Page 6 - Hancock County Tourism ~ 2021 History
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Do you know about...
the Coca-Cola Mansion
The president and CEO of the Hattiesburg Coca- Cola Bottling Company built a sprawling home on the banks of the Jourdan River in Bay St. Louis in the 1980s. Richard “Dick” Spotswood Thomson hired the late, local designer Fred Wagner to build the 17,000 square-foot mansion as his main home. The imposing three-story structure, situated on 150 acres, overlooked the river and marshlands beyond. A guest house and other buildings were also on
the property, as were some 100 longhorn cattle and many horses. Thomson kept his six-million-dollar yacht, the Cristina, moored on the river in front of his home. A full-time crew manned the vessel.
Thomson was a graduate of Vanderbilt University, earned the rank of captain in the United States Marine Corps, and was an active member of
Mississippi’s Republican Party. His bottling company was at one time the only Coca-Cola
plant in Mississippi. While there, he added a food vending company, an ice producing company,
built a new plant to house it all, and expanded the business further into south Mississippi and the Bahamas. He received many soft drink industry awards both locally and nationally, served on the boards of several charities, and was involved in banking, real estate, and business development. He sold the business in 1992. He died in his Jourdan River mansion in September 2003. The stately riverfront home was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but vandals and several fires completely destroyed the rest of the home and outbuildings.
A brick chimney is all that remains. Thomson is buried in Hattiesburg.
 The Coca-Cola Mansion, photographed before its destruction (Photo/Mark Gilmore)

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