Play to feature first 100 years of Hattiesburg

Play to feature first 100 years of Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the cast and crew of the play Riding the Wing, The First 100 Years of Hattiesburg 

Dean Meador Smith loves history and while teaching an OLLIE class at USM about the first 100 years of Hattiesburg, she discovered a deep connection with her family, the cabin they lived in, and the city where she was born and raised in.

"The Arnold-Meador cabin was built in 1884, the year the city was named Hattiesburg. My grandfather, C.G. Meador, died in 1986, 102 years later. He was a part of the major historical events that happened during that time. What better way to make history interesting for people then to write a story about his life and the events of the time," Smith says.

Thus, Riding the Wind (the first 100 years of Hattiesburg) was created. The play tells the events through the eyes of a typical southern family who lived in the first 100 years. Scenes show Capt. Hardy, the founder of Hattiesburg, fishing with the young boy Meador at Gordon's Creek, a dinner on the grounds scene with the new Broad St. Methodist church, a mission church of Main St. Methodist, Carter's Drug Store established at the corner of Main and Front St. in downtown Hattiesburg, WWI, WWII, the 60's and the Civil Rights Era, and of course, the living at the cabin with first the Arnold family and then the Meador family. The events were told to Dean, his granddaughter, by Meador in many conversations throughout the years.

The 21 member cast also has people representing their early families of Hattiesburg. Erin Lambert Dornan plays Annie Dean, her great-grandmother and Laney and Teddi Harden are 7th generations of the Meador family living in the cabin. Perry Arnold represents the Arnold family, the first family living in the cabin in 1887. Brett Montague plays Frank Montague Sr., in the graduating class of 1912 at Hattiesburg High School and on first football team and in first student body of MS Normal College in 1912 (now USM) along with Meador. Tom Hardy, who plays Franklin Delano Roosevelt in WWI, represents the Capt. Hardy family.

Scotty Whitehurst plays the young C.G. Meador and Chris Wooten, the old. Trista Boudreaux plays the granddaughter Dean. Other cast members are Mike Garner, Gus Bowering, Sona Roberts, Heather Wilson, Carrie Johnikin, Scott Johnikin, Sophie McLemore Larry Bullion, River Mathias, Jamie O'Quinn, and Rev. Andy Cotton.

Riding the Wind will be held Thursday and Friday, Oct. 6&7 at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8&9 at 3:00 p.m. at the Meador Homestead Cabin, 6775 Hwy 49 in Hattiesburg. Tickets are $15 and there is limited seating since the open air production will take place on the porch of the cabin with the audience in the yard.

The audience is asked to park at the Hattiesburg Convention Center where a shuttle will transfer them to the event. Reservations must be made by calling 601-268-3236 or e-mailing

A Facebook page has been created to share historical events and photos of the first 100 years along with scenes from the play. Go to Facebook: Riding the Wind Hattiesburg

We believe anyone interested in the history of Hattiesburg will love coming to this production.  Life is like riding the wind. So, get your tickets early, jump on, and enjoy the ride!" Smith said.