Another Friday, another news roundup. Last week I observed that fall was in the air. As of today, I temporarily retract that statement.
The first newsy item I should mention is that we have another new contributor to our little blog. Lolly Barnes is a familiar name in the preservation community in Mississippi, having not only worked to preserve her own Biloxi but also served on the board of the Mississippi Heritage Trust. During her term as president of MHT’s board last year, Lolly took the initiative to get a much-needed preservation curriculum off the ground and into testing in select school. Lolly also represented the National Trust for Historic Preservation on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. So I’m happy that Lolly will be lending us her unique perspective on preservation, and you’ll be seeing her first post today.
Someone who will remain nameless noted earlier this week that I seemed eerily non-negative. Well, Theodore, I’ll take that as a compliment. This is the new kinder gentler Malvaney–it’s all sunshine and roses with me. To quote our late lamented and eminently quotable governor, “Only Positive Mississippi Spoken Here (Or Else I’ll Whup Your . . . )”
So on that note, let’s head to Tupelo where storm clouds have been brewing all summer over the fate of the Spain House, a century-old house now owned by the Baptist church (see News Roundups from June 19, July 24, and August 21. As you no doubt recall, the Baptists wanted to be rid of the building because they have no use for it, but the preservation commission recommended it be declared a local historic landmark, meaning it couldn’t be demolished until the City Council voted on the issue. When it came up to the City Council in August, a big crowd showed up to argue the pros and cons. We all know that City Councils hate big crowds showing up to their meetings, even more than no one showing up, because big crowds mean controversy and controversy means that no matter how the council members vote, some of their constituents will get mad at them. Well, you can knock me down with a feather because on Wednesday, the Tupelo City Council upheld the preservation commission’s recommendation! Granted it was a split vote, but wow! Congratulations to the Tupelo City Council for stepping up and making the hard decision. Let’s hope that the preservation commission can now work with the church to find a viable future for the Spain House.
Meanwhile, down in Natchez where they’re in the midst of the Historic Natchez Conference (which you would know if you had been regularly checking the MissPres calendar), they’re already getting ready for the popular Angels on the Bluff. Mark your calendar, or better yet, just click the little Google button on the MissPres calendar to add it to your own.
Finally, to round out this week of positive bubbliness on my part, congratulations to the Friends of Raymond for their recent acquisition of 67 acres to add to the Raymond Battlefield. The Friends of Raymond got help from the Civil War Preservation Trust, and now this core area has been saved for future generations to learn about the pivotal role of the Battle of Raymond and the Vicksburg Campaign in the Civil War.
Have a great positive Mississippi weekend ya’ll!