The Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum at Soulé Steam Feed Works is one of the few remaining industrial sites in the United States that illustrate the hard work and ingenuity during the Industrial Revolution.
The Soulé Steam Feed Works operates as a museum that preserves an unexpected part of Mississippi industrial history— in a state mostly known for its agriculture. It’s also rare to find a historic manufacturing facility where visitors can see the entire manufacturing process from raw material to finished product.
Visitors can step back to the early 20th century and experience how hard people worked in the pattern shop, foundry, machine shop, assembly area, and blacksmith shop. The machine shop is powered by a vintage electric motor with a belt that turns a 106-foot line-shaft that powers numerous belt-driven machines. The employee locker room is another favorite of visitors, as they can see the behind-the-scenes life of the worker.
Also included at the Soulé site is the historic office with antique office equipment, such as typewriters, adding machines, and even an Ediphone (or dictating equipment). You’ll also see a few smaller exhibits of other industries, such as a letterpress print shop with Linotype and a broom-making shop that shows the skill of making an antique-style broom.
It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Mississippi Landmark. In 2004, the State of Mississippi designated the site as the Official Historical Industrial Museum.
Know Before You Go
Guided tours are available Tuesday through Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. or other times upon request for $10 per person. Plan a visit on the first weekend in November when the museum hosts the Soulé Live Steam Festival. During first Friday and Saturday of November each year, the factory comes to life again and the engines operate with live steam. In addition, knowledgeable demonstrators from all over the region volunteer their time offering education on everything from blacksmithing to woodworking and broom-making to running a linotype and antique printing press.