The history of Stonewall’s starts in a small town in the Deep South in 1995, when Tony and Angie Smith opened the first Stonewall’s restaurant with a friend on Highway 53 South just outside Poplarville, Mississippi. The original restaurant was established in an old barn that dated back to the 1850s. The barn had come to Poplarville from the foothills of the Smoky Mountains near Knoxville, Tennessee. Cannonballs from a Civil War battle have been found lodged in trees surrounding the barn in its original location near the Tennessee River. And Stonewall’s got its name from a Civil War Confederate general, Thomas Jonathan Jackson, better known as “Stonewall.”
Part of an old homestead with a working dairy, the barn had to be moved due to a highway widening project. It was reconstructed in Pearl River County exactly as it had once stood in Davy Crockett’s home state. The Smiths fell in love with the atmosphere that the hand-hewn chestnut, hickory, and cedar logs created and felt that it would be the perfect site to begin serving their finger-licking barbeque to the public.
In 2000, the old barn was sold, and the restaurant was located to Picayune, Mississippi, on one of the best corners in the heart of the quaint downtown area, where it still exists today. In 2007, the first franchise location opened in Oak Grove just outside of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and because of the restaurant’s popularity and reputation for delicious food at an affordable price, additional locations have continued to spread quickly throughout the South.