Mobile Street was the center of African American commerce in Hattiesburg up until the 1960s. Some of the businesses (primarily black owned) included a confectionary, ice cream parlor, dental office, movie theater, auto mechanic’s shop, insurance company, jewelry repair shop, beer garden, filling stations, funeral parlors, doctor’s offices, barbershops, grocery stores, tailor shops, beauty shops, restaurants, banks and guesthouses, and even a hotel.
The building that originally housed Smith Drug Company was owned by Smith’s father. Smith made renovations to the building in its first year of operation, but delayed any major renovations until the early 1950s. However, the original building served the business and the community well in the years leading up to World War II.
“(During WWII) I was working somewhere around fifteen people, Two shifts…We had to work long hours.”E. Hammond Smith
“The store became a focal point of the community during the civil rights turmoil of the 1960s. It served as a meeting place for local leaders and was visited by many national civil rights activists including Dick Gregory.”Louise Revere, Employee at Smith Drug Company
“…I paid better wages than most folks. I’d hire about two girls in the summer, and that was the only place in town they could use a cash register. (in white businesses)…you could be a floor sweeper or something like that, but not a clerk.”E. Hammond Smith
Smith Drug Co. is available for lease for special community-based events. Leasing agreement approval for use of Smith Drug Co. is at the discretion of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission. Space inside Smith Drug Co. is limited. No outside food or beverage is allowed. The Hattiesburg Convention Commission manages the operation of Smith Drug Co.
Director of Museums for the Sixth Street Museum District, under which Smith Drug Co. is housed.
601-450-1942 • firstname.lastname@example.org