The Mighty Men Behind Lauderdale County, Mississippi (Part 1)


The original name of the Lauderdale family, according to Betty Lawrence, author of A History Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi, was “Maitland.” Sir Richard Maitland the son of William Maitland, an early Scotch lawyer who, in 1562, was nominated a Lord privy Seal.  His son, John, Prior of Codingham and later a Lord of Parliament, succeeded his father’s office of Lord Privy Seal. John’s son, who was also named John Maitland, was Duke of Lauderdale.

(“The Mighty Men” Feature photo is of Sir John Maitland, 1st Lord Thirlestane, born in 1545.)

A member of the Maitland family immigrated to America in 1714 and to this family seven sons and three daughters were born. One of the sons was James Lauderdale who settled in Mississippi at Panti on Possum Creek and founded the town of Lauderdale Springs.  James Lauderdale, a Lieutenant Colonel of a regiment of mounted infantry in Coffee’s brigade, was severely wounded in the battle against the Creek Indians at Talladega, Alabama.  He was in command of Dyer’s regiment in General Coffee’s brigade in the Battle of New Orleans, where he was killed.  The official records of war stated:

“The Mississippi Territory suffered a loss in Colonel Lauderdale of General Coffee’s brigade who fell while heroically repulsing the enemy.”

LTC James Lauderdale died on the battlefield, his feet toward the enemy positions, sword still in hand pointed toward the enemy. His courage and valor inspired his regiment to rally and drive the enemy away after seeing their commander fall.

The Nashville Whig eulogized Lauderdale, saying:

“On the battle ground below New Orleans, on the night of the 23rd of December, James Lauderdale, colonel in the corps of mounted volunteers from this state.  At any early period after the declaration of war, Colonel Lauderdale engaged in the service of his country, and was employed in the campaign against the Creek Indians, until the battle of Talladega, in which he fought with distinguished gallantry and was severely wounded.  So soon as apprehensions were entertained for the safety of New Orleans and West Florida, Colonel Lauderdale, not yet recovered from his wounds, again offered his services to his country…On the evening of the 23rd he exposed himself as was his custom when in battle to every danger, and soon fell, leaving his brace soldiers to take encouragement from his noble example, and a grateful country to admire his valor and deplore his loss.

“Colonel Lauderdale was respected in private life and beloved by the men whom he commanded.  In every situation in which he was placed his first object was to know and to do his duty.  No dangers however great, no seducements however alluring, could divert him for an instant from this object. With that integrity and fortitude of character, for which he was so eminently distinguished, was combined an enthusiasm and glow of feeling which every one who knew him both perceived and admired.  When graver matters pressed upon him, he was vigilant and thoughtful in battle – it was there that he shined with superior luster – it was in the ‘battle broil” that all the energies of his mind were put forth…it was in the defence <sic> of the rights of his country, and in the liberty of the citizens that he was most firm and determined…”

Lauderdale Counties in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and the towns of Lauderdale and Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi were named in his honor. According to the records, James Lauderdale was never married. Evidently, however, he was quite a man!

Here’s a link to the Maitland Family page…enjoy. Click Here

Stay Tuned for Part 2!

by Richelle Putnam

Ocean Springs – The City of Discovery


Part 1

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

If you’ve ever been to this quaint little Gulf Coast town tucked along the eastern shore of Biloxi Bay then you know it has a lot to offer. Visitors come from far and wide, and many will either decide to stay and never return back home, relocate there, or decide to make it their retirement place.  Every town has its own personality, and this one lives and breathes a unique atmosphere, perhaps because of its nearness to New Orleans or its eccentric arts past.

A city that is increasingly growing in diversity, nestled within its space are lots of quirky boutiques, little shops, and great food places (more than 100!). A new favorite spot can be found around every corner. Ancient oak trees line many of the streets, stretching across the road and whispering tales of long ago. It’s a town with its own character, and a love for the arts. Numerous art festivals draw people from all over the US and Canada throughout the year, the most well-known being the Peter Anderson Festival.

Here is a baker’s dozen of popular favorites that you should not miss when you visit The City of Discovery:

  1. Tato-Nuts Donuts: The Mohler family has been making the world’s BEST donuts here since 1960. Donuts are made fresh every day, and you can also get a great cup of java (a.k.a coffee) and other pastries. These donuts are special because they’re made from potato flour- which kind of makes them healthier…at least that’s what I tell myself! Go early because there’s usually a line out the door! And if you go during the Mardi Gras season (Feb/March), be sure to try the King Cake donut. But the classic chocolate glazed is a popular favorite, especially because they make their chocolate glaze from scratch.

