Sumter Lumber Company was the first fully functioning electric lumber mill east of the Mississippi River.
The town went from a population of over 2,500 in the 1920’s to around 50 people today.
I have spent a large part of the last two years compiling a history of the town and mill in a video documentary.
Electric Mills comes to life through letters, pictures, articles, interviews, and music.
Mrs. Grady May compiled two books about the town in the early 1970s.
The first book “The Story of Electric Mills” contained articles and letters from former residents. This clip from the video features “I Remember” by Gladys Dotson Persons.
Melanie Tackett reads the letter. My talented nephew Patton Ford plays guitar. Patton wrote the musical score for the project.
Charles M. Fitts, Jr. of Jackson, MS lived in Electric Mills for five years.
This is part of an interview with him about childhood memories from the documentary.
Robin Harmon hails from Corinth, MS and has been playing mandolin in bluegrass and reenactment bands for decades. I heard him playing at a Civil War reenactment and knew that I had to have him for this project. I could not get the sound of that mandolin out of my head. I was so thankful when he agreed to be a part of the documentary.
Robin is joined by fellow band member Uncle Dave Stevens performing “In the Pines.” Sumter Lumber Company was at one time the largest producer of short leaf yellow pine lumber in the U.S.
The story of Electric Mills
The documentary is just under two hours in length. It is available on dvd or blu-ray.
The cost is $30.00 plus $5.00 for postage. Please make checks payable to Lee Thompson.
Mail to Lee Thompson, P. O. Box 26, Mooreville, MS 38857-0026.
Be sure and specify dvd or blu-ray.