Pine Belt (Mississippi)

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The Pine Belt, also known as the "Piney Woods", is a region in Southeast Mississippi. The region gets its name from the longleaf pine trees that are abundant in the region.


The Longleaf Pine belt covers 36 counties in Mississippi. It is east of the Mississippi Delta region, north of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and south of the Jackson area.


In the years before Mississippi was discovered by Europeans, Native American tribes populated the state. Specifically in the Pine Belt region of Mississippi, the Natchez tribe resided. The Natchez provided a formidable challenge for French and Spanish settlers, but their population halved less than 15 years after contact with Europeans. Disease and warfare eventually forced them to settle with the Creek people or English colonists.

The Mississippi Territory eventually became a U.S. state in 1817, and the Pine Belt became more populated and Mississippi's main economical attribute next to agriculture. After the American Civil War, railroads were extended into the area. With the railroads came a man named Fenwick Peck. Peck became the founder of J.J. Newman Lumber Co., which eventually became one of the state's largest lumber mills.

Due to heavy logging and poor forestation, the region began to become scarce of trees. The J.J. Newman Lumbering Co. closed in 1931, due to being hit hard by the Great Depression and the lack of trees. It is said that the lumber companies using skidders, or cranes equipped with winches mounted on railroad cars, contributed to the alarming depletion of trees.

With its main industry inert, farming became more popular, but due to poor soil, the area struggled. As the region recovers from the logging fever, it has become harvested once again for its lumber.

Principal cities[edit]


Community colleges


Newspapers, magazines, and journals
  • The Hattiesburg American
  • The Times
  • Enterprise-Journal
  • Daily Leader



Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]