Hattiesburg is located in Forrest County and it is the county seat. It lies 30 miles southwest of Laurel at the fork of the Leaf and Bouie rivers in south Mississippi's piney woods. Hattiesburg is known as "Hub City" because it is located at the intersections of Interstate 59 and U.S. highways 49, 98 and 11.
The town was named for Hattie Hardy, wife of W.H. Hardy, a lumber and railroad man who founded the city in 1882. Early settlers were attracted by the pine timberlands. In 1897, completion of the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad, from Gulfport to Jackson, ran through Hattiesburg and triggered a major lumber boom.
Today, Hattiesburg is a magnet for retirees. Its climate is warm with an average temperature of 48 degrees in January and 80 degrees in June. Hattiesburg is home to the University of Southern Mississippi. Among the city's largest employers are the University, Camp Shelby and Sunbeam Household Products. An historic architectural tour is available.