Jourdan River boaters in Kiln looked a lot different in 1914

The Simenole provided a daily passenger service on the Jourdan River.
The Simenole provided a daily passenger service on the Jourdan River. Photo courtesy of Paul Jermyn

Postmarked Kiln and dated April 28, 1914, this postcard features the passenger boat “Simenole” making its way along the Jourdan River in Hancock County. Unfortunately, the sender wrote across the front of the card, but then, fortunately, he also wrote a message on the back of the card that explains what the picture is all about.

The back says: “The picture on this card shows one of the passenger launches plying between this place (Kiln) and Bay St. Louis. It is a 14-mile run to the bay, and the most beautiful scenery.”

Traveling by boat would have been much more pleasant than on the dirt country road that existed at that time, even after the county shelled it later that year. The Jourdan is the only river that runs to the bay from Kiln.

As a result of the booming lumber industry, Kiln was quite the bustling town in 1914. It was known as the Jourdan River Community until the 1880s, when it began to be referred to as “The Kiln” because of the many kilns that were there to make pine tar. The name was shortened simply to “Kiln” during the 1940s. The Simenole would have transported round-trippers for various reasons, shoppers, visitors, businessmen or some just out for a quiet Sunday ride.

The message on the front of the postcard is a personal note: “Mr. Powers could take a trip down this way. I’ll show you a fine time. By the way, did you get my letter? All’s well. Guess I’ll be able to get leave to come home sometime this summer. Best love to all. Your affect. brother, Jno.”