Broken Pecan Factory sign to be reassembled

Published 11:46 am Saturday, April 14, 2007

With the debris from the Pecan Factory cleared away, the only thing salvaged was the building’s sign, officials said.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History required the building’s debris be combed for objects of archeological significance.

Natchez resident and archaeologist “Smokye” Joe Frank supervised the debris removal.

Email newsletter signup

“I think the pieces of that sign, which are here, there and yonder, are going to be put together,” Frank said.

Pieces of the broken concrete sign with art-deco lettering went missing soon after the building was torn down.

Frank said at the time he thought people took the pieces wanting to preserve a piece of the building.

But they’ve called, and Frank said he knows where most of the pieces are, now.

“Where they go from there is between the city, (developers) Worley-Brown and the department of archives and history,” he said.

The sign might become a unique piece in a Natchez museum, Mimi Miller, director of preservation and education at the Historic Natchez Foundation.

“If we ever have the museum we hope to have in our building, one of the exhibits would be business and manufacturing,” Miller said.

“The sign would give a nice three-dimensional exhibit. It would be really neat to have it mounted with a picture of the building underneath.”

The sign would be a testament to Natchez’s manufacturing industry over the decades, Miller said. From lumberyards in the 1700s to cotton mills to Armstrong Tire and International Paper, the city has a long history of manufacturing, she said.

“The Pecan Factory was the last manufacturing plant built along the river and on the bluff,” she said.

“That’s why we would want it, not to recognize the controversy, but as a relic of something from the past.”