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Forrest County was formed in 1908 after being divided from the western side of Perry County. Initially, Forrest County began growing because of the rapid timber boom that took place in South Mississippi in the late 1800s, resulting from the large expansion of the railroad and the increased demand for lumber otherwise known as the “lumber boom.” This ongoing progression in the industry and growing population taking place in southern half of Mississippi had a great affect on the timber business. From 1881-1911, the population increased to nearly 20,800 people just in the area of Forrest County that became known as Hattiesburg. For comparison, Perry County’s population was just shy of 7,550 people during that time period.
In 1880, Captain W. H. Hardy founded the young city of Hattiesburg, named in honor of his wife, Hattie. Hardy focused his attention towards the construction of a railroad from New Orleans to the south and Meridian to the north.When Perry County was split into two judicial districts, Hattiesburg was declared the seat of justice for the Second District, which became Forrest County.
In Mississippi’s forestry story, Hattiesburg played a major role for the timber industry as it was and as it still is to this present day. The third largest city in the state, Hattiesburg is known as “The Hub CIty” because of its location on four major railroads directed towards: Jackson, New Orleans, Biloxi, and Mobile. This made transportation of lumber very convenient. The largest mill formed in Hattiesburg was the J. J. Newman Lumber Company, employing well over 1,250 workers and manufactured a surplus of 75,500,000 panel board feet of timber each year. The lumber wholesalers alone inhabiting the Hattiesburg area had more than 35 purchasing companies.
Modern day Hattiesburg is where Interstate 59 intersects with U. S. Highways 11, 49, and 98. By car, Hattiesburg is less than 120 miles from Jackson, New Orleans, Mobile and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Forrest County boasts one of the best economic markets and health care areas in the state. Its rapid expansion and development alone will have you itching to buy more property.
Forrest County offers many recreational, sporting and entertainment opportunities. A visit to the Kamper Park Zoo with its beautiful park, carousel and train, is an excellent way to spend a morning with the family. Paul B. Johnson Lake, a few miles south of Hattiesburg on Hwy. 49 is a favorite spot for fishing, skiing and picnicking. Camp Shelby, also on Hwy. 49 south of Hattiesburg, boasts an outstanding military museum on base. Forrest County is also home to the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University, both of which offer the chance to view top-notch collegiate athletics as well as many fine arts events.
Land for sale near Hattiesburg
Walley Properties, LLC. has many remarkable timberland and recreational properties in Forrest County.