Note: This story was in the July-August 2005 issue of the Gypsy Journal.
In the tiny community of Centreville, Mississippi, just a few miles north of the Louisiana state line, we came across a mystery that dates back to the days of the Great Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Embedded in the concrete of one of the town’s street is an old Colt .38 revolver. The weapon has been there since the Depression-era Works Progress Administration originally built the road. Many people in Centreville don’t even know about the gun, and of those who do, everybody seems to have his or her own story about where the gun came from.
One story says that a husband found his wife with another man and shot them both dead, then dropped the gun in the wet concrete of the road, hoping to hide the evidence. Another tale of murder and mayhem has the Colt being used in a bank robbery and shootout, then dumped by fleeing outlaws.
A church that stands at the curb near where the revolver is located plays a role in one explanation for the mystery. Supposedly a notorious moonshiner got religion at the church and walked outside and threw his gun and whiskey bottle into the new roadway as a testament to his newfound faith.
Still another story has it that the road was being built as war clouds were looming over Europe and everybody was talking about the rise of Hitler’s Germany. A highly decorated but emotionally scarred World War I veteran threw the gun down into the wet concrete as a protest against further bloodshed.
I don’t know which story is true, if any of them are. Perhaps the true story has been lost in the dusty pages of time. But I have been to Centreville, and the gun is indeed there. I can even give you the GPS coordinates where still it lies in the middle of the road: N 31° 05.419 and W 091° 04.027. The next time you are in southern Mississippi, stop by this charming little town and see if you can solve the mystery of the Centreville Revolver.
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Thought For The Day – Not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever. Sometimes they are only there long enough to teach you the lesson that you needed to learn.