Don’t rush Forks; wait on the feds

Published 12:41 am Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Something plain awful happened in Natchez during the 1800s — something despicable and deplorable.

Humans were sold and traded like cattle at the site known as the Forks of the Road. It’s a site thousands of motorists pass each year as they drive Natchez’s streets.

Unfortunately, not enough people know about the Forks of the Road site and that’s a shame.

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On Monday, the Forks’ biggest supporter sought to have the Adams County Board of Supervisors put up funds to buy more land near the site.

We agree with Supervisor Henry Watts, who echoed a sentiment we’ve held for a couple of years — let’s wait for the feds.

Although we want the Forks site to become developed as quickly as possible, we’re not supporters of the city and/or county governments sinking more money into this until another key step has been taken.

The National Park Service is working to determine if the site could be included into the Natchez National Historical Park.

The NNHP currently contains three Natchez sites — Melrose plantation house, the William Johnson House and the soon-to-be-developed Fort Rosalie site.

Anyone who has truly studied the quality and expertise put into NPS exhibits knows that they don’t cut corners on things. In short, they do exhibits correctly, both historically and in terms of the quality.

The Forks of the Road site is truly too important to have us quickly cobble together something to show it off to the world.

We need the federal professionals — and federal dollars that come with them — to take the site’s development to the next level.