HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Dean Meador Smith is the owner of Simply TeaVine and Meador Homestead Bed and Breakfast in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
“Everyday I would come and visit my grandfather. We were very very close, he would tell me all the stories about the history of Hattiesburg. One time I came home and got a cassette tape recorder, and I came back and I taped him telling me the stories. If I had not done that, I would’ve lost all this history,” said Dean Smith, as she lightly whirled the spoon handle to stir the her hot tea.
She explained that her homestead serves as a hub of history in the state. In 1884 a named Pompeii Jones bought the land where the 1885 cabin sits today. “The Choctaw Indians were still living on it. Then later, my great grandfather married into the family that had built the cabin. That was in 1913 and my family has been here every since,” she smiled.
The cabin was always filled with family -- and even held up to 10 people at once. “Actually the first family were 8 children, husband and wife. So there we’re 10 people living in these two rooms, if you can imagine them having together,” She conserved the history of of everyone who lived in the cabin by writing a play titled 'Riding the Wind'. “They’re just the ordinary, everyday, simple life of a family growing up here in south Mississippi, particularly Hattiesburg. I think about my grandfather as a young boy, he fished with captain Hardy on Hardy street at Gordon’s creek. I think about my great grandfather and my great great grandfather who were both circuit riders. They went all around and did a circuit preaching to people to bring them to God,”
Smith shared how she feels a special spirit on the old land and how the sense of peace brings tranquility to the property. After she read a book titled 'Purpose Driven Life', she was inspired to open her home and share her history with people from around the world. "If I could provide a place where people could come, destress and be healed, whether it’s; physically, spiritually, mentally whatever, then that’s my purpose in life. That’s how I opened up the tea room and then the bed and breakfast in 2010,” said Smith.
Dean Meador Smith plans to interview people intertwined in Hattiesburg's first 100 years of establishment. She will create a source of historical context for generations to come.
For more information about Meador Homestead Bed and Breakfast, Simply TeaVine Tea Room click here.