Hancock County

Dolly’s, the Broke Spoke and Brett Favre: The road to Canton

The outside of Dolly's in the Kiln has a mural that honors the career of native son Brett Favre.
The outside of Dolly's in the Kiln has a mural that honors the career of native son Brett Favre. jclark@sunherald.com

Kiln-DeLisle Road runs through the countryside of Hancock County. It’s a winding road that passes area landmarks such as Dempsey’s Seafood & Steak and Annunciation Catholic Church.

If you travel the road from DeLisle to the Kiln, a blue water tower appears on the skyline with the word “Kiln” painted on it. You see the water tower just before Kiln-DeLisle Road crosses Mississippi 603.

The first thing you notice at that intersection is Dolly’s Quick Stop.

Dolly’s is something of the epicenter of the Kiln, the hometown of former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre.

The place is well-known for its chicken tenders and breakfast plates, but it also shows its “Favre pride.”

One side of the building is painted yellow with a large mural that depicts a Packers helmet, a Minnesota Vikings helmet and the phrase “Kiln, Mississippi: Where the legend began.”

The Vikings were the last team for which Favre played before he retired.

From the Kiln to Canton

Favre will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday as part of the Class of 2016 that includes Eddie DeBartolo Jr., coach Tony Dungy, linebacker-defensive end Kevin Greene, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, tackle Orlando Pace, the late Ken Stabler and the late Dick Stanfel.

“People love Brett Favre around here,” said Dolly’s employee Robin Molina. “We have people stop here all of the time and ask questions about him and take pictures by the mural — a lot of those people are actually from Wisconsin.”

Molina said a lot of people are curious about where Favre hung out when he lived in the area.

“People are always asking about the beer joint the Broke Spoke, which is right down the road,” Molina said. “I never went there, but supposedly it’s a spot where he hung out sometimes.”

People are always asking for souvenirs, too.

“The only things we have are a couple of pictures for sale and T-shirts that say ‘From the Kiln to Canton’ on them, and they are fundraisers for the band,” Molina said.

Molina’s daughter will be going to Canton on Thursday with the Hancock High School band to perform during Favre’s enshrinement.

“We are very excited about this,” she said. “I mean, I’m a San Francisco 49ers fan, but Brett Favre is really good for the Kiln.”

Favre the great

Brett Lorenzo Favre, also known as “The Gunslinger,” was born in Gulfport on Oct. 10, 1969, but was raised in the Kiln.

After playing high school football at Hancock North Central, Favre was the starting quarterback at Southern Miss. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 1991 and then traded to the Packers the next year. He played for the Packers until 2008, starting every game. He played in two Super Bowls, leading Green Bay to a 35–21 Super Bowl XXXI win in New Orleans over the New England Patriots.

He also played with the New York Jets and finished his NFL career with the Vikings in 2011.

‘A heck of an arm’

Ken Hays has lived in the Kiln for several years and played football at Pearl River Central High School.

Hays said Favre’s reputation as an athlete was well-known.

“Everybody knew about Brett Favre,” he said. “I was four years ahead of him and went to a different school, but we heard about him — the legend is that he skipped playing junior high football and went straight to playing high school football because he had a heck of an arm.”

Hays said he gladly followed Favre’s NFL career.

“Did I like the Packers? Abso-freaking-lutely I liked the Packers,” Hays said. “I think Favre is very deserving of this honor.”

With a population of about 2,200 people, Hays said Favre helped put the town of Kiln on the map.

“Let’s face it, the Kiln is a small town,” Hays said. “But now a lot of people know about it because of Brett Favre.”

The Kiln at a glance

Population: About 2,200

Median age: 49

Median household income: $33,909

Source: City-Data.com