The Hot Coffee  community began when the horse and wagon was the typical mode of transporation.  Hot Coffee sat near the midway point of the road from Natchez, MS to Mobile, AL.  The long wagon trips to get crops to market and the return trip with food and other necessities was a multi-day journey.  In what was to be named Hot Coffee was an inn that provided lodging on their trips to and from market. 

In the late 1800's, L. N. Davis built his store to serve those on the long trip.  He always kept a pot of what was advertised as "the best hot coffee around" to help steel up the wagoneers' stamina as they continued on their journey; hence, the community's name.  Even if L. M. Davis' store is closed now, there's a new generation of coffee makers there to keep the Hot Coffee tradition going. 

In addition to a cup of hot coffee, a little on up MS State Route 532 (just off U. S. Hwy 84 continuingthrough Hot Coffee), you'll find the Old German Baptist community.  The German Baptists believe in simplicity, so they own no automobiles, use no electricity and are extremely industrious folks. 

Hot Coffee was also the home of some notable Mississippians. Actress, author, comedienne, producer Stella Stevens (1938 - ) was born in Yazoo City, MS; however, at the age of four, her parents moved to Hot Coffee.  Her film career has been extensive including such box office favorites as The Poseidon Adventure with Gene Hackman;  The Nutty Professor with Jerry Lewis; Girls, Girls, Girls with Elvis Presley, and The Ballad of Cable Hogue with Jason Robards. Jr.  

Another famous Covington Countian  was screen and stage actor Dana Andrews (1907 - 1992).  Andrews was born close to Hot Coffee in the now extinct community of Don't.  Andrews was one of 11 children born to a Baptist minister and his wife.  Andrews' film credits include The Westerner (1940), Laura (1944), and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).  From 1963 to 1965, Andrews served as the president of the Screen Actor's Guild.  In his later years, he spoke in the first public service announcement on TV for the National Council on Alcoholism. 

Hot Coffee's notoreity continues today.  National Geographic's website  features a short film on  Hot Coffee and Martha's Kitchen.  You'll also find the starting point of the  Hot Coffee Trail there, a self-guided tour beginning with a tractor pulled "hayride" tour of  Mitchell Farms .  At Mitchell Farms you can visit a working farm, pick your own peanuts and garden vegetables, vist the Old Homestead, or host the event of your dreams in their banquet facility.   In addition, you'll find Hot Coffee on Facebook.  Here, though, the site is  not owned by the community , it's an alternative country band from Washington, D. C. named . . . what else, Hot Coffee, Mississippi.

Just remember if you're looking for hoop cheese, a delicious piece of pie,  a banquet sight or simply a cup of hot coffee, Hot Coffee, MS is the place you'll need to go. 



Located in the northeatern corner of Covington County, Hopewell is one of the oldest settlements in the county.  The first settlers came to the area when there were no houses, no roads, none of the most rudimentary colonial American accouterments of civilization.  Thomas Ates was the first white man to buy land from the Native American residents, the Choctaws.  Ben and Mary Duckworth were among the first settlers, and gave the town the name of Hopewell from the Biblical account of Abraham's and Moses' definition of hope; "to trust, expect, await, and endure."

After the Civil War, Hopewell became the home of many freed African-American families.  Education in the Reconstruction period community of Hopewell was as important as eating, and every child in the community attended the Old Hopewell School.  The exact date of the school being built there is unknown, but most local historians agree that it was started between 1870 and 1890.  It was a small structure, and the school's classes  ran while there was no work to be done to bring in the families' crops and their neighbors.  In the 1920's, money was secured from  the Julius Rosenwald Fund to build a new school at Hopewell.  Rosenwald was the President of Sears Roebuck Co., and in 1909 to 1924 he gave over $63 million to further African-American education, as well as, creating the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  Until school desegregation, the African-American kindergarten through 12th grade and vocational school were located at Hopewell.  Hopewell Elementary is in operation there today.


Kola today is a thriving residential community and the home of the Plantation Oil Pipeline and at least eight  storage tank farms.  Over the years thousands of gallons of oil have been pumped to Middle Mississippi and points east through Kola. 

Another one of Kola's favorite places is  The Meadows. and Joyce's Catering.    The Meadows is  the perfect  spot for  large events such as weddings and receptions, business dinners, family reunions, or banquets.  The Meadows is also home to the Kola Homestead Guest House.


Sanford was settled in 1852 after John Nichols who purchased land nine (9) miles south of Seminary for $2.50 per acre.  The Okatoma ran through what would become the community of Sanford and in 1876 a watermill was built by John Sanford, the community's namesake.  The watermill was used as a sawmill, a cotton gin and a grist mill in the town of Sanford's early years. 

When the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad came through the county, Sanford experienced the lumber boom as did the rest of the county.  When the boom went bust, the mills pulled out leaving Sanford completely barren of trees and vegetation.  In an effort to revive the town, strawberries were grown in the desolate fields.  For twenty years, strawberries became king in the southern most portion of the county.  Hungarian and Italian immigrants came into the area to work the strawberry farms.  Many of these families remained in Sanford and kept the community going with five churches and two stores still in operation there today. 

McDonald’s Store (circa 1930) is  Hot Coffee’s “mini mall.”  The unique country store features wooden floors, rocking chairs, delicious hand dipped ice cream, old fashion hoop cheese & plenty of hot coffee.

Today, Sanford accommodates the outdoor thrill seekers and is the home to the Okatoma Outdoor Post and Seminary Canoe Rental.  Both offer canoe and kayak rentals, plus cabins or campsights for rent.   


Sources and Links:

Covington Crossroads: A History of Covington County, Mississippi, by Gwen Keys Hitt, University of Southern Mississippi Printing Center, November 1985

Stella Stevens

Dana Andrews

The Hot Coffee Trail and Mitchell Farms,


The Meadows

Okatoma Outdoor Post and Canoe Rental

Seminary Canoe Rental

Compiled by Sandra E. Norris-Bryant This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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