  2. Government Street Grocery: The best hamburger that you will seriously ever eat can be found at this restaurant. It’s not fancy, and it’s small but you can’t go wrong with any of the menu selections. Get the home-made fries and see if you can guess the secret ingredient. Be sure to look for their famous wall sign that reads, “Keep OS weird!” If you go in the evening, you can catch some great local bands (Texas Pete & Rooster Blues are just two examples). Local craft beers, like Blue Moon, are here, too.

  3. The new indie book shop, Southern Bound Book Shop: Finally, OS has an indie book shop! Bring on the 21st century! In its early stages before becoming a full-fledged butterfly, it’s currently tucked inside a cozy corner of the Adele & Grace Consignment Boutique…which is just mere footsteps from Gov’t Street Grocery. Events like Story Time for kids and a Book Club are encouraging folks to read more. They have a second location in Biloxi, and are great supporters of the local writers in the area. Many books written by local authors can be found here, as well as lots of new releases. Be sure to sign up for the rewards program to earn points for purchases toward future books. Go indies! Shop local!

  4. The Mary C. – officially the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center for Arts and Education: If you want to catch a small theatre production or music venue, this is the place. Their annual calendar is filled each year with great artists and all good things for art lovers. This place is a nerve center for local arts. There’s a revolving art gallery that always features thought-provoking artwork or photography that very much pertains to local history and all things Southern. If you go, be sure to visit the gift shop for local designs and artwork. Don’t miss the Ocean Springs History Museum upstairs; if you can catch the Curator, he will tell you some very interesting things about the history of this place and how it developed, as well as the people who played roles in its development. The Mary C. always has a great many things going on. Besides all of these things already mentioned, it offers a wide variety of art classes for all ages… everything from calligraphy, sewing, painting, sculpture, and stained glass to drawing, jewelry making to culinary arts. Once a month they also offer a Saturday market on their lawn; local arts and crafts vendors set up stands and sell their wares.

  5. Walter Anderson Museum of Art: Ah, Walter Anderson…the eccentric man for which this town is famously known. His artwork is famously unique with flowing lines, ink drawings, wood carvings, and jewel-like watercolors. Most of his art relates heavily to the local area and its forms found in nature, such as the sea and local birds or fish. He was known for his 14-mile rowboat trips to Horn Island where he would spend weeks painting and becoming one with the sea and its creatures. If you visit the museum, you will find a unique collection of pieces that will inspire you to enter a magical world of imagination. And best of all, there is a huge room at the museum, tucked in the corner and used for meetings or gatherings; in this room you will find every inch of space filled with nature scenes and whimsical creatures or designs. There is also a Little Room, as it is known. It was discovered at his cottage after his death, and is a giant mural inspired by Psalm 104. The Little Room has been added as an extension to the museum, and stepping inside of it womb is like stepping into a magical and whimsical world filled with dreamlike imagination.

  6. Lovelace Drugstore & Soda Fountain: Nostalgia owns this place. It was originally the medical practice of Dr. O.L. Bailey, but was burned in 1915. It was rebuilt as Ocean Springs Drugs in 1926, and became Lovelace Drugs in the 1950’s. Still dressed in its retro-ish 50’s décor, Lovelace Drugs will take you back to yesteryear. It’s a must on your list of sites to see. They even still have the original soda fountain counter with bar stools. They still sell a small selection of typical drugstore items, but grilled Reuben’s are their specialty, along with milkshakes and root beer floats. A visit here is especially nostalgic during Cruzin’ on the Coast, when vintage vehicles take over the town.

  7. THE BEACH! – No stop to O.S. would be sufficient without a jaunt to the beach. There are a couple of popular spots. If you have a boat, you may want to check out the marina. Front Beach is conveniently located across from Fort Maurepas, which has playing areas for the kids and picnic tables, grills, and restrooms for the whole family. If you have your walking shoes, you can walk along a nicely paved sidewalk along the shore, and can even walk all the way to the Biloxi Bay Bridge which connects O.S. and Biloxi via highway 90. But East Beach is a personal favorite because it’s much quieter, and also allows dogs. This is also the best spot to watch fireworks on the 4th of July. No matter which spot in the sand you choose, watch for shrimp boats heading toward deeper waters, crabs along the beach, and pelicans diving for fish. If you linger to watch the sunsets, you’ll see a glorious show of colors and may catch fish jumping in the water. Breathe in the salt air, wiggle your toes, and relax…then write your name in the sand and get in touch with your inner child!

