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Communities of Hinds County

Bear Creek
Written by Mary Collins Landin
Utica, Hinds County, MS
(Posted with her permission)


Bear Creek

Bear Creek is still a community, but no longer has an operating store or P. O.  The only things left are a few scattered houses and the Bear Creek Methodist Church and cemetery (and several old family cemeteries no longer in use).  Many of the family names there were Ford, Ervin, Stackhouse, Lott, Carmichael, Pickett, Funchess, Brock, Burnett, Fisher, Lewis, and others.   It is located about 5 miles from Utica between Utica and Crystal Springs on MS Highway 27.   The
next community "down the road" between Bear Creek and Crystal Springs was Hollingsworth, then Dabney, then Gallatin, and on to Crystal Springs.  All of these places are ghost villages now, and only cemeteries and a few houses remain in each community.   Crystal Springs itself is not where it once started.  The old town and the old cemetery (still in limited use) are located where the springs were.  When the railroad came through, the town's residents gradually moved businesses then houses to the railroad track about 2 miles away, and left the old site behind.  Same thing happened at Utica, which moved to the railroad track in the 1880-1890s from about a half mile to the west.  This happened all over the South as rail lines were built, then happened all over again as rail roads declined as major revenue sources, and paved highways and interstates were constructed.   If you look at old Mississippi maps after the Civil War and up into the 1920s, the names on them are the railroad towns, even if there were
other incorporated towns not on railroads.  After good highways were built, the railroad towns in many cases have disappeared unless they were also on major highways.   Bear Creek was miles from the railroad, and only on what became a state highway that wasn't even paved until I was grown.  Even when I was a child, I only remember Mr. Carmichael's store, and mail was already delivered from Utica.

Mary Collins Landin
Utica, Hinds County, MS


Page Created June 17, 2004
Copyright 2004  Jane Combs  All Rights Reserved

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