Tuesday, December 28, 2004

It Wasn't Arson

Arson appears to not be a factor in a fire that destroyed a building at the historic Natchez College. The college which closed its doors in the 1990s served the African-American community.

More on the fire here and here.

Entrance Fees to Increase

Entrance fees at Vicksburg National Military Park will be increasing from $5 to $8 per vehicle. It's still a bargain! Some of the monuments and memorials are very impressive. The view of the river is quite nice as well!

More here.

Monday, December 27, 2004

African American Historical and Cultural Society of Northeast Mississippi

This society's library and museum will be opening in Tupelo in February.

Natchez Trace Completion Set for 2005

Folks in Natchez are getting ready to celebrate the completion of the Natchez Trace Parkway in 2005.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

World War II Christmas Letter

Read a letter sent by Brig. Gen. A. C. "Tony" McAuliffe to his troops that was preserved by Cpl. L. J. Curtis of Utica.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Camp Shelby Armed Forces Museum

During the sendoff for the 155th which was televised throughout Mississippi, the news anchors mentioned the Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby and said that it was worth a visit for those travelling along the highway nearby. Some of the exhibits look very interesting!

Lowndes Cemetery Book Available

Russell D. James has written a new book entitled Cemeteries of Lowndes County, Mississippi: Including African American Cemeteries, With Index along with his friend Mike Lowery. The book was published by

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Jean Thornton marks 66 years of Preaching

Jean Thornton, a Church of Christ minister, has been preaching 66 years - that's over 22,000 sermons!

Alcorn Records to Be Digitized

Alcorn County's chancery clerk's records are being digitized.

Walking Museum Pondered

Jackson State University is thinking about turning part of Lynch Street, between Terry Road and the campus, into a walking museum of Civil Rights.

Hernando Historic Tour

There's a new booklet available as a walking tour of the city of Hernando. Visitors learn a bit of the history of the sites along the route.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Pascagoula Indian Book Back in Print

Jay Higginbotham's 1967 study of The Pascagoula Indians is back in print. It's available for $26 plus postage/handling.

Fire at McRaven

A fire broke out in McRaven, one of Vicksburg's historic homes, but was quickly contained so damage was limited mainly to an exterior porch.

Historic DeSoto Museum to Begin Second Year

The Historic DeSoto Museum will begin its second year of operations very soon with very little debt.

Reward for Info on Civil Rights Murders

A $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the prosecution and arrest of Ku Klux Klansmen involved in the 1964 Civil Rights Murders. There's additional information on the case here.

Morgan Freeman Becomes Hall-of-Famer

The Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce has inducted actor Morgan Freeman into its Hall of Fame.

New Map of Delta Region

There's a new map of the Delta Region available.

Friday, December 17, 2004

What To Do with an Historic School Building

That's the question that Brookhaven's school board has been pondering.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Illinois Memorial at Vicksburg in Paint

The Illinois Memorial at Vicksburg National Military Park is being painted by a Cincinnati artist.

History Lesson

Olive Branch Middle Schoolers have been studying life in the 1800s and have built some reminders.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Computer Mapping Course Offered at Northwest Community College

Northwest Community College will be offering a course on Geographic Information Systems at their Senatobia and DeSoto Campuses during the spring semester. GIS has become very popular with genealogists in locating cemeteries and other places connected with ancestors.

Belle Clark Mansion Still For Sale

The bids were not high enough so the mansion minus many of the contents is still for sale in Clarksdale.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A Mississippi Christmas Tree Farm History

Lazy Acres Plantation is a Christmas Tree farm and has reindeer! It's in Chunky - about 12 miles West of Meridian.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Shiloh Reenactment

Many Mississippians fought at Shiloh. However, this reenactment is not of the battle itself but of what a Christmas following the battle might have been like. The Homespun Living History Guild sponsors this event.

Forks of the Road Society

There's a new exhibit showcasing African-American history at the Forks of the Road in Natchez.

History Revisited?

A house in Greenwood faces the same battle it faced 65 years ago.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

New Albany Woman Is Oldest American

Bettie Wilson from New Albany is officially America's oldest living person at age 114.

Annual Genealogical Seminar - Jan. 15, 2005

The annual genealogical seminar co-sponsored by Mississippi Department of Archives & History and Mississippi Genealogical Society is set for January 15, 2005 at the Clarion Hotel & Convention Center in Jackson. The speaker is Robert Young Clay of the Library of Virginia.

