Not a lot of news since our last round-up of 2012 – well not a lot of preservation news anyway. Here are a couple of stories I did come across to start your new year.
Up in Tupelo, we had an update on the Spain House move. The two main sections of the historic house are back together in the structure’s new home. A great success story in the that the house was saved from demolition – now it’s time to do the rehabilitation and restoration work on it to make sure it lasts in its new home as long as it was in its old. According to the article, the next steps are finishing the foundation and getting a new roof for the house.
Interested in the Civil War? According to the Natchez paper, historian Jefferson Mansell of the National Park Service has been researching Fort McPherson. Mansell is on the schedule to talk about his research during the city’s annual Literary Cinema Celebration in February – just in case you want (or need) an excuse to head there for a weekend. The article is a good read too, and it sounds like Mansell makes a lot of comparisons between Vicksburg and Natchez in regards to both strategic value and soldier experience.
Moving over to Sumrall where the town is pleased to announce the completion of renovations to their historic jail – which is a Mississippi Landmark and now home to a small museum. According the article, grant funds from MDAH helped make the restoration possible after Katrina damaged the building. You can arrange a tour of the museum – which includes a display representing the state’s first all female jury – by contacting City Hall.
In Hattiesburg, one of the long term rehabilitation projects on Buschman Street is finally ready for use – even if there is still work to be done. R3SM’s Community Volunteer House has housed volunteers since March of last year – but until recently all those volunteers have been with R3SM. Some Habitat for Humanity volunteers stayed there during their Christmas break as they were volunteering in the area. It’s great that R3SM is working to save this building and are using it to help volunteers in the Hub City.
Finally, an event to put on the calendar – esp. for those who are interested in archeology. According to the Star in Meridian, the city will be host to the Native American Indian Artifact show on January 26.
Categories: Civil War, Cool Old Places, Grants, Hattiesburg, Historic Preservation, Mississippi Landmarks, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Museums, Natchez, National Park Service, News Roundups, Preservation People/Events, Renovation Projects, Tupelo
Like the French Fort Rosalie site on the bluff and the Forks of the Road slave market area, the site of Fort McPherson north of downtown is one of those noted places in Natchez history for which there is almost no physical trace left today, so there is much research to be done to be able to tell the stories. These testify to how how important physical historic preservation is for preserving our memories and stories along with the visual evidence of where important things happened. Jeff Mansell is doing a great job of collecting the facts and biographical stories to shed fresh insight on the REAL Civil War story of Natchez – much more interesting than all that moonlight and magnolias mythology we sell to prospective brides.