MissPres News Roundup 4-25-2010

Welcome back from France, Malvaney. Most of the news that I have found for the past two weeks has concerned various Pilgrimages. It almost seems that every small town in Mississippi has people parading around in hoop skirts and Confederate uniforms. Yet I have noticed no one is re-enacting the experience of being a slave and picking cotton in the fields, I wonder…perhaps I should just leave that topic alone.

If there is any preservation related news that I have missed, which I probably have due to my hectic schedule, please post it in the comments. I have mostly just included links to various stories for this News Roundup.

And here is the news.

In Natchez, there is the story from April 14 “Downtown building collapses” that details the destruction of an Antebellum commercial structure at the corner of North Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street and Franklin Street. The director of the Historic Natchez Foundation states that the structure was constructed in the period from 1835 to 1850. Like other endangered Mississippi buildings, the owner is an out-of-town entity/person.

In other Natchez, commercial building news, The Natchez Democrat reported on April 15 that a building at 57 Silver St. in the Natchez Under-the-Hill area will be demolished. “Building OK’d for demolition” states that the Natchez Preservation Commission approved the demolition. I am not sure which structure this one is but Google Street View shows no buildings that are in need of demolition, all have roofs and none are overgrown with vegetation.

Reed’s Grocery in the Bell Schoolhouse community near Starkville was relocated according to the April 17 edition of the Starkville Daily News. The story “Old store building moved to new site” details the history of this structure and the relocation effort. While the old grocery is a utilitarian, rural, commercial structure, those structures are generally rotting away into the countryside, disappearing under kudzu and wisteria. Although Reed’s Grocery has been removed from its long-term surroundings (moved only a half-mile away), it has been saved and will be preserved.

The story “History passing” in The Vicksburg Post is a disappointing tale. The Rocky Springs United Methodist Church, constructed and used since 1837, has closed due to the dwindling of attendance.

The Vicksburg Post also reported on Ceres Plantation in the past two weeks in the stories “Ceres Plantation House gets first OK toward Mississippi Landmark status” on April 17 and “County to plan for Ceres designation” on April 20. The Ceres Plantation saga contains the twistings and turnings of a Grisham drama: plotting, scheming, and backroom deals. There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for Ceres. Chances are that it will remain in situ if granted landmark status.

The Vicksburg Post also contains the story “Depot deal might come Friday” about the redevelopment of the Levee Street Depot. It has been several months since I have heard any news on the Depot, Malvaney was still doing News Roundups then.

And that was the news.

Categories: Churches, Historic Preservation, Natchez, News Roundups, Vicksburg

4 replies

  1. Sounds like the semester’s wearing you down W. Almost over. Funny that I heard alot about Pilgrimages in my trip to France too, just not of the hoop skirt variety . . .

    So sad about Rocky Springs Methodist. Alan Huffman, over on his Facebook page (open to non-Facebookers) has a nice essay about the last service: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/notes/alan-huffman/finis/388170917556.

    Re: Ceres, I’m happy but astonished that it might be preserved. Although I held out a sliver of hope for it, it just didn’t seem like anyone wanted to step up to the plate, so congrats to MDAH for doing so. Plus, maybe you’re destined to write a best-selling novel about all the intrigues and become suddenly rich and famous and buy a house in Virginia and sport a perpetual shadow beard while attending all the fancy parties of the beautiful people :-)


  2. Yes the semester has been interminable lately, too many term papers.

    French pilgrimages involve faithful Catholics traveling to Basilicas and Cathedrals. Mississippi pilgrimages involve people re-enacting a glorious Old South past that did not exist as they depict it while ignoring the fact that the society was based on the subjugation of others (African slaves and poor whites).

    I believe I will pass on writing the Ceres saga. I do shave when going to parties; it is usually when I can be bothered to do so. I stand out in other ways in such occasions.


  3. Is that what interminable means? Too many term papers? Never knew . . . :-)

    As long as you stand out in other ways at parties, you can still be rich and famous, so have no fear.

    As for pilgrimages, I guess the Protestant Reformation was kind of based on the idea that Pilgrimages and other excesses of the Catholic church subjugated the faithful, so maybe ours aren’t too far off the mark.

    *runs away from Catholic readers*


  4. Yet another loss for Natchez. When will Natchez wake up to the fact that its history is its most marketable feature? The hoop-skirt mentality of tourism has blinded them to the importance of preserving and developing the city in a way which could build upon all aspects of its history. Casinos haven’t really helped Natchez either, but there seems to be an almost willful disregard for creating the sort of plan which could bring Natchez into the 21st century. As for the Natchez Landing, the building itself wasn’t especially noteworthy, but Natchez is piling up the losses rapidly. Historic towns cease to be historic when their buildings are replaced with new structures- or parking lots.


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