Saturday, May 5, 2018

Small Towns in Mississippi: Bolton

Old US 80, Bolton, Mississippi
Bolton is an old agricultural town in Hinds County on the east-west Kansas City Southern railroad line between Jackson and Vicksburg. Many Vicksburgers who go to school in Raymond take the exit from I-20 and pass through Bolton in a hurry, likely not paying much attention. Like many other small towns, Bolton has faded. The small commercial strip is mostly empty, the shops and nearby houses rather run-down. It is sad.
The gas station at the corner of Old US 80 and Bolton-Raymond Road is now a fast food joint.
I do not know if Bolton ever had a passenger depot. This old railroad warehouse or shed is at the crossing of the Bolton-Raymond Road. I have photographed it several times over the years. The tracks and bedding are in good maintenance because this is the main Kansas City Southern east-west line.
Jackie's Beauty Boutique is just a few steps from the railroad warehouse.
East of Bolton, Old US 80 runs through woods interspersed with farm fields. I am not sure how much of the route is the real 80, the Dixie Overland Highway, and how much is 1970s-vintage frontage road.
Proceed west on Madison Street, which is also Old US 80, and you reach the police station in a tiny modern office. Across the street is a closed gas station.
Continue west, and we have cottages and shotgun houses in various states of habitation and maintenance. I like the symmetry of these older cottages. Unfortunately, there is not much more to see in Bolton.

Most of the black and white photographs were taken with an Olympus Trip 35 compact 35mm camera on Kodak film. I wrote about the Trip 35 in January.  I also wrote about the Trip 35 on the 35MMC blog.

Update: I found a 1996 Kodachrome slide of Bolton.
Bolton, MS, Kodachrome 25 film, Leica M3, 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit lens


  1. Reminds me somewhat of the town in Nebraska where my dad was from. Amazing how the whole middle of the country was hollowed out. The Trip 35 seems like a handy camera for documenting such places.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Hollowing out is an appropriate term to describe what has happened to much of interior USA. These little towns do not offer much for energetic youngsters, and as soon as they finish high school, they leave for college and clear out to coastal cities. Even much of Jackson, the state capitol, has hollowed out.

  3. I remember a movie called The Beast Within being filmed at a house over on Texas St back in 1981. The house still looks the same but in the movie it was yellow.