Preservationists in Jefferson County are working to save the c. 1854 Prospect Hill house and cemetery.
In the weeks leading up to the November 14 announcement of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in Mississippi for 2013-2014, I thought I might share with you some updates on the status of a few of the 80 historic churches, bridges, schools and archaeological sites that have been listed as endangered since the list was first published in 1999.
Looking back at the historic places that were named to the list in 2011, the picture is bleak. The one bright spot is the restoration of the Amzie Moore House in Cleveland. Home of a “giant” of the civil rights movement, the house has been restored with a $199,989 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Another positive sign is the effort to begin a fundraising campaign for the stabilization of the house at Prospect Hill in Jefferson County.
Sadly, there has been no progress on the Austin House in Ocean Springs, Chickasaw Old Town in Lee County, Fielder and Brooks Drug Store in Meridian, the Holtzclaw Mansion in Utica, Oldfields in Gautier, the Markham Hotel in Gulfport and Mount Holly in Washington County. A combination of absentee property owners, lack of funding and a general lack of appreciation of the important story these historic treasures have to tell continues to take its toll.
At least we can still work and hope for a positive outcome for these endangered places. In a wanton display of waste, Ceres Plantation was demolished by the Warren County Port Commission in 2012. I had only been on the job for a month this summer before I got a phone call from someone asking if they could help to save this building by moving it to property they had purchased in the area. Sadly, time had already run out for this once-grand home.
To learn more about these historic places and purchase tickets to the November 14 announcement of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2013-2014, please visit www.mississippiheritage.com.