Leatha’s Bar-B-Que Inn to be featured in new MAX exhibit

By BETH BUNCH,

A Hattiesburg staple for a number of years, Leatha’s Bar-B-Que Inn has enjoyed visitors from around the world. Soon it will be on display for everybody to see, just without that wonderful smell and taste.

The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience (The MAX) is opening a museum in Meridian next month which will feature a host of Mississippi figures and local institutions.

It’s primarily dedicated to discussing the arts and culture of the state as opposed to straight history. There will be sections about chefs, schools, artists, musicians, record companies, writers, restaurants, etc.

And among all of that you’ll find Leatha’s Bar-B-Que Inn.

Brian Jackson, head pitmaster at the popular U.S. Hwy. 98 West eatery and grandson of Leatha Jackson, said museum representatives contacted him about dedicating an exhibit in her honor.

“The purpose of the exhibit will be to showcase a brief history of her, her accomplishments, photos and overall culinary influence on the state,” said Jackson. 

“They didn’t tell me a lot because they wanted it to be a surprise.”

Anna Snyder, museum historian, said in addition to Leatha’s Bar-B-Que, the Max would also include the Hub City’s Saenger Theatre.

“There’s also a photo from the Freedom Summer – a library in Palmer’s Crossing,” as well as some other places and people from the Hattiesburg area. “We’re covering a lot of the state, so we have highlights from all over, including Jackson and Piney Woods.”

The museum will showcase Mississippi’s arts and entertainment legacy, honor the creative legends, and inspire tomorrow’s artists.

The Max, which will offically open with a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. April 28, is located at 2118 Front Street, Meridian. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays–Saturdays and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit info@ms-arts.org.

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