MissPres News Roundup 2-21-2011

I think Spring has sprung in the Magnolia State in the past week or so – which makes me very happy.  If you’re like me, you’ve been enjoying the weather – but you may have missed some preservation news.  Never fear – my Wi-Fi and patio let me catch everyone up on the news without sacrificing time outdoors.

We’ll start this one up Columbus way where Franklin Academy celebrated its 190th Birthday this month.  According to the Dispatch, “[t]he original school building was built in 1821. A new building was built at the current site in 1886. The current Franklin building was built during the late 1930s, replacing the 1886 facility.”  I agree with the principal of the school who said of the celebration:  “There’s a lot of history in this building, and it’s a good day to let the kids know they are a part of that.”  The Dispatch also ran a follow up on the celebration – which was postponed a day because of the last winter blast that hit the state.

The Clarion Ledger reports that the MS House and Senate both have bills that call for funds for a Civil Rights Museum.  The House bill also includes funding for a Mississippi history museum and a parking garage for both.  I haven’t seen anything about a vote on the Senate bill (which calls for funding only the Civil Rights Museum).  Although I didn’t see a follow-up in the Clarion Ledger, I saw this story in the Northeast Mississippi Journal, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal ran this story – both covering the passage of the House’s version of the bill.  I’ll keep an eye out for news from the Senate.

News out of Brookhaven where a “groundbreaking celebration” of sorts was held before an expected four-month restoration project on Elizabeth Cottage in the center of the Mississippi School of the Arts campus.  Both the Brookhaven Daily Leader and the Hattiesburg American ran stories on the restoration of the 98-year-old building.  The restoration is being partially funded by a grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Up around Tupelo, the Northeast Mississippi Journal ran a piece that related some of the history of the Carnation Milk Plant.  The first half of the story is very positive since it focuses on the excitement of the new building in the community.  Unfortunately, the second half is pretty pessimistic about the future of the structure.  The story describes the “solid, well-built construction” of the building, but goes on to say “For now, it is remembered only for what it once was, not for what it could be again. The once-shining example of hope and promise in Tupelo 80 years ago simply grows old, both in reality and in all of our Southern Memories.”  I hope more people see the potential in the building than this writer seems to.

Saw a couple of stories for upcoming events:

First, both the Laurel Leader and the Meridian Star ran stories about a Civil War re-enactment in Quitman February 25 – 27.  The event depicts the burning of Quitman by Gen. William T. Sherman’s troops.  Either paper can give exact times for the weekend’s events.

This HABS photo from 1936 identifies the La Pointe-Krebs House as the "Old French Fort"

Down Pascagoula way, the La Pointe-Krebs House (“Old Spanish Fort”) will be in the spotlight for the Fete La Pointe gala on March 25.  According to the article, the gala will promote the development of the house and museum into a complex that will not only draw in tourists, but also provide historical education and a variety of community events.  Related to this story, you can vote for this building in the current Gulf Coast regional poll for the 101 Mississippi Places list we’re working on.

The Monroe Journal reports that Aberdeen will hold a Spring Pilgrimage over two weekends – April 29-May 1 and May 6-8.  This is the first I’ve heard of any Pilgrimage dates for this Spring, but there are bound to be more.  I’m sure that as any of us hear about them, they’ll make their way onto the calendar.

Some quick “briefs” from around the state:

In Jackson, a fire a couple of weeks ago gutted a Belhaven house.

Coverage of the snowy weather in Columbus included a great photo of Whitehall.

Two stories about new Blues Trail Markers – one in Natchez honoring Bud Scott and one in Los Angeles at the Grammy Museum.

Categories: Aberdeen, Blues Sites, Brookhaven, Civil Rights, Civil War, Cool Old Places, Demolition/Abandonment, Gulf Coast, Historic Preservation, Jackson, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Natchez, News Roundups, Pascagoula, Quitman, Renovation Projects, Tupelo

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