In my growing-up years in and around Grenada, I am certain that I only thought about Duck Hill when passing through the area on my way to either my Aunt Mary’s house in Winona, or to the memorial service at Nations Poplar Creek. In my teenage and college years, I typically rushed by the handful of stores as I headed toward the big city of Jackson.
Now, thanks to the annual ritual of the Duck Hill Mountain Climb, I find myself interested enough to be curious about this Montgomery County location. What’s the story behind its name? Duck Hill was named in honor of Chief Duck. Many of the town’s residents were at one time treated and cared for by this Choctaw medicine man. The large hill just northeast of the town held sacred meaning for the Chief. He held meetings at this high point long before many of us began to participate in the annual trek. Now that I have experienced a second year “on the hill”, I think I begin to understand just why the astute Native American was drawn to this geographical landform.
Some of the people who attended this year’s climb have lived in the zone of “the mountain” all of their lives, and, yet, never, before this opportunity, made the hike. Others shared hilarious tales of teenage years, with many visits, typically in the middle of a school day, to this unique spot of Montgomery County. A couple of fellas remembered hopping off the bus in the morning to spend the day on the hill, then cleverly catching the bus again in the afternoon to make it back home. Their parents were none the wiser.
As it turned out, my recent Mississippi adventure was chock full of interesting names. There was the book event scheduled with the Blue Biscuit Book Club in Indianola at the Blue Biscuit Bar and Grill. Again, the name got my attention enough to dig a bit. The restaurant is located across the street from the BB King Blues Museum, thus the use of the word “blue.” In the middle of the Mississippi Delta, the Blue Biscuit makes this promise, “We’ll roll out the BLUE carpet for ya!” For sure, Indianola rolled out a welcome that I will treasure for some time. Abraham’s, in downtown Indianola, please know your kindness went above board.
I meet a group of fun-loving hikers on last year’s Duck Hill Mountain Climb who are all members of a book club in Jackson. A plan was made, that when I completed and published the mystery DARK SPOT, that I would visit their club. The day before this group rolled in for the February 8th “climb”, we gathered, as promised. Why does this information fit in the line-up of interesting names? The book club is named Between the Covers. Now, that well-thought out name deserves two rounds of applause in my opinion.
The talk about town also points to another location that I sure hope I can add to my line-up of interesting names: Bull Bottom Farms. I hear the explanation behind the name is pretty straight forward. Houston Robinson bought this Duck Hill farm back in 1944 from a Mr. Bull. Because of the previous owner’s name, the new owner always called the farm The Bull Place. As it turned out, much of the farm is in the bottoms, thus…. Bull Bottom Farms. I’ll add that to my chock-full line-up of interesting Mississippi names to visit either this spring or next fall.
I suspect that many will send me many more intriguing names to explore.