  8. Shearwater Pottery: Every town must have an off-the-beaten path place to check out. The first time that I went here, I seriously thought that I was headed to the boonies and would surely get lost in the woods and trampled by wild beavers or would end up driving headfirst into the ocean. Just past the marina, there’s a tiny, narrow dirt road- if you blink then you’ll miss it. There is a sign, but it blends in with the camouflage of the green bushes and clay road. Once you find this road, which is very narrow and curvy I might add, you pass several artist cabins before reaching a final cabin. You’ll know this is the place because of all the cars parked outside. Only in the South do we have driving directions like this! On any account, once inside you’ll be transported into another world…the world of marvelous pottery. Originally founded by Peter Anderson (brother of Walter) in 1928, it is still family-owned today. Needless to say, this is considered local hallowed ground. All three Anderson brothers- Peter, Walter, and James- are its most well-known pottery designers. Today they have a variety of potters who design and sell ceramics, decorative and utilitarian pieces as well as figurines. Truly unique in design and reasonably-priced, their pottery is magnificent. If you are into pottery and collections, this is one place you can’t miss. (Even if you’re not, just go!)

  9. French Kiss Pastries: Welcome to Paris! That’s exactly how you will feel upon entering this special little place. Take some time to ooh and aah over the beautiful and delectably inviting pastries, cakes, cookies and pies while you try to decide what to get. Personally, I always love their blueberry scones. The berries are so fresh that they explode in your mouth, bursting with flavor. But there’s also cute little gourmet cakes- get one and you can proudly claim that you ate a whole entire cake!

  10. Greenhouse on Porter: You will love this great little coffee shop that walks to the beat of its own drum. Jess & Katie, the owners, make the best gourmet biscuits this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. Housed in an actual former greenhouse, colorful artwork adorns the front entrance area, and the table seating area greets patrons with a small organic garden. There’s a special spot for parking your bicycle, and you’ll get treated like an old friend from the moment you step foot inside. They also host Opp Shop events for local artists, movie nights, musical afternoons, yoga, and writer’s table events. This is really a place that has quickly become embedded into the local community, and its positive vibe will infect you. Mondays are usually Free Coffee days, and be sure to visit the Little Free Library…it’s co-sponsored by Southern Bound Book Shop!

  11. Quakes Ice Creamery: From the outside, you would never know what a treasure can be found within the walls of this place! If you are a true adventurer, then you will take a chance and soon discover. Once inside, you can sit down and eat a great hamburger or hot dog and grab a homemade malt, ice cream or sundae specialty. The food is great, and the ice cream is the best and creamiest in town- and features daily flavor specials. But the best part of all is that you can write your name on the wall! Grab a sharpie, and find a spot if you can, and leave your mark. Folks have been doing this for years. Literally every inch is almost filled- walls, ceilings, tabletops, chairs and benches…even most of the bathroom spaces!

  12. Historic L & N Train Depot, and Fresh Market Saturdays: During the bustling train days of long ago, this station ran a line from Mobile to New Orleans, and it made stops in Ocean Springs. It was built in 1870, and has been lovingly renovated. Today it houses the Chamber of Commerce and a Visitor’s Center, as well as a small gift shop that features local artwork- particularly that of Walter Anderson. This is a great place to stop and get brochures and loot to plan your itinerary. On most Saturdays, depending on the season, you can check out the Fresh Market from 9am-noon. Local farmers bring their fresh crops, and you can also get local honey, fresh organic milk and eggs, cheese, beef jerky, handmade soaps, hand-spun yarn and a menagerie of other items.

  13. Belgicans Fries: Last but not least, this is really the BEST place to get fries. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or supper! The name is a blending of play on words, Belgium and America…it’s the Belgian and American way of eating fries. They have a second location a stone’s throw away in D’Iberville. Fresh-peeled potatoes are fried twice to a crispy golden and crunchy texture. When you order, you get to decide topping choices. The menu is diversely unique, and they really do make a meal.

