|City of Pearl|
|Nickname(s): The Pearl of the South|
|Motto: "The City Creating Its Own Future"|
Location in Rankin County, Mississippi
Location of Mississippi in the United States
|• Type||Weak Mayor-Council|
|• Mayor||Brad Rogers (R)|
|• Board of Aldermen||Terry Ishee (R) - Dist. 1
Michael Sartor (R) - Dist. 2
Becky Tullos Jones (R) - Dist. 3
Casey Foy (R) - Dist. 4
Todd Jenkins (D) - Dist. 5
Gavin Gill (R) - Dist. 6
John McHenry (R) - At-large
|• Total||22.0 sq mi (57 km2)|
|• Land||21.8 sq mi (56.5 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)|
|Elevation||276 ft (84.1 m)|
|• Density||1,088/sq mi (420.1/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Zip Code(s); physical locations||39208|
|Zip Code(s); U.S. P.O. boxes||39288|
|Area code(s)||601, 769|
|GNIS feature ID||0675537|
|For additional city data see: City-Data|
Pearl is a city in Rankin County, Mississippi located on the east side of the Pearl River from the state capital of Jackson. The population was 25,092 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Today, Pearl is a growing community; it is the 13th largest city in the state and the largest city in Rankin County.
- 1 History
- 2 Education
- 3 Sports
- 4 Geography
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Government
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Education
- 9 Recreation
- 10 Noteworthy natives
- 11 Professional sports
- 12 References
- 13 External links
After the American Civil War, the bottomlands of the Pearl River were developed for agriculture. Population was sparse until the mid-1900s, when development of the state capital of Jackson in Hinds County to the west spilled over into this county. New residents and industry settled here. Thereafter, growth in the area came from the urban expansion of the capital, control of flood threats from the Pearl River, and improved transportation due to accessible interstates and Jackson-Evers International Airport.
On September 16, 1968, a community meeting was held to discuss the incorporation of Pearl, with all but 6 of the 657 attending residents favoring incorporation. A "Boundary Committee" proposed several different possible boundaries a little more than a month later. The following January the community voted for a 11 square miles (28 km2) boundary that included the Pearl River to Airport Road, excluding East Jackson and all areas south of Interstate 20 except Cunningham Heights and Grandview Heights. A majority at that meeting also agreed on naming the city "Pearl", in preference to the also-proposed "Riverview" and "Brightsville."
Pearl was affected by the violence of the Ku Klux Klan, and was white-only for most of the 20th Century. In 1970, Pearl had 9,613 white residents and 10 black residents who were probably live-in servants to white households. By the 1990s Pearl had become more racially integrated, and by 2010 blacks made up 23% of the population.
The first mayor, Harris Harvey, was elected, as well as council members Jimmy Joe Thompson, W.D. McAlpin, James Netherland, Ophelia Byrd, Mack C Atwood, W.L. Maddox, and Bobby Joe Davis. With the Mississippi Supreme Court ruling of June 5, 1973, the incorporation could proceed. A week later, the state legislature issued a charter. On June 29, 1973 Governor William Winter presided over the first annual Pearl Day Celebration, with the swearing in of the city's new officials, who met for the first time on July 3, 1973.
The Pearl Municipal Separate School District was created on May 18, 1976 by an Ordinance of the City of Pearl Mayor and Board of Aldermen. The first franchise by the City of Pearl for cable television to be installed was granted on July 6, 1976. The Pearl Chamber of Commerce was formed on August 24, 1978.
On October 1, 1997, Luke Woodham went on a shooting spree that ended at Pearl High School, killing two and injuring seven, after earlier stabbing his mother to death.
Unlike many Mississippi cities, Pearl does not have a downtown square as it is not the county seat. Over the years the city has redeveloped the former Pearl High School into City Hall, including the Pearl Police Department, public works departments, and city courts. A large auditorium-style Community Center was built next door. Its clock tower is inscribed with the names of graduates of Pearl High School for the period 1949 through 1989 while the high school occupied this building. A 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2) library opened near City Hall on July 18, 2005.
Pearl voters approved a $1.5 million bond issue to construct a new junior high school on December 1, 1981. The Rankin County campus of Hinds Community College opened in Pearl on July 1, 1983.
The Mississippi Braves baseball team play in Trustmark Park in Pearl.
