|The Delta National Forest Ranger Station - complete|
with Smokey The Bear statue.
Leading Roosevelt to the tree the next morning, the men in the party urged him to shoot the helpless beast, but the president, saying doing so would be extremely unsportsmanlike, refused and ordered the bear set free. News of this was picked up by the newspapers and articles about the president who refused to shoot a defenseless bear quickly spread across the country.
|The cartoon which inspired the|
Teddy Bear industry
Soon, Morris and Rose could not meet the demand for Teddy's bears. After receiving Roosevelt's permission to use his name, they founded the Ideal Toy Company and began mass producing Teddy Bears. Now more than 100 years later, the Teddy Bear is still wildly popular around the world and it can all be traced back to that hunting trip in the Delta National Forest.
Today, the Delta National Forest contains over 60,000 acres and is the only remaining bottom-land hardwood national forest in America. From this forest each year, the Forest Service harvests over 3 million board feet of timber, maintains 87 campsites and over 50 miles of all-terrain vehicle trails. The Service also plants over 100 acres of wildlife food plots for wintering, migrating and resident birds annually. It is one of the most popular area's in Mississippi for outdoor enthusiasts.
While on a road trip to the Delta Forest, about 2 miles from the site of the famous hunt and seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Youngest-daughter and I came upon an interesting little store in the small unincorporated community of Onward, Mississippi. In 1913, the Onward Store was opened to meet the basic necessity needs of the locals and hunters who came to the Delta National Forest. Since then, the store has become a staple for the community as well as travelers on historic Highway 61 (nicknamed "The Great River Road" and "Blues Highway"). With creaking floorboards and shelves filled with all manner of old fashioned goods and various food items, the store is considered an important historical structure. Entering the front door is like stepping back in time.
|The Onward Store|
After perusing the store shelves, taking a few pictures and buying a couple of cold Dr. Peppers for the road, I turned the nose of the pickup north and set out to cover more interesting miles on The Great River Road.
|Souvenir Teddy Bears just $4.99!|
|Of course there's a lot of bear-|
themed items for sale.
|Youngest-daughter didn't like this old bear. Don't|
really blame her as it is a bit spooky.
|Big friendly bear on the front |
porch standing by the front door
to greet you.