University of Mississippi

Workers Discover Smokestack and Railwork Where William Faulkner Composed *As I Lay Dying*

On Tuesday, March 22, workers at the University of Mississippi excavated the brick foundation for the smokestack structure originally located just to the west of the 1908 power plant building where William Faulkner composed As I Lay Dying in the fall of 1929.  The brickwork was discovered upon removal of a concrete pad that had in recent years supported a large HVAC unit serving the building.  Other excavation work linked to the demolition of the power plant building has uncovered fifteen feet of the iron railwork originally laid for the railroad cars that once transported coal to the plant’s steam-powered electrical generator.