• Brandi Perry

The Lucedale Presidental Scratching Post

If you’ve ever visited Lucedale, Mississipp, the county seat of George County, then you’ve probably noticed the scratching post at one of the corners

on the main drag. This 4-by-4-inch wooden notched post stands about 8 feet tall and it used to be quite the draw as it sat outside The Coffee Pot restaurant. from 1937 to 1993 that cafe site and Bailey’s Scratching Post go hand in hand. The Coffee Pot drew scores of diners for its All-American menu and 5-inch-high meringue pies. Locals met there for morning coffee drinking sessions or after sporting events. Travelers stopped en route to Mobile or Florida. In the cafe’s heyday U.S. Highway 98 coincided with Main Street. Upon entering or exiting the restaurant, infinite numbers of people scratched their backs on the post. Others stopped for the sole purpose of scratching their backs.     Today U.S. Highway 98 bypasses Lucedale. The restaurant died in 1993 as the result of the bypass. Yet from 1937 until its closure it was known by almost anyone who traveled through Lucedale. During its peak it served customers 24 hours a day seven days a week. Patrons often had to wait for a seat even in the wee morning hours. There is truly no way of knowing just now many backs eased a scratch on that old pole but the locals still talk about some of the famous ones. Among those who have scratched their backs here are baseball legends Claude Passeau and Dizzy Dean and country music artists like Tennessee Ernie Ford and Ernest Tubbs. President Ronald Reagan did during his days as a film star. So did Kirk Douglas, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Tom Lester, who played the farmhand “Eb” on the 1960s TV Show “Green Acres.” So, the next time you find yourself on Main Street in Lucedale, Mississipp, ease on over to the scratching post and join history!

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