(Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Once a thriving commercial center, Livingston was nearly deserted by the Civil War. Recent commercial and residential development has revived the lost community.
In 1829, the county seat was moved from Beatties Bluff to Livingston. A courthouse and jail were built by 1833, and the town was incorporated in 1836. That same year, the county seat was officially moved to Canton, though Livingston “unofficially” remained the county seat until 1858, because its courthouse continued to be used until that year.
Livingston became an important trading center for nearby plantations.
A Methodist church was established in Livingston around 1830, and there was a Masonic Lodge from 1854 to 1866, when Union forces ransacked and destroyed it.
By the 1850s, railways had been established across the county, and Livingston had been bypassed. Most of the town’s residents moved and businesses shut down, though the post office remained until at least 1902. The only remains of the original town are a cemetery, and the foundation of the court square.
(Courtesy of InspireMS.co)
“I bought the Livingston property in 2006. We came up to the historic town square and crawled through all of the debris. I saw the 190-year-old cedar trees, beautiful cisterns and pieces of old buildings. I started thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if we could rebuild this town?” reflects David Landrum, developer of the Town of Livingston and the Livingston Farmer’s Market.
In 1829, Livingston, Mississippi, was bustling. It was the largest city in Madison County, and vacationers and locals alike flocked to the town for its natural springs, large plantations and enchanting town square, beautifully wrapped in cedar trees. Over time, people moved away, and the town eventually lost its charter. But it never lost its charm.
With the hope of rebuilding this historic town, David hired Architectural Firm Historic Concepts out of Atlanta, and together they began restoring Livingston to its original glory, with a fresh, unique feel. In an ode to the past, new streets were paved exactly where the original roads danced around the town square.
David knew he was rebuilding a special place, but he had to get the word out. “I wanted to bring people out and tell them we were going to rebuild this town. People would look at me funny,” laughs David. In order to draw a crowd, David started the Livingston Farmer’s Market.
Every Thursday evening from 5:00-8:00pm, crowds of people starting coming to the beautiful Town of Livingston, nestled on the corner of Highway 463 and Highway 22. David says, “Having the trees, the ambiance, and the history of the area – it’s almost like going back in time 50 years. Livingston is about art, literature, music and food. It’s Old South meets Stainless Steel; a historic town with an edge.”
The Farmer’s Market has truly become a wonderful community event. David laughs, “Initially, we did not know if people would come. And we didn’t know how long they would stay. They will literally come out, and not want to leave!” Kellis Moore, the mastermind behind the market, adds, “People bring their families, friends and extended families. It has been incredible really. Now that the town is off the ground this year, people visit the restaurants and sweet shop after the market. It’s been really fun.”
David says, “We are dedicated to keeping it unique and local.” It’s an exciting time for Mississippi. We encourage you all to experience the magical Town of Livingston!