Phalti Lake - Jasper County, Mississippi
Phalti Lake, located on private property in eastern Jasper County, once served as a popular recreational destination. Both local and extended patrons visited the site as a vacation desination. The railroad ussured patrons into the villlage of Pachuta, who were then transported to Phalti via horse and buggy. It is unclear if lodging was subsiquently provided at Phalti or at Pachuta.
Although I have been unable to learn the complete history of the lake, I have obtained several old and current photos of the property. Based upon these photos and a collection verbal accounts, the following is an attempt to piece together the puzzle. If you have any knowledge of the lake's history or can offer any corrections, please contact me.
Based upon early USGS survey maps, Phalti Lake(s) may have once been known as Lewis Lake. These older maps indicate a Lewis Lake Dam at the current Phalti site. In any case, it's apparent that the lakes were contructed for the purpose of supplying water to a sawmill. The old foundation piers of this mill remain in the lower lake. Other testimonials support the existance of a water powered wheel that powered a sawmill.
Old Photo of the Dam
These old photos seem to indicate the presence of a hand dug canal or flume system. In other parts of Jasper county, similar systems were used for logging and sawmill operations.
Notes on the edge of this photo flag the presence of a barn and an overseer's house in the background of the photo.
In later years, the property was converted into a private residence as well as a recreational facilty for the public. The principal residence, located near the upper lake, remains in good repair and is curently used by the present owners.
The upper lake is fed by several flowing springs. In turn, the lower lake is fed by the upper lake. Swimming was only allowed in the upper lake.
If you look closely in this photo, you will recognise a arch bridge that leads to a camping area. Central to this camping area, you will note a white canvas tent.
Unique to those days, a sizable concrete swimming pool was built and supplied water by the upper lake.
Notes on the edge of this photo record a calculation of approximately 18,500 gallons per minute being discharged from the upper lake.
Below the dam of the upper lake, a picnic area included an impressive fountain. The head pressure of the upper lake provided for a naturally gushing spray of water that shot several feet into the air. Fish were kept in this fountain, as they are still are.
In addition to swimming and fishing, I am told that Phalti was used as a camping destination for local boy scout groups. The property also included a sizable dance hall. This dance hall was being used up until the early 60's and may have been the original lodging destination of the early vacation visitors.
Remains of the Dance Hall
All forms of public activity have come to an end at Phalti. The site remains as peaceful and inviting as ever. Many fond memories were created on these grounds and I trust that the site will remain treasured by all who had the opportunity to enjoy it.
Many thanks to Bill Eddins for his help in the development of this page!
This page is under construction
These pages are a work in progress. While every attempt has been made to include accurate historical information, some error may be included. I invite corrections, additional information, additional photographs, and accounts of personal experience. Please contact me at the supplied address. Very little has been documented in regards to the dying towns and landmarks of east-central Mississippi. With your help, I hope to put together a few pages that we all can pass along to our grandchildren. Thanks!
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