If the calendar full of events didn’t tip me off that Spring was just around the corner, the delightful layer of yellow on my car assures it. Before everyone gets out to enjoy the weather and visit our favorite historic places, we have a slew of news stories to get you caught up on:
An upcoming event down in Pascagoula caught out attention. On April 14, there will be an unveiling of an historic marker as part of a ceremony commemorating the 150th anniversary of a Civil War raid on the coastal community by the 2nd Louisiana Native Guard. This raid was one of the earliest actions of African-American troops in the war. Besides the marker unveiling, there will be events on Ship Island (where the troops were stationed).
A couple of short blurbs from Hattiesburg : First was one that announced a Downtown “block party” for the opening of a new store. I love that the heart of Hub City seems to be doing so well with rehabs and businesses moving into previously vacant spaces! Keeping those rehabs in mind, the second blurb is the latest “Then & Now” write-up which features the Ross Building (currently undergoing a rehabilitation).
Staying in Hattiesburg for one more story. As Hattiesburg Public School officials are working on cleaning up and repair on their properties from the recent tornado, they are discovering a bit more damage that initially thought. The story focuses a little bit more on the vehicles of the district, but notes that there was some additional roof damage to the high school caused by HVAC units that were moved. The story also notes that the baseball field – which they call a “registered historic site” – had damage to the wall and press box that need to be repaired. According to the report, the district has received the most questions about the stadium and they assure everyone that it will be restored.
Back down in Pascagoula, plans for a Naval Maritime Museum are moving forward. Organizers for the planned museum have officially taken ownership of the former math/science and band hall buildings at the Old Pascagoula High School property. The article not only outlines the group’s plan for how to use both buildings, but sets out some of their longer term goals as well. It sounds like they really understand Pascagoula’s shipbuilding and maritime history and I think we all look forward to seeing how they use the historic high school’s buildings to display that history.
As usual this time of year – there is a flood of stories from Natchez.
First is a news that the Margaret Martin Center (old Natchez High School) will soon have a new management structure where the Natchez Festival of Music Guild will take over much more responsibility for the building’s upkeep (alleviating some of what the City itself puts into it). The article also notes that the building has some roofing issues and some interior spaces that need rehabilitation so they can be rented out. According to the report, the roof will cost nearly $1 million – but there is hope that a bond bill in the legislature could provide a portion of those funds. I heard that a bond bill for MDAH’s Community Heritage Preservation Grants had passed the House, and I wonder if the funds mentioned in the article for the Margaret Martin roof are included in that legislation. If not, it’s possible that the community might be hoping to tap into the Community Heritage funds (assuming the bill passes the Senate as well).
The other stories I found in Natchez are all Pilgrimage related. From news that the area was ready for Spring Pilgrimage, to news that there would be some new stories at the houses (and not all of them about hoop skirts) and finally to early news that numbers are looking good at the houses so far.
Categories: African American History, Civil War, Cool Old Places, Disasters, Grants, Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, Heritage Tourism, Historic Preservation, Mississippi Landmarks, Natchez, News Roundups, Pascagoula, Preservation People/Events