Poplar Springs Historic District near Meridian, MS

By Kim Madlom on April 27, 2011 at 11:20 pm EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Adkins

What was once a cattle trail running along the outskirts of Meridian is now a residential area of charming older homes on large lots encompassing mature trees and gardens.

The Poplar Springs Historic District, now officially designated with a new marker, is prized for its elaborate Victorian-era homes. Shingled Queen Anns, Arts-and-Crafts-style bungalows and Mission-style homes make this area a porch-sitter's paradise.

With its wraparound porches and original beveled-glass windows and doors, this neighborhood – named in 2009 as one of the Best Old House Neighborhoods of the South by This Old House magazine – is home to a diverse community of young parents and retirees.

Dr. Sonny Rush, a Poplar Springs resident and primary force behind having the historic district so designated, calls the area the "St. Charles of Meridian," comparing it to the famous New Orleans neighborhood.

Cattle made a winding trail on their way to the springs located north of Meridian, and that winding trail became the path for the neighborhood's main street, Poplar Springs Drive. Homes sprang up in the early part of the 20th century, many of which still stand today.

The area was developed by M.R. Grant, who named it Marion Park, after his daughter.

A streetcar once connected the historic neighborhood to Meridian, a connection that will strengthen as Meridian continues to emerge as a city of arts and culture.

Poplar Springs, which runs north to south from Meridian High School to 22nd Street, is one of several historic districts in the city. Others include Highlands, which includes Highland Park; Merrehope, with the famous Merrehope and F.W. Williams homes; West End, just south of the Merrehope district; East End, which is east of downtown; Mid-town, just south of the Poplar Springs district and north of downtown; and the Meridian Downtown historic district, which is in the southern part of downtown, from Fifth Street to Front Street.

Find out more on the historic districts in Meridian, MS.

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