PONTOTOC, Miss. (WCBI)- This is the 26th year the Bodock festival has been held in downtown Pontotoc to honor the fact that Pontotoc is the site of the oldest Bodock tree in Mississippi. It is a very important event for the city.
“I believe it brings in culture, music, arts. It brings the crafts, and it brings in families. And we’re all about entertaining kids and families here. We really like to tout our town as being one of the cleanest and nicest towns the friendliest people. This is one way for us to do that. And also that we might entice people that might consider moving to Pontotoc Mississippi and it’s a beautiful place to live,” said Barney Harris.
And Harris says with companies like Ashley Furniture and Toyota in the area, it is a short commute to work.
“Absolutely. Pontotoc is rich as far as our economy. We have one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the world located right here in our town. Also, like you mentioned, we have everything from Winchester to Toyota so many second-tier suppliers. The town is actually booming,” said Harris.
And one of the attractions at this year’s Bodock festival is the Pontotoc Electric Power Association Historical Museum which chronicles the nearly 85-year history of the rural electric co-op.
“Pontotoc Electric Power Association is the second oldest rural electric cooperative in the United States. Alcorn County at Corinth is the first, Prentiss County at Booneville is the third. We wanted to preserve items that we had from our existence because right now there’s more than 935 electric power associations or electric cooperatives in the United States. And had items that were not useful to us anymore but they were too sentimental to throw away and represented part of our history,” said Chuck Howell.
And Howell wants visitors to understand that years ago life wasn’t as easy as it is now.
“Of course our people do still do hard work, but we have mechanized equipment. We have hydraulic trucks that have tools on them that dig the holes for us. Years ago, a lot of the holes had to be dug by hand and poles set by hand and machinery has eliminated a lot of that and made it a lot safer. But we just like to show people what life was like for our employees years ago,” said Howell.
And the museum even has this vintage 1960’s era Coke machine where you could buy a bottle for ten cents.
Howell says while the Pontotoc Electric Power Association Museum does not have regular hours, you can call and schedule a tour of the facility.