A MDAH Publication | Volume 44 No. 7 | July 2002
Meridian Grand Opera House Preservation
A 50-year preservation easement for the Grand Opera House in Meridian has been conveyed by Mississippi State University to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The easement is required by the United States Department of the Interior as a condition of the Save America’s Treasures grant for the Grand Opera House project. The MDAH Board of Trustees commends the University for its commitment to preserve and adaptively reuse the Grand Opera House and the adjoining Marks-Rothenberg Building as an educational center.
Week at Grand Village
Natchez Indians Reprinted
The Natchez Indians, by Jim Barnett, director of the MDAH Historic Properties Division, has been reprinted. A history of the prehistoric Indian tribe that lived in the Natchez area with its ceremonial headquarters at the Grand Village site, The Natchez Indians is illustrated with maps, photographs, and historical drawings and provides a comprehensive reading list and a glossary of selected Natchez Indian language terms. As director of the Historic Properties Division, Barnett supervises the administration of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Historic Jefferson College, Winterville Mounds, Windsor Ruins, and Department archaeological sites. Copies are available from the Old Capitol Shop (601/359-6920) at $10 each plus tax and shipping.
Local Historical Societies Busy
Projects being undertaken by the Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society include photocopying the WPA records at MDAH, a memorabilia fair, and collection of all extant church records in the county. The Brandon Historical and Genealogical Society has reviewed proofs of its new pictorial history of Brandon. The Carroll County Genealogy Society is coordinating a workspace for volunteers from the Genealogy Society of Utah who, following an MDAH records inventory, will review and microfilm chancery court records in Carroll County. The Round Island Lighthouse Preservation Society continues to seek new members interested in helping to restore and preserve the lighthouse on Round Island.
Gold Coast Music Festival Planned
Plan now to attend the First Annual Gold Coast Music Festival September 7-8 at the new Adams Street Park in Flowood along the fabled “Gold Coast” of Rankin County. The festival will be launched with a ceremony celebrating the area—just east of Jackson and north of Old Brandon Road in Flowood—with the dedication of an MDAH historical marker. During the 1950s and 60s, hotels, nightclubs, and cafes lit the night sky along the strip, and national jazz, blues, and big band groups entertained regularly. When Mississippi became the last state to repeal prohibition in 1966, the clubs—long the sole source of alcohol for Jacksonians across the Pearl River—began to close up. A “Legends of Music” roast and dinner—this year honoring Spinners vocalist G. C. Cameron—will follow Friday ceremonies, and Saturday will offer music, crafts, and food throughout the day and into the evening. Multi-level sponsorship packages are available. Contact organizer Davie Lindsey at 601/936-9084 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Preservation Conference
October 8-13, 2002, Cleveland, Ohio. To register or for information, call 800/944-6847 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.
New! Historic Properties for Sale:
CHARM: Preserving Rural History
The newly formed Consortium for the History of Agricultural and Rural Mississippi, housed in Mississippi State University’s Mitchell Memorial Library, is collecting historical materials related to Mississippi agriculture, forestry, and rural