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About Meridian

40,832 in city
118 km² (46 mi²)
104.753334045 m
Located in the rolling hills of far east, central Mississippi, Meridian is the region's economic and cultural hub as well as the seat of Lauderdale County. Originally known as Sowashee Station, what would become Meridian was founded at the junction of the Mobile & Ohio and the Vicksburg & Montgomery railroad lines in 1854. On February 10, 1860, the city would be incorporated as Meridian. During the American Civil War, the city would serve as a Confederate arsenal, military hospital, prisoner-of-war stockade, and headquarters for a number of Mississippi state offices. General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union Army would then burn the city to the ground in February 1864. From its ashes the city would rebuild and prosper. The railroad would continue to play a significant role in the development of Meridian with five separate lines running through the city by 1885. Between 1890 and 1930 Meridian was Mississippi's largest city and one of its most important manufacturing centers. It was during this golden age that many of the city's significant buildings were built.