[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 44 No. 1  |  January 2002

Literary/Cinema Celebration February 26-March 3

The 13th Annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, to be held February 26-March 3, 2002, will explore the extraordinary creativity of the South and is dedicated to the memory of Mississippi writer Eudora Welty. Writers, scholars, film experts and professors from across the country will present lectures, films, panel discussions, workshops, and seminars. Films, a tour of historic buildings, concerts, book signings, exhibits, and receptions will also be offered. Highlights will be programs by actors Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke, writers Clifton Taulbert and Greg Iles, and programs on Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, Richard Wright, Tennessee Williams, Louis Armstrong, Horton Foote, and Walter Anderson. A concert by the Mississippi Boychoir of The Shoe Bird, composed by Jackson native Samuel Johnson after Welty's fable for children, will conclude the conference. Most of the conference is free of charge, with certain low-cost ticketed events. Co-chairs of the event are Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Natchez National Historical Park, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and Alcorn State University. Information about the conference is available by visiting the NLCC web site at www.colin.cc.ms.us/nlcc or by calling (800) 647-6724.


Mississippi Historical Society Annual Meeting
Feb. 28-March 2

The theme of the annual meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society, to be held in Hattiesburg February 28-March 2, will be "The Piney Woods of Mississippi," according to president Neil McMillen, history professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Speakers will explore the distinctive music of the Piney Woods, the development of railroads and the lumber industry, and the growth of African American communities. Victoria Bynum will speak on her new book The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War, and Noel Polk will talk about growing up in Picayune, which he described in his book Outside the Southern Myth. Other highlights of the meeting will be the presentation of Voices of Freedom Summer, a multi-media dramatic presentation written and directed by Francis Kuhn, chair of the USM Department of Theatre and Dance, and a tour of the new Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby. Headquarters for the meeting will be the Holiday Inn, Highway 49 North. To make reservations, call601/268-2850. A complete program and pre-registration materials will be sent to members in coming weeks.


Photographs Displayed at Rosalie

Original photographs of the family of Andrew and Elizabeth Wilson, who purchased Rosalie in 1857, will be on display at the historic Rosalie mansion in Natchez during January. For more information, call (601) 445-4555 or visit rosalie.net


Obituaries

J. Ralph Wilson, 1921-2001
J. Ralph Wilson, an Oxford native and a descendant of Charles Henry Manship of Jackson, died November 4. Wilson, a successful oil and gas geologist, donated a large collection of historic materials that belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Henry Manship, who built the Manship House in Jackson, now the Manship House Museum, which is administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The materials included archival materials, china, silver, glassware, and a large full-canopy bed, c. 1840, which stands today in the southeastern bedroom of the house.

Mills Lane, 1942-2001
Mills B. Lane IV, publisher, philanthropist, and preservationist, died October 22. At 28 Lane founded the Beehive Press, which published works about southern culture and history. From his restored Savannah home, he wrote and edited nearly 60 books, including volumes on historic buildings and homes of Mississippi, which he researched in the Archives Search Room. He paid for the restoration of many buildings in Savannah and contributed $1.5 million to renovate the Bull Street landscape. "His death at an early age is a tragic loss for the preservation community," said Ken P'Pool, director of the MDAH Historic Preservation Division.

 

AASLH Awards

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) invites submissions to the 2002 Awards Program, the most prestigious national recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of local, state, and regional history. Nominations may be obtained by visiting www.aaslh.org or contacting the office at (615) 320-3203.


AASLH Workshop Series

Topics for the AASLH 2002 Workshop Series include "Interpretation Issues and Strategies," "Collections Management and Practices," "Historic House Museum Issues and Operations," and the "Leadership Institute," featuring members of top management teams at state and private history institutions. For more information on AASLH or its professional development workshops contact Tara White.


Eleventh Moon Storytelling

The Natchez Indians selected certain tribal members to tell important tribal stories during the bleak winter months. This year, at the "Eleventh Moon Storytelling" (January was the eleventh moon, or month, of the Natchez calendar), January 26 at 2 pm at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, well-known storytellers will be on hand. Donna Bowman of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, librarian Joan McLemore, local radio personality Sam Jones, and National Park Service Interpretive Park Ranger Ginger Cox, who is of Cherokee/Mohawk ancestry, will tell tales. Special guests for the afternoon will be the Junior Gardeners of Natchez. The event is free and is recommended for ages nine through adult. For more information, please contact Jean Simonton, Grand Village, 601/ 446-6502.


Historic Mound Bayou Foundation

Milburn Crowe, historian, Mound Bayou, Mississippi, is in the process of establishing the Historic Mound Bayou Foundation to foster, encourage, and engage in the preservation, restoration, and development of historic or important buildings or sites in Mound Bayou. In ceremonies recently at the City Hall, former governor William Winter and others gathered to celebrate the award of $120,000 form the African American Heritage Preservation Grant Program for the restoration of the Mound Bayou Bank, a Mississippi Landmark built in 1906. Crowe stated that in 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt stopped in Mound Bayou on a southern trip and paid a high compliment to the bank and to the city.


Preservation Tools Online

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Five New Members Elected to Mississippi Hall of Fame

Mississippians honored by election to the Mississippi Hall of Fame December 7 are Mississippi Chemical Corporation founder Owen Cooper, Judge Burnita Shelton Matthews, Jackson State president Dr. Jacob L. Reddix, former United States Senator John C. Stennis,and renowned playwright Tennessee Williams. There were thirty-seven Mississippians nominated.

The strength of the field of candidates made the choice a difficult one for the Board, said MDAH director Elbert Hilliard. "It is tremendous for a single state to produce so many worthy nominees. We are honored by them all."

Former governor William F. Winter, president of the Board of Trustees, said these elections are one of the most meaningful functions of the board, as well as one of the most pleasurable. "These men and women elected to the Hall of Fame represent the widest possible array of leadership, with careers that have had a lasting impact on our state and nation." MORE >>


Community Heritage Grant Award-Winners Announced

Community Heritage Grant Award-Winners Announced The MDAH Board of Trustees has announced awards of grant funds from the Community Heritage Preservation Grant Program established by the 2001 Mississippi Legislature. The Legislature authorized the issuance of $6 million in bonds for the preservation and restoration of historic courthouses and schools and, in Certified Local Government communities, other historic properties.

The Department, directed by the Legislature to review and evaluate the grant applications, received sixty-eight applications requesting over $24 million. MDAH director Elbert R. Hilliard commented, "This program will enable the preservation of some of the most significant historic buildings in the state -- county courthouses and schools. We are grateful to the Mississippi Legislature for funding this important program. And we are grateful to the organizations and local governments around the state that submitted such outstanding grant proposals. We regret that we could not have funded more of these worthy projects."

The grant awards are as follows:

  • Institute Hall, Natchez - $400,000
    Applicant: City of Natchez For exterior restoration of Institute Hall for use as a federal courthouse.
  • Alcorn County Courthouse, Corinth - $60,000
    Applicant: Alcorn County Board of Supervisors For exterior repairs.
  • Rosedale High School, Rosedale - $130,000
    Applicant: West Bolivar School District For exterior and interior renovation.
  • Houlka School Renovation, Houlka - $335,000
    Applicant: Chickasaw County School District For renovation and repair of the 1907 building.
  • Meyer-Marx Building, Port Gibson - $150,000
    Applicant: City of Port Gibson For stabilization and repairs needed to prevent further deterioration.
  • Center Stage Auditorium, West Point School, West Point - $200,000
    Applicant: West Point School District For interior and exterior renovation/restoration.
  • Old Jonestown School, Jonestown - $30,000
    Applicant: Town of Jonestown For "mothballing" of Old Jonestown School to prevent further deterioration.
  • Old Wesson School, Wesson - $340,000
    Applicant: Town of Wesson For reroofing and exterior restoration of the Old Wesson School, which has been designated one of Mississippi's Ten Most Endangered Historic Places by the Mississippi Heritage Trust.
  • Hawkins Elementary School, Hattiesburg - $150,000
    Applicant: Hattiesburg Public School District For exterior restoration of Hawkins Elementary School, which was designed by noted architect N. W. Overstreet.
  • Beauvoir, Biloxi - $100,000
    Applicant: Sons of Confederate Veterans, Mississippi Division For repairs needed to stabilize the porch on this National Historic Landmark building.
  • Hinds County Courthouse, Raymond - $390,000
    Applicant: Hinds County Board of Supervisors For interior and exterior restoration/renovation.
  • Holmes County Courthouse, Lexington - $250,000
    Applicant: Holmes County Board of Supervisors For exterior restoration and roof repair.
  • Fulton Grammar School, Fulton - $75,000
    Applicant: City of Fulton For exterior restoration and roof repair.
  • Old Ocean Springs High School, Ocean Springs - $150,000
    Applicant: City of Ocean Springs For exterior restoration.
  • Franklin Academy, Columbus - $100,000
    Applicant: Columbus Municipal School District For interior renovations on Franklin Academy, the oldest public school in Mississippi.
  • Greensboro Center (Old Starkville High School) Starkville - $75,000
    Applicant: Starkville School District For roof replacement.
  • Sturgis School, Sturgis - $350,000
    Applicant: Oktibbeha County School District For interior and exterior restoration/renovation.
  • Pontotoc County Courthouse, Pontotoc - $300,000
    Applicant: Pontotoc County Board of Supervisors For exterior restoration.
  • Burton School, Burton - $10,000
    Applicant: Burton Community Historical Society For window and door repair.
  • Prentiss County Courthouse, Booneville - $400,000
    Applicant: Prentiss County Board of Supervisors For exterior restoration and roof repair.
  • Sharkey County Courthouse, Rolling Fork - $300,000
    Applicant: Sharkey County Board of Supervisors For exterior restoration including window and roof repair.
  • Stone County Courthouse, Wiggins - $200,000
    Applicant: Stone County Board of Supervisors For exterior restoration including roof replacement.
  • Cobb House, Vicksburg - $200,000
    Applicant: Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation For interior restoration.
  • Old Warren County Courthouse, Vicksburg - $235,000
    Applicant: Warren County Board of Supervisors For roof replacement and exterior repair of this National Historic Landmark building that houses the Old Courthouse Museum.
  • E. E. Bass Cultural Center (Old Greenville High School), Greenville - $250,000
    Applicant: E. E. Bass Educational and Development Foundation For exterior restoration, roof repair, and work necessary to stabilize the older part of the building.
  • Centreville Museum (Old Marsalis Building), Centreville - $375,000
    Applicant: Woodville Civic Club, Inc. For adaptive reuse of existing early twentieth-century bank building as exhibit space, community hall, and educational center.
  • Yalobusha County Courthouse, Water Valley - $440,000
    Applicant: Yalobusha County Board of Supervisors For exterior restoration and work necessary to stabilize the building
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Published by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History • Elbert R. Hilliard, director • Chrissy Wilson, editor
Please send correspondence to: MHN, P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205 or email to pubinfo@mdah.state.ms.us