THE PINEY WOODS 171 MISSISSIPPI SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS The Mississippi School of the Arts opened in 2003 after receiving funding from the 1999 and 2001 legislative sessions. Located on the historic campus of Whitworth College, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, the Brookhaven visual-arts school accepts eleventh and twelfth-grade students in a residential environment with a strong interest in the arts. The Mississippi landmark envisions students expressing themselves through creativity and imagination to create a better world. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY, COOPER POSTCARD COLLECTION Americans to achieve the agrarian dream of land ownership. Still, whites made up the majority of farm owners in the Pine Belt. The sharecropping and tenant farm systems were prevalent in Mississippi agriculture from 1865 through 1940, and sharecropping existed in some areas of the state as late as 1960. In 1880, the Piney Woods counties of Mississippi were home to 71,739 people, or 6.3 percent of Mississippi’s total population of 1,131,597 residents. Pike was the most populous Pine Belt county, with 16,688 people, followed by Lawrence, with 13,547. Increasing populations in both counties was attributable in part to the growth of towns along the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad. Greene County remained the least populated county in the region, with 3,194 residents. Untouched by railroad development, Greene, Jones, and Perry represented three of the state’s least populated counties. White residents accounted for 67 percent, or two-thirds, of the overall population of the Piney Woods, compared with a figure of 42 percent for the state as a whole. Jones County was 90 percent white, and in contrast to 1860, all of the Piney Woods counties were majority white. The region contained 7,744 farms and only 106 manufacturing establishments. The three counties with railroad development—Lincoln, Pike, and Wayne—contained sixty-nine of the manufacturing establishments. In contrast, there were 7,744 farms, which produced products valued at $1,994,898 in 1879. In the years between 1880 and 1940, life in the Piney Woods changed dramatically.Agriculture continued to be an important part of the regional economy, but the influx of railroads allowed access to the valuable pine timber and fostered the development of manufacturing, especially after 1900. Rapid urbanization would give rise to towns and villages, increasing the population of the region and giving rise to the formation of four new counties in the span of ten years: Lamar (1904), Jefferson Davis (1906), Forrest (1906), and Walthall (1910).