As you can see from this list, Ocean Springs has a lot to offer visitors.

This list is just a short example. In a town with over 100 restaurants and loads of other great places, you will have no trouble finding great spots to shop, eat, or play. Plan your visit today!

The City of Discovery, Part I by Kristina Mullenix


Love Versus Fear

For the shortest month on the Julian calendar,

February has many days devoted to important celebrations- Black History month: Go Red for Women Day; Valentine’s Day; Presidents’ Day; to name a few. These celebrations are ways of showing love and are devoted  to legacies which give messages about what’s important to future generations. When we talk about love on Valentine’s day, we are likely to be thinking about romantic love but there are many levels and types of love. According to Susan Pease Gadoua, L.C.S.W. “The Greeks had different definitions for love: Ludus was playful affection and flirting; Philia was for close friendships and family; Pragma is mature love that has developed over time; Eros was sexual and romantic love; Philautia is self love; and finally Agape is known as generalized or divine love.”

While the Greeks gave love many spots in the dictionary,

they also feared love. Socrates saw love as, “..a serious mental disease,” and for Plato, “Love is a madness.” It was the Greeks who coined the phrase, “lovesick.” That struggle between love and fear exists today.

 All emotions emitted from our brains originate from love and fear.

They and intertwined and dominate our lives in ways too profound to fathom. But what is love and how is it different from fear? People define love differently and we assume that when others use the word, they and we are talking about the same thing. Not so. Because people define love differently, they are likely to show it differently and have different expectations of how it should look and feel. Too, the word love is so overused and often stands as currency to get what we want. This approach is likely to embody fear rather than love. Many of us show love in the ways we hope to receive love in return. It’s sort of like the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have others do unto you. This too, embodies control which is fear based and assumes others have the same orientation to love as we do.

Love is not fear. Love is inherently free.

It cannot be bought, sold, or traded. You cannot make someone love you for any amount of money. Love cannot be owned, legislated or contained. Love cannot be turned on as a reward or turned off as a punishment. Love allows room for anger, grief, or pain to be expressed and released. But love does not threaten to withhold itself if it doesn’t get what it wants.

We can’t command, demand, or take it away love.

According to Deborah Anapol Ph.D. “Love is bigger than you are. You can invite love, but you cannot dictate how, when, and where love expresses itself.” True love is unconditional, meaning it judges nothing. Love expresses itself as an urge towards unity. But all these positive words don’t mean to suggest that love is a patsy that allows destructive and abusive behaviors to go unchecked. Love speaks out for justice and protests when harm is being done. Love points out the consequences of hurting oneself or others.

Fear, on the other hand, could be correctly described as being conditional love;

masquerading as love but it’s not. Control is the default operating system of fear and is the major ingredient in many acts and decisions we make. Fear is rooted in insecurity, which again, is based in fear. And out of that comes jealousy and the need to exert power over others. This something else pretending to be love can be used as a lure, with bait and a hook to grab, hold and harm. But real love can never be delivered if it doesn’t spring freely from the heart.

We can buy sex, loyalty, companionship, and devotion but not love.

If you do something that is fear based, even if it’s disguised, it’s darkness will eventually show. When we do something, give to someone, a gift, your time or a smile, are you expecting something in return? If you do give a part of yourself and feel ripped of when you don’t get what you expected in return ask yourself if your action come from love or from fear.

We all have insecurities, it’s a part of being human,

but we don’t have to let those insecurities rule us. The more we try to mask our insecurities by exerting control over others, the more insecure and fear based we become. It’s the unspoken law of the universe love breeds love, and negativity breeds negativity. Love is inherently compassionate and empathic. Love honors the sovereignty of each soul. This is the true nature of love.

As we consider our legacy to be passed on to future generations, consider Dr. Anapol’s words “Love cares about everyone because love knows that we are all interconnected, that the other is also the self.”

What’s A Person To Do?

  • Look in your heart and find the fertile soul where compassion and commitment for everyone can develop and grow.
  • Be a good neighbor to the world and to the ones next door. We can’t to find all those kinds of love in one person. We need each other.
  • Open your heart. Love is better experienced than defined but it must have a way to enter.

© Rachell N. Anderson, Psy. D. January 18, 2016

Photo credit – Stuart Miles and Free Digital Photos