SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB IN KILN, MISSISSIPPI



Seniors Visit Brett Favre’s Hometown

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This senior watched a TV program recently featuring the life of Hall of Famer Brett Favre who hails from Kiln, Mississippi.  Kiln is referred to locally as “the Kill”, with the “n” silent.

Kiln, part of the Gulfport–Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area, has a population that runs around 2,500 happy folks. It would be difficult for seniors to visit Kiln and not notice all the signs and places that highlight the life of their local town hero.

Kiln takes its name from the many kilns once found in the area that served the timber industry. During the boom years, Kiln was home to many timber mills, a hotel, and a hospital. The Jordan River Lumber Company was one of the major local employers.

 Seniors Enjoy The Kiln’s Folklore Tales

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A few older structures remain today, including Annunciation Catholic Church and the original post office  which has since been turned into a lawn mower repair shop. The Kiln was partly flooded during Hurricane Katrina, along the Jourdan River and its tributary bayous.

Local folklore includes references to the Kiln being a source of sought after moonshine during the Prohibition era. Stories exist about Al Capone sourcing “Kiln Lightning” from this area and it being known by name in Chicago. However you slice it, Kiln is known best as the hometown of NFL quarterback Brett Favre; he attended Hancock North Central High School in Kiln.

Senior travelers enjoy a stop at Lucky Magnolia Brewery and also Dempsey’s Restaurant. And right next to it is Da Swamp Shack,  a gift shop like no other.

 Seniors Find The Broke Spoke

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The Broke Spoke goes back over 30 years.  There wasn’t much going on in Kiln when Stevie Haas and his roommate opened up a biker bar in June 1985. Today after three decades, patrons can still find Stevie Haas behind the bar, serving up ice cold beer, cooking a pizza or sitting in his comfy chair watching the news.

Haas said it was Brett Favre that helped the little bar in the Kiln become a tourist destination for football fans from Wisconsin. He thought his Super Bowl party would only attract about 500 people. By the time it was over, officials estimated more than 5,000 people partied at the bar and watched Brett play that Sunday. The Packers defeated the New England Patriots 35-21.

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When Haas and Martin Curet opened what regulars just call “The Spoke,” it was originally to be a place where the two and their biker buddies could hang out. Before the sheriff’s department put a stop to it, they even hosted drag racing events on the road in front of the bar. But the small wood-framed structure attracted more than just motorcycles and drag racers.

The crowds grew and so did the signatures, drawings, quotes and stuff that folks have left behind. Steve and Mabel Haas put on a Gulf Coast shrimp boil to help families in Hancock County Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina hit them.

Seniors, enjoy your stop in The Kiln. -jeb

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