Sometimes you think you can guess how a town got its name. Take Heidelberg, Mississippi, for instance. You might think that a group of German immigrants came over to the New World and settled in the area. Maybe they wanted a name that would remind them of the Old Country, so they named it after the German city of Heidelberg. And though that’s a pretty good guess, it’s actually incorrect.
Though Heidelberg’s founder was a guy with German ancestry, he actually named it after himself and not the German city.
After fighting in the Civil War, Washington Irving Heidelberg returned home to the Mississippi land he purchased before the war. There he raised his family and became a farmer and owner of a general mercantile store. Then, in 1882, Washington would lay out the town that would on day be named after him– Heidelberg.
That same year, the railroad was building a line from Paulding to Mobile via nearby Shubuta. Knowing how important this track would be to the local economy, Heidelberg gave them right-of-way through his land. And he was right. Right after the railroad was built the locals started bringing their goods to Heidelberg to ship throughout the country.
Two years later, the Mississippi State Legislature granted Heidelberg its official charter in 1884. By then the town had four cotton gins, several restaurants and hotels, an ice plant, and a beef market.
Washington Irving Heidelberg would die in 1901. However, he was clever enough to know to keep the mineral rights to his land when he gave the railroad the right of way. As a result, oil was found on his property and his family received payment for the oil.
Stuckey’s Express of Heidelberg
Sure, it might be a Stuckey’s Express, but you’ll find everything here in the Heidelberg location that you’ll also find in a full-sized Stuckey’s. Stuckey’s iconic Pecan Log Rolls? Check! Classic Pecan Pralines? Check! Road trip snacks, kitschy souvenirs, and Mexican falsa blankets? Check, check, and check!
So, the next time you’re in this part of Mississippi, relax, refresh, and refuel at the Stuckey’s Express of Heidelberg for a full-sized Stuckey’s stop feeling.
And be sure to check out these things to see and do while you’re in the area:
Red Water Artesian Well / Shubuta, MS
Pumping up water from deep within the ground, artesian wells kind of act like nature’s water fountains. And while these natural wonders can be found all over America, what makes Shubuta’s artesian well so unique is that the water pumps out red. (Mind you, it’s more the color of grandma’s sweet iced tea than Tropical Punch Kool-Aid.)
It’s the minerals in the water that give the water both its unique color and taste and some even believe these minerals give the water certain healing properties. That wasn’t always the case, however, as Native Americans avoided the well, believing that the medicinal taste and color was poisonous.
Nonetheless, these days the water has been deemed potable and hundreds of thirsty people descend on Shubuta each year to give the supposedly medicinal water a try. Find out for yourself by taking a drink from Shubuta’s Red Water Artesian Well today and let us know what you think. It’s located under the gazebo on the corner of W. Eucutta and Station Streets in Shubuta.
Gerald McRaney Street / Collins, MS
We don’t know if it something in their water, but there are quite a few famous people that have come out of Collins, Mississippi. For example, there’s NFL star Correll Buckhaulter who played professionally for both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos. Then there’s NBA star Randolph Keys who last played with the Milwaukee Bucks. Perhaps, the most famous of them all, however, is actor and TV star Gerald McRaney.
After leaving Collins to attend a New Orleans repertory company, McRaney soon found his way to Los Angeles where he got mostly bit parts in Western television series. (In fact, he was the last man to meet Sheriff Matt Dillon in a gunfight on Gunsmoke. Of course, McRaney’s character lost.)
His big break came in 1979, however, when he got the role of Rick Simon in the hit TV detective series Simon and Simon. The show was so successful, in fact, that the series ran for eight seasons with the final show airing on September 16, 1989. Towards the end of Simon and Simon, McRaney came up with an idea for a sitcom called Major Dad which started on September 17, 1989, the night after the final episode of Simon and Simon, and ran for four years. 1996 found McRaney playing Russell Greene in the series Promised Land. Greene is a man who suddenly loses his job and takes his family on a sort of spiritual road trip to help those in need. The series – a spin-off of Touched by an Angel – lasted three seasons. Since then, McRaney has starred alongside Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek in the film Get Low, and acted in a long list of television series such as Longmire, Deadwood, House of Cards and most recently, This is Us.
While playing Suzanne Sugarbaker’s (Delta Burke) love interest Dash Goff in the television series Designing Women, he and Burke would fall in love in real life, marrying in 1989.
It would be on May 1, 1999, however, that Collins would honor its hometown-boy-done-good with a plaque placed on his childhood home and the street on which it stood renamed in his honor.
Hot Coffee / Hot Coffee, MS
We know what’s in the water that gave the community of Hot Coffee its name. It was at the intersection of Mississippi State Routes 37 and 532 that L.J. Davis would build a store in 1870 and hang a coffee pot over his door to advertised “the best hot coffee around”. Made from New Orleans coffee beans, spring water and a little molasses to sweeten it, Davis never served his coffee with cream claiming it would spoil the taste of his special brew.
Soon the store became the Starbucks of the 19th century among politicians, their constituents and passing travelers. Eventually, all of the “brew”haha about Davis’s java led to the community being named Hot Coffee.
Stuckey’s Bridge / Enterprise, MS
Located about a half-an-hour’s drive from Heidelberg, Stuckey’s Bridge is truly the stuff of local lore.
Legend has it that, here, next to a bridge that crossed the Chunky River, the Dalton Gang once left behind a man by the name of Stuckey (no relation). Still, it seems that Stuckey didn’t really mind being left behind so much as soon after he opened an inn next to the bridge.
It also seems Stuckey was not only settling down at the inn, but that he was also settling back into his life of crime.
You see, Stuckey had a rather odd way of getting guests to stay at his accommodations. He used to go out to the bridge late at night, lantern in hand, and lure in merchants carrying produce, cotton, and such by boat along the Chunky River. However, instead of peaceful night’s rest, many of his guests ended up resting in peace.
Once he got them back to the inn and all tucked in, Stuckey would wait for the merchants to fall asleep. Then, in the middle of their sweet dreams, they’d never wake-up to the nightmare that would occur as Stuckey bludgeoned them to death and robbed them of all their possessions. He would then take their bodies out and bury them along the banks of the Chunky.
All in all, he would end of taking the lives of 20 unsuspecting souls. After that, his gruesome crimes were soon discovered. Stuckey was tried and hanged from the very same bridge from which he would lure his victims – and the bridge which now bears his name. His body was cut down and washed downriver after a few days.
These days, locals say you can still hear the splash of his body hitting the water. Others say they’ve seen an eerie-looking figure make its way across the bridge late at night. Could it be ghost looking for more victims, even in the afterlife? Find out for yourself, if you dare.
Well, the long wait is over. That’s because on Monday, February 27, 2003, Stuckey’s will start shipping orders once again out of its new warehouse. So what are you waiting for? Head over to our website and start placing your order for all those things you’ve been missing like our iconic Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls, Pecan Pralines, and other great road trip snacks that’ll help get you wherever it is you’re going.
Of course, there’s also our Stuckey’s branded merchandise like our hoodies, t-shirts, caps, and coffee mugs. And don’t forget our gift boxes for all those birthdays, anniversaries, and other gift giving occasion you’ve got coming up soon. Get all of this and more when you browse our website and place your order at stuckeys.com today and we’ll start shipping them out again starting on Monday!
(Please note: Some items will still be out of stock until mid-March. Check the website for details.)
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!