The train town of Possum Ridge has been a holiday tradition in the capital city for nearly forty years. Its running trains and detailed model buildings have delighted both children and adults every December. This series explores the history of the town and the stories behind its buildings as related to us by Lucky Osborne, who built most of the town himself. Osborne continues to volunteer his time to maintain the town and read from “A Special Visitor Comes to Possum Ridge,” the children’s book inspired by the exhibit.

Boll Weevil Cafe in Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

Boll Weevil Cafe in Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

Boll Weevil Cafe in Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

Boll Weevil Cafe in Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

The original Boll Weevil Cafe was located in Inverness (Sunflower County) and owned by Lucky Osborne’s grandmother. Although he never saw the country cafe in person, he had seen pictures of it.

During the Depression, his grandmother told him, many people traveled the roads and rails. One day a man came in and told her that he was hungry. He was a sign painter and said, “If you’ll give me a hamburger, I’ll paint a sign for your cafe.” She said, “If you’ll paint what I want you to paint, I’ll feed you for a whole week!” So she had him paint, as she called it, her “menu on the wall.”

If you look on the exterior side walls of the cafe, you’ll see the breakfast menu of eggs, bacon, coffee, and pie painted on one side, and a dinner menu of ice cream, a hamburger, and a hotdog on the other.

The model train town of Possum Ridge and historic Christmas trees and toys are on display Monday, noon–4:30 p.m., Tuesday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. through December 22 on the first floor of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building at the corner of North and Amite streets in Jackson. Tours for school groups are available by reservation Tuesday–Friday, December 6–16, 9 a.m.–noon. For information call 601-576-6800.