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Forgotten Towns & Villages of
Coahoma County, MS
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Extract taken from Publication of the Mississippi Historical Society, By the Mississippi Historical Society, Edited by Franklin L. Riley, Secretary, Volume V, Oxford, Mississippi, 1902, pgs 331, from chapter entitled “Extinct Towns and Villages of Mississippi” by Franklin L. Riley

Submitted by Debora Reese
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Port Royal
[1]– At one time Port Royal was the county seat of Coahoma county. Its rival was Friars Point, about five miles up the Mississippi river. In those days the county seats of the Mississippi river counties were on the bank of that stream. For some time before 1848 Friar Point was anxious for the removal of the court house. In that year the “cut off” known as the horseshoe “cut off” took place, and the river, forsaking its old channel, cut through a narrow neck and left Port Royal on the bank of the old river, which soon filled up at both ends, forming a lake now known as Old River lake. This “cut off” decided the fate of Port Royal. Friars Point being still a river town was made the county seat, and Port Royal began to decay.

At the time Col. W. I. Oldham and Mr. David Gilehoist were large planters living just below Port Royal about four miles. The “cut off” ruined these fine plantations to such an extent that they were abandoned and are now grown up with cottonwood trees and look like the virgin forest.

The town of Port Royal was merely a landing place for steamboats, with a few small trading stores and cabins. At present it shows no visible sign of its former greatness – being simply a “a cotton patch”. It lies at the head of Oak Ridge and near the headwaters of the Sunflower river. The site is now owned by William H. Stovall & Sons. There are no persons living to-day in the vicinity who knew the old town. Mr. John Clark, founder of the flourishing city of Clarksdale, landed at old Port Royal when he first came to the county to settle on the bank of Sunflower river, ten miles inland.



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[1] This sketch is based upon information which was kindly contributed by Mr. William H. Stovall.


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