Well it’s Groundhog Day... again — or so the people of Carthage must think as they drive past the North St. Mary Street entrance to Davis Park.

A new wrought-iron entrance gate by Willie Brooks sat atop two stone pillars on Saturday — replacing one taken down by a tractor-trailer earlier this summer.

That is until a different tractor-trailer took down the new sign on Monday night just after 10 p.m. Now the entrance gate looks just as it did on Friday: no wrought iron to be found.

“I’m disappointed,” Brooks said Monday night. “Just disappointed. It was over three feet taller than what was originally here, so that’s what we kind of worked with the city on. They didn’t want it too tall, but they didn’t want it to be hit again.”

“Evidently three feet wasn’t enough,” Brooks said.

The sign was not the historic entrance gate built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Brooks said the salvaged remnants of that gate are currently at Carthage High School, where students are working to create a walkway arch for Davis Park’s new splash pad.

Carthage Assistant Police Chief Blake Smith said Tuesday that a sergeant spotted a tractor-trailer driving through the park gate and onto North St. Mary Street just past 10 p.m. The tractor-trailer was stopped for driving off the truck route, and another officer was sent to see if the gate suffered damage (it had).

A citation was issued to the driver for driving off the truck route, Smith said.

The blue and red flashing lights of a Carthage Police Department SUV called attention to the destruction of the new sign on Monday night. The sign — which the aforementioned tractor-trailer left hanging by a wrought-iron thread on one side — had been removed from its base for safety reasons.

It was still sitting warped on the grass in two large pieces on Tuesday morning.

“We’ll try again,” Brooks said. “It’s salvageable. We can take it back.”



Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.