Belle Clark House

Clarksdale's Belle Clark House is being auctioned off in about 30 minutes; however, the article reporting the auction does contain a brief history of the house, and is worth a read, even if you are too late to buy it!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Doctor Plans to Restore 1917 Clarksdale Building

An old office building in downtown Clarksdale is going to be restored by Dr. Deborah Robinson Brooks.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Pemberton's Headquarters to Get Facelift

Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton's headquarters which is now a part of the Vicksburg National Military Park will be receiving $700,000 in Congressional appropriations for renovation. The house served as the Confederate command post.

Favre Book is a Bestseller

Favre by Bonita and Brett Favre is on the bestseller list. Brett is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers and a native of Mississippi. Apparently they can't keep it on the shelf in either Wisconsin or Mississippi!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Machpelah Cemetery Vandalized

At least 19 graves have been recently vandalized at the Machpelah Cemetery in Pascagoula which has burials dating to the 19th century.

Osyka Historic Homes Tour

The town of Osyka is having their holiday tour of historic homes. See the listing with brief descriptions of the homes.

Vidalia, Louisiana Resident Includes Memories of Natchez

Longtime Vidalia, Louisiana resident had a few memories published that include some memories of time spent in Natchez.

Tupelo Military Institute

Established in 1913 by George W. Chapman and a group of local Tupelo citizens, Tupelo Military Institute (popularly known as "TMI") provided a classical education for young men. It closed in 1937 following the terrible tornado of April, 1936 and the ravages of the economic depression of the 1930s.

This book, entitled Tupelo Military Institute: A Forgotten Chapter In Our History, recounts the story of the development of TMI, its glory years, and the struggle to keep it alive. It tells the story of an outstanding educator who left the familiar surroundings of eastern Kentucky to establish a school for boys in unfamiliar northeast Mississippi. Dr. Chapman soon became a recognized leader in educational circles across the MidSouth. TMI was known for its outstanding athletic teams, sending athletes to colleges and to the professional baseball leagues.

The book is more than two hundred pages in length. It contains more than one hundred pictures of the Chapman family, cadets in dress uniform, athletic teams, and extra-curricula activities. It contains the names of many of the cadets, faculty members, and trustees. One of the interesting stories in the book tells about TMI's attempt to create a junior college in Tupelo.

The cost of the book is thirty five dollars ($35.00). It is available at the Gum Tree Book Store, the Gift Shop at the Lee County Library, and by mail from the Society (Mailing address: NEMH&GS, Box 434, Tupelo, MS 38802). Shipping and handling costs for mailing is an additional $5.00.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Mississippi Bar Association

Read a history of the Mississippi Bar Association.

Mississippi College's Rich History

Mississippi College was founded in 1826 as Hampstead Academy. Although it has been affiliated with the Baptists since 1850, it was not founded as a church-related institution and served other denominations in its early years.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Hattiesburg Photos

For those of you who love old pictures and postcards, there's a new book in the postcard history series on Hattiesburg.

Another Mississippi Book

David J. Libby has written Slavery and Frontier Mississippi, 1720-1835, published by University Press of Mississippi.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Chickasaw History

If you enjoy reading about the Native Americans who inhabited the state, try James R. Atkinson's Splendid Land, Splendid People: The Chickasaw Indians to Removal. The Chickasaws inhabited much of the northeast part of the state before most of them removed to Indian Territory.

Jefferson Davis' Writings

Modern Library has published a collection of works authored by Mississippi's Jefferson Davis who served as Confederate President. It is called Essential Writings.

New Sunflower County Book

University of North Carolina Press has released a new book entitled Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945-1986. The book was written by J. Todd Moye.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Verandah-Curlee House Museum

This Corinth historic home tops the list of holiday homes.

Picayune B&B is Historic Home

La Belle is on the tour of historic homes in Picayune this year. It is the town's only Bed and Breakfast.

More on the Mississippi Encyclopedia

Check it out.

Railroad History

Charles Patrick Herrington, a former railroad employee, collected lots of memorabilia on railroads. He started the National Historical Railroad Society in Hattiesburg. Upon his death, his memorabilia was donated to the city where it is displayed in the depot.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Columbus is Rich in History

On the occasion of a visit from the Department of Archives and History, readers of the Commercial Dispatch were treated to an article about the importance of history and specifically of heritage tourism.