General Store, Lorman, Mississippi, 1995

Down a stretch off of Highway 61 in Jefferson County, Mississippi lies the little town of Lorman. Originally settled in the early 1800s and known by a variety of names, it was only in 1884 that the town was formally platted and named Hays City after Charlotte Hays the original landowner. As there was already a postal stop in the state with the same name, the town was renamed to Lorman in 1899 for Hays’ daughter Mary Lorman Hays.

Although most have not heard of this little town, it’s the Old Country Store that is known far and wide. The building itself was a general store built upon land which was originally part of the local plantation. Established in 1875, this place was a popular stop for the community to buy everything under the sun. Worn, creaky floors and shelves piled high with signs of days gone by lend to the rustic, southern charm of the Old Country Store.

Today it’s Arthur Davis,’ aka Mr. D’s famous fried chicken that brings people by the masses to Lorman.

Location: Lorman, Mississippi
Photograph Date: 1995
Medium: Pigment Print on Cold Press
Edition: 200

Due to high demand and limited availability, we are unable to offer online purchasing. Please use our contact form here and a Consultant will be in touch. You may also email us by clicking here.

About the Photographer

Randy Olson

Randy Olson is a photographer in the documentary tradition. His more than 30 National Geographic projects have taken him to almost every continent. For the last 10 years, Olson has concentrated on population issues, resource issues, and disappearing cultures. He has received numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year and Newspaper Photographer of the Year—one of only two photographers to win in both media. He is married to fellow photographer Melissa Farlow, with whom he frequently collaborates. They live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Q & A

One of your areas of specialization is disappearing cultures. Talk about “genetic islands” and why it matters that they don't disappear.

People tend to look at seed stocks and endangered species, like pandas, and that seems to make sense to them. But when you start talking about pygmies being valuable because they have GPS’ built into their heads, people are not so sure. Pygmies have this ability to go anywhere in a forest that they've never been in before and all meet up in the same spot. They are one of these old groups that are valuable in the same way endangered species are valuable. I've also photographed new, isolated groups of people with dwarfism in remote areas of Ecuador who are immune to cancer. They are valuable to all of us. So I'm trying to come to grips with these two types of groups: the old world genetics and the new world, isolated genetics. There are still places where people are all color blind or where women are all having twins or there are a lot of albinos. These genetic islands have been part of my work over the years.

What inspires you in your work, Randy?

If I look at a photograph and it moves something inside me, then I've done my job. It doesn't much matter what the rest of the world thinks. It just has to feel right to me. The other important thing is making images that are of some use. Before I worked for National Geographic, I spent seven years photographing a family with AIDS. This was before they knew there was AIDS in the family. It was a new plague that people were only just understanding. I photographed their deaths and, during that process, I felt I was doing the right thing. I hang on to that whenever I’m looking for story material, or shaping a story.

National Geographic Image Collection Interview With Randy Olson By Simon Worrall

Inquire About Price