Focused on Mississippi: The Strong River

Focused on Mississippi

SIMPSON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The Strong River has a deceptive name to me, if you just take it at face value. You’d imagine a mighty rushing stream and swift current. But I’ve never seen it run much faster than this, unless it was in flood. That usually doesn’t last hardly any time at all. Most days, it’s gentle enough to wade in, or relax in on a hot summer day. You can walk across it if you know where to step.

So what’s the deal with ‘Strong’ when it comes to this river? Well, you have to go back in time. The river is tree lined and therefore, always has a lot of leaves decaying in it, creating a relatively high content of tannic acid. The ancient Choctaw name for the river translated into English is Strong Tasting River.

The town of D’Lo gets its name from the river, too. When French explorers came to this part of the world, their early maps labeled the Strong River as “De l’eau non potable.” When it’s translated, it basically means, ‘you can’t drink this stuff.’ The town of D’Lo’s name comes from the first part of that phrase: ‘De l’eau.’

But you know, the river is more poet than warrior. A rhythmic current washing around bends and flowing over the exposed limestone bottom. 

An old geologist friend of mine, who passed away many years ago, told me all nature is trying to do is wash us back into the ocean. But if nature has no more strength than its ‘Strong’ river, then we aren’t in any imminent danger. 

The water park at D’Lo is a great place for an outing on the Strong River.


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