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 spent 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.
"Far exceeding my expectations!!! Very well done. Wonderful narrators And musicians and singer.
So much information locally, as well as how town relates to the then current history of the nation and the world.
Interesting to know that after the mill started closing down, so many of the workers went to shipyard in Mobile.
That is where my grandfather worked during the war reading blueprints at shipyard until he developed lead poisoning and had to quit.
He was able to recover due to good doctors in Laurel, MS.
Thank you so much for your interest and research and producing a wonderful history of Electric Mills."
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.
"Oh, my special new friend,
I am only to 15 minutes on the first DVD and I am in a puddle!!!! My precious aunt and uncle, Victor Cobb and Kathleen Cobb are pictured!!!
I cannot begin to thank you!!!! I will look for some things from my Mother's family to share with you!!!
Thank you for the precious tears!!!!! My mother loved her first 20 years of life at Electric Mills!!!
Thank you again!!!"
Dinah Watson (Cobb family only granddaughter)
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.
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.
"I applaud your efforts establishing this documentary. My family (particularly) my grandmother Sally Lynch ran the dairy. My father Marion Spurgeon Lynch was born in Electric Mills, as were his siblings Barksdale, Katherine, Ruth and Bob. My cousins, Gay Lynch and Peggy Keyes Brown were also born in the town. I have only seen the ghost town but have long wanted to learn more about it and understand why such a "complete and functioning" establishment disappeared without American ingenuity taking over after the trees were gone. Please keep me in the loop and continue your work on this fascinating story."