Treasure hunt to the past


There are a lot of treasures in downtown Hattiesburg, but maybe none moreso than the Hattiesburg Area Historical Society. Located on the first floor of the Hattiesburg Cultural Center, rooms designated to the cause of preserving the Hub City’s history overflow with photographs, scrapbook, pieces of furniture and décor, uniforms, old signs, bottles and much more.

According to Ursula Jones, a volunteer and historian for the HAHS, the society was organized in 1970 in an effort to fill a void in the preservation of local history and heritage.

The halls of the first floor are lined with composite photos of Hattiesburg-area high school seniors, even Royal High School, which only operated under that name for one year.

A representative of the Hattiesburg High School Class of 1959 puts a small white cross beside the photo of classmates who have passed away.

The Society shared many of its photograph collection on calendars that were created and sold from 1973 until 1986.

The society became the first such historical society in the area and the second in the state.

Membership is open to anyone and the current membership roster hails from 30 states and several countries.

Membership is $15 for an individual; $20 for a couple/organization; $2 student or $100 for a Life membership. Gifts may also be made to the non-profit in honor of someone or as a memorial.

Historical Society hours are 2-4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, if volunteers are available or by appointment at 601-582-5460.