What's in a Name: Kokomo

Kokomo, MS - Kokomo. If it's where you want to go, the Pine Belt has its own alternative to the Beach Boy's version and the name has nothing to do with each other what so ever.

"It's really one of those places that's really nondescript. You don't know you're there," said Chris Watts, curator at the Marion County Museum and Archive.

Kokomo is nestled along Highway 98 in the western part of Marion County. It's a small community with a couple of churches, a few winding roads and a name shared by a handful of places around the country. Mississippi's version dates back to when the timber industry was booming and new trains were making their way across the south.

"People don't realize the influence and the impact the railroad industry had on the Pine Belt. It totally changed the pattern of settlement," said Watts.

Watts says there are two schools of thought as to how Kokomo got its name, both involving the railroad as crossings and stops were being designated.

"The succession of names were names like Davo, Bevo, Knoxo, so part of the story is that Kokomo rhymed with the other stop names," said Watts.

The other part of the story is the stop was named after the hometown of one of the railroad agents, most likely from Kokomo, Indiana. Those railroad lines are long gone now and although history would say it was merely a stop or crossing along the way, Kokomo means a lot more to folks like Yvette Cutrer. To her, it's home.

"This is something new that I do," said Cutrer as she pointed out planters in her backyard, "I make living wreaths."

For Cutrer, there will always be a sense of appreciation for what Kokomo has to offer.

"It's peaceful. That's what I like about it," said Cutrer.

Cutrer moved to Kokomo from Louisiana back in 2005 and spends a lot of time getting crafty with plants in her back yard.

"I've got a shoe planter down here," Cutrer pointed out.

Even though she's now planted her life in Kokomo, as the song suggests there's only one other place, she'd want to go.

"Just the peacefulness of maybe the beach, however there's no beach around here," said Cutrer.

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