National Trust “This Place Matters Community Challenge”

We’ll give everyone one more “light post” day to ease back from the MissPres vacation last week.

On June 1, The National Trust for Historic Preservation opened voting in their 2011 This Place Matters Community Challenge.  This year, they are giving away 3 cash prizes to the organizations/projects (full list here) that receive the most votes.  The contest voting rules are as follows:

Click on your favorite local preservation organization (or a preservation project that inspires you) in the list below to read their story, check out their This Place Matters photo, and VOTE for them so that they can be one of three cash prize-winning organizations this June! Each person is only allowed to vote once throughout the Challenge, and voting ends on June 30 – so make your vote count and then make sure to spread the word and tell everyone you know to register their vote for places that matter all across the country.

While looking over the whole list is fun (and I have to admit, I like seeing the Houston Astrodome on the list), the one that should be of most interest to MissPresers (and in most need of our voting support) is the Tishomingo County Historical & Genealogical Society.

From their site page:

The old Tishomingo County Courthouse exhibits the daily life of the historic courthouse in the”golden days.”

Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi Courthouse

The courtroom and the Sheriff’s office depict the building’s historical usage. Temporary exhibits, including artifacts and historical memorabilia, are displayed throughout the two-story museum. The courtroom was the scene of the famous Annual Gospel Singing Convention from 1917 until 1971. Throughout the years, the courthouse was the site of much political and community activity, including speeches by James K. Vardaman and Theodore G. Bilbo. Therefore, students find the historical documentation housed in the museum useful in political and economic studies. Students and tourists visit the museum to view the courtroom and other rooms which were utilized as government offices in the past.

Utilizing the historical artifacts and memorabilia in the historic courthouse museum, a local high school teacher at the Tishomingo County High School offers a class on Tishomingo County history. High school students re-enact trials of the 1920s in the original courtroom in the spring and fall. Students are recruited to serve as docents; handouts and teacher information packets are prepared for visiting student classes. Teaching and learning about northeast Mississippi’s heritage instills a love of community and fosters participation within the community by students, parents, and teachers.

During one historical period, the courthouse was called the “Marriage Capital of the South.” Surrounding states had a three-day waiting period for a marriage license. Since Mississippi had no such law, citizens of Tennessee and Alabama drove to Iuka to be married. Historic accounts say that preachers and Justices of the Peace raced to incoming cars to determine who would marry the couple. These older married couples are now returning to share their oral histories; the first annual marriage ceremony was held in 2005.

So, go vote and support Tishomingo County!



Categories: Cool Old Places, Courthouses, National Trust, Preservation People/Events

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  1. MissPres News Roundup 6-13-2011 | Preservation in Mississippi

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