by Terry Thornton
The area known as Mt. Zion in eastern Monroe County Mississippi is centered around the Mt. Zion Church. Located at the crossroads of Mt. Zion Road and Parham Gin Road, the community has a rich history and rich heritage as good farming land filled with prosperous and caring people.
The map snippet below from a current Monroe County Road Map (available online from http://www.gomdot.com/Home/Home.aspx) shows the location of Mt. Zion Church in relationship to several other features. (Left click the map for a larger view)
Parham (shaped light red) is located on the far right of the map lying on the Hatley-Detroit Road (shaped light red). The Hatley-Detroit Road had its origin as the "great thoroughfare to Tuscumbia," the pioneer road connecting the first American town in all of north Mississippi, Cotton Gin Port, to Tuscumbia, Alabama and the ports along the Tennessee River.
Mt. Zion Road (shaded light green) starts about one and one-half miles west of Parham. It runs almost due north for about one and one-half miles and then turns sharply left and runs west about four and one-half miles. This portion of Mt. Zion Road lies just south of the old Indian Treaty Boundary or the old Gaines Trace (shaded light blue). The location of Mt. Zion Church is shown at the crossroads at Parham Gin Road.
Sullivan Store was located at the intersection of Mt. Zion Road and Hatley-Smithville Road. Mt. Zion Road ends at the intersection with Highway 25 just north of Amory. Highway 25 and the area around the end of Mt. Zion Road is sometimes called the Trace Roads area. Brooks Store was located at the intersection of Mt. Zion Road and Highway 25.
Mt. Zion Road covers a bit more than six miles of Hill Country. Along its route are evidence of much of our Hill Country heritage from Indian Nation, international boundaries and pioneer roads, to agriculture enterprises upon which the region was based, walk-sheds between rural stores, and the rich Anglo-Christian background upon which much of our common heritage was built.
The next time you are in the area, drive Mt. Zion Road and remember that at one time, this was as far north as you could go in Mississippi and remain in the United States. The original Monroe County ended along the Indian Treaty Boundary Line just to the north of Mt. Zion Road.
Needed: Photographs of the original Mt. Zion Church Building, Parham's Gin, Faulkner Store, Brook's Store, and Sullivan's Store. If you have photographs to share, please send them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Monroe County Road Map showing Mt. Zion Road and Community modified from http://www.gomdot.com/Home/Home.aspx
Photograph of Mt. Zion Church, Monroe County, Mississippi, August 2009, Terry Thornton, Fulton, Mississippi.