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History of Hattiesburg

"Captain William Harris Hardy was quite a visionary for his day. Take Hattiesburg, for example. Surveying the area around 1882 for construction of the Southern Railway System from New Orleans to Meridian, Captain Hardy found vast forests of virgin pine trees. The only break in the landscape was the rolling waters of the Leaf River. But to this pioneer and railroad builder, the trees meant opportunity. As he sat on the riverbank where the waters forked, he not only imagined a prosperous and lucrative timber industry, but just 90 miles south, he imagined a way to deliver forest products to the world.

Thus, Captain Hardy began the plans for the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad which would connect the beautiful piney woods to what would become Mississippi’s deep-water harbor, Gulfport. It didn’t take long for William to turn the dream into a reality. But you must know that as ingenious as he was at breaking new ground, he was even more clever on the home front.

That is why my husband thought to give Hattiesburg such a lovely name. Don’t you agree?"

-Hattie