Rocky Springs Town Site, Milepost 54.8

A sign that says
One of the signs marking the area of the once prosperous rural town of Rocky Springs.


Quick Facts
Natchez Trace Parkway, Milepost 54.8
Historic Site

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Restroom, Trailhead

Called "the Rocky Spring" by early travelers, the town later became Rocky Springs, a rural community covering about 25 square miles. Settlement of the area began in the late 1790's and continued until about 1860, reaching a peak of approximately 2600 people. Several businesses were established at different times, among them carpenters, wheelwrights, a well digger, cabinet makers, a cotton gin maker and blacksmiths. By the mid-1800's there was also a church, post office, a Masonic Lodge, and possibly a school.

During the four years that the Civil War raged, many areas in both the North and the South would experience its devastation. A letter written in 1863 stated, "My slaves, horses, and mules are carried off, my fences torn dowand my crops destroyed..." 

In the summer fall of 1878, yellow fever struck the area. Pastor J.W. Sandwell on November 18, 1873, wrote that there were 180 yellow fever cases and 43 deaths. Although Rocky Springs tried to recover after the yellow fever epidemic, in the early 1900's boll weevil struck, a beetle that feeds on cotton buds and flowers, devastating the cotton crop. After this final disaster, the population declined rapidly and the last store in the area closed its doors during the 1930's.

Unfortunately, the nearby spring no longer flows and today only the church and cemetery, two rustling safes and several abandoned cisterns remain of this once prosperous rural community.

Natchez Trace Parkway, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

Last updated: February 24, 2021