start moving faster within the nextyear,” Wesbrooks said.

Wesbrooks said the next step will be developing a plan to fillin the ditch and create a proper drainage situation.

“Once we get the drainage plan for the site completed, that willbe half the battle,” she said.

Copiah County District Two Supervisor Terry Channel cleared mostof the land, with the the help of a work crew, and will assist inthe drainage plan.

“He has really been a lot of help,” said Wesbrooks. “He’s readyto do anything we ask.”

Team City members are also working on bringing a 1942 firetruck, donated by town officials, to display at the park. It willbe located on a concrete slab on the north side of the old WessonElectric building.

“The gravel and dirt have to be moved off the concrete slabfirst, and then we can bring in the fire truck and have itrenovated,” Wesbrooks said.

Team City members hope to gain more funding for the project byhaving the Electric building listed on the National HistoricalRegister.

“Having it listed on the register will help us because we willbe able to apply for grants through the Archives and History andreceive other funds,” Wesbrooks pointed out.

Funds will be used to create a park around the Electricbuilding, with the building becoming the town museum.

Mill Town Park and Museum will also consist of a large gazebofor local events and park benches.

Members of the Entergy Team City, a division of EntergyMississippi Economic Development, hope the area will become thecenter of activity by providing a safe environment with events forall age groups to enjoy.

Historic items are being sought for display in the museum. Someof the items that will possibly be displayed include an oldrailroad sign, parts from the old mills and an old printingpress.

Team City members are glad so many people have come forth withitems that can be of educational use in the museum. They also hopemore pieces of Wesson heritage can be found, so the history ofWesson will be taught to future generations.

They hope the museum will preserve history, while the parkcreates history. They hope it will be the site of many enjoyabledays filled with events, such as concerts and picnics.