Pearl is located at (32.271979, -90.105266).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.0 square miles (57 km2), of which 21.8 square miles (56 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (1.00%) is water. Neighboring towns include Flowood, Brandon, Richland and the state capital Jackson.
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,961 people, 8,608 households, and 6,025 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,005.9 people per square mile (388.4/km²). There were 9,128 housing units at an average density of 418.1 per square mile (161.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.18% White, 16.24% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.03% of the population.
There were 8,608 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.0% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.
In the most recent census (2010), the racial demographics have changed similar to many other Jackson, MS area suburbs. The following are the most current demographics: White alone 69.8%, African American 23.0%, American Indian and Alaska Native 0.2%, Asian 0.9%, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2%, Two or More Races 1.7%, Hispanic 6.4%.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,617, and the median income for a family was $42,013. Males had a median income of $30,860 versus $24,610 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,136. About 9.2% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and 12.4% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Pearl is led by an elected Mayor and Board of Aldermen. Each serves a four-year term. All but one of the six aldermen is elected from single-member districts; the sixth is elected at-large.
Law enforcement within the city limits of Pearl is handled by the Pearl Police Department. The City has no jail facilities and instead utilizes the Rankin County Jail, which is operated by the Rankin County Sheriff's Department.
Fire protection and prevention within the city limits of Pearl is handled by the Pearl Fire Department. The department operates four stations throughout the city.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections Central Mississippi Correctional Facility is in an unincorporated area in Rankin County, near Pearl. In 2007 the Mississippi Highway Patrol opened a driver's license facility across the highway from the prison.
Pearl is served by Jackson-Evers International Airport, located at Allen C. Thompson Field, at the Pearl city limits in the city of Flowood in Rankin County. Its IATA code is JAN. The airport has non-stop service to 12 cities throughout the United States and is served by 5 mainline carriers (American, Delta, Continental, Northwest, and US Airways).
While technically Jackson-Evers International Airport is located in Flowood, it is city of Jackson property and Jackson is responsible for everything within the airport's defined grounds.
Underway is the Airport Parkway project. The environmental impact study is complete and final plans are drawn and awaiting Mississippi Department of Transportation approval. Right-of-way acquisition is underway at an estimated cost of $19 million. The Airport Parkway will connect High Street in downtown Jackson to Mississippi Highway 475 in Flowood at Jackson-Evers International Airport. The Airport Parkway Commission consists of the Mayor of Pearl, the Mayor of Flowood and the Mayor of Jackson, as the Airport Parkway will run through and have access from each of these three cities.
Interstate 55 (I-55)
Runs north-south from Chicago through Jackson towards Brookhaven, McComb, and the Louisiana state line to New Orleans. Pearl is roughly halfway between New Orleans and Memphis, Tennessee. The interstate connects to U.S. Interstate 20 in Jackson.
U.S. Highway 49
Runs north-south from the Arkansas state line at Lula via Clarksdale and Yazoo City, towards Hattiesburg and dead ends at the Gulf of Mexico in Gulfport. From Gulfport going north back towards Jackson, this highway ends at Pearl where it is bypassed via Interstate 20 to Interstate 220 (I-220) to U.S. Highway 49 again towards Yazoo City.
U.S. Highway 80
Roughly parallels Interstate 20. It is the main corridor through the heart of Pearl.
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The City of Pearl's public schools are served by the Pearl Public School District whose Board is appointed by the City of Pearl Board of Aldermen.
Colleges and universities
- Hinds Community College Rankin Campus (state two-year college not a part of the Pearl Public School District)
Public high schools
- Pearl High School (Grades 9 through 12) Built in 1989; Expansions* in 1997, 2003 and 2005
- Pearl Junior High School (Grades 6 through 8) Built in 1932; Expansions* in 1982, 1989, and 2004. They also rebuilt their gym throughout the 2012-2013 school year.
*Expansions include anything from adding a new wing or classrooms to adding new administrative offices, to adding a press box to the baseball field.
Public elementary schools
- Pearl Lower Elementary (Grades K and 1) Built in 1932; Expansions* in 1999 and 2005
- Northside Elementary (Grades 2 and 3) Built in 1970; Expansions* in 1992, 1999 and 2007
- Pearl Upper Elementary (Grades 4 and 5) Built in 1965; Expansions* in 1999
*Expansions include anything from adding a new wing or classrooms to adding new administrative offices, to adding a press box to the baseball field.
Pearl High School is currently rated a 5, which is the highest education level a school can reach in our Nation's Standard as set down by the No Child Left Behind Act, signed by President George W. Bush. Schools ratings are based on the Mississippi Curriculum Tests, which are issued every year to determine a school's effectiveness on its students.
The Pearl Junior High School and Pearl High School athletic teams compete in football, baseball, soccer, track & field and softball. The school's mascot is the pirate. The sports' teams have participated in and won many state and district championships such as Track & Field, Baseball, Soccer and Cheerleading. For the past 5 years Pearl High School has won the 4-A State Championship in Soccer. The football team has won numerous district titles, its latest being in 2008.
Other organizations have also competed in state and district championships in Band, Choir, Dance, and Drama. The school's band is a worldwide known band. They performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1999. They won the 2008 and 2012 Mississippi Indoor Percussion Circuit Championships and are 2009 and 2011 5A state marching champions. They are the Pearl Pirate Band and have a partial reputation for performing at theme parks such as Disney World and Six Flags.
- Faith Academy - Grades Pre-kindergarten though 8 (served by the Mississippi Private School Association)
- Park Place Christian Academy - Grades Pre-kindergarten through 12. PPCA graduates its first senior class in May 2012.
Pearl is home to many parks and recreational facilities.
- Center City Complex - softball, baseball, soccer, and offices of the Parks and Recreation Department (has been the site of several United States Specialty Sports Association Regional and National Tournaments)
- Pearl Activity Center (Old Boys Club) - baseball, meeting room, and gymnasium
- Bright Park - A 2/3 mile physical fitness walking trail through nature and picnic areas
- City Park - A family recreation area which includes, picnic areas, reserveable pavilion, children's playground, tennis courts, basketball court, and covered stage
- Jenkins Park - A family recreation facility, children’s playground, picnic areas, pavilion, 1/2 mile walking trail, and softball field
- Old Library Walking Trail - A 1/4 mile walking trail
- Henry F. Shepherd Field Walking Trail - A 1/4 mile walking track around the old Pearl High School football field
- Center City Walking Trail - A 1-mile (1.6 km) walking trail winding through the scenic wooded terrain
- Pearl Municipal Golf Course - An 18-hole public golf course with a Club House and short order restaurant
- Tommy Aldridge - drummer
- Jimmy "Soybean" Henderson - guitarist
- Justin Jenkins - NFL Buffalo Bills player
- George Kersh - athlete
- Ty Tabor - singer, guitarist for King's X
- Eric Washington - former NBA player
The Mississippi Braves or M-Braves, a Class AA minor league baseball affiliate of the Atlanta Braves moved from Greenville, South Carolina to Pearl before the 2005 season. The M-Braves play in the Southern League. The team had their first game in the brand new Trustmark Park on April 18, 2005, losing to the Montgomery Biscuits.
- "The City of Pearl Mississippi". The City of Pearl Mississippi. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "History of Pearl". cityofpearl.com. Archived from the original on April 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- Lamkin, C.L. (2016). Perceptions of Segregation (M.Sc. thesis). University of Southern Mississippi. p. 97.
- Loewen, James (2005). Sundwon Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism. New York, NY: New Press. p. 407. ISBN 978-1-56584-887-0.
- "Pearl city, Mississippi".
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- 2008 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report; City of Pearl; PWS ID# 0610017. City of Pearl Water Department. 2008.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- City of Pearl, Mississippi 2009 Comprehensive Plan; Pages 25-28; Accessed May 06, 2009
- "State Prisons." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on May 21, 2010.
- "MDOC QUICK REFERENCE." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on May 21, 2010.
- "New Driver's License Facility Opens In Pearl." WAPT-TV. April 23, 2007. Retrieved on May 21, 2010.
- "Central Regional Office." Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved on September 21, 2010.
- "Locations and Driving Directions to MDEQ Offices." Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved on September 21, 2010.
- MusicianGuide.com King's X Lyrics and Biography
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pearl, Mississippi.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Pearl.|
- City of Pearl official web site
- Pearl Chamber of Commerce
- Pearl Public School District
- Pearl Pirates football official web site
- Central Mississippi Regional Library System