Small Town Rebuilds
A supplement to the story Small Town Rebuilds from the Oct/Nov 2020 issue of Decatur Magazine.
A Closer Look at Laurel, Mississippi
Laurel is charming, but not all shiny and made-for-HGTV. It’s a tourist attraction due to the show Home Town, but not at all touristy. It’s Mayberry.
We scored premium accommodations during our visit —a cottage in Jim and Mallorie Raspberry’s backyard. Jim is Erin’s cousin and Mallorie is Erin’s best friend. They both appear in most episodes of the show.
The Laurelites we encountered were extremely friendly. On one walk, we were engaged by two 70-something ladies, who crossed the street to inquire of us: “Y’all aren’t from around here, are ya?”
Sussing us out immediately as Yankees, they quickly informed us: “We weren’t part of the Civil War.” Laurel lies in Jones County, Mississippi, near the famed “Free State of Jones.”
If you get the opportunity to visit, don’t miss lunch at Pearl’s Diner. The fried chicken and mac and cheese are the best you’ll ever eat. The banana pudding was too sweet for my taste, but the frozen custard from PDI’s rivaled Krekel’s.
I didn’t get to my full shopping itinerary, but I enjoyed Peddler’s JUNKtion, Touch of Grace, Southern Antiques and Laurel Mercantile, And Scotsman General Store and Woodshop, where we glimpsed the shop where Ben Napier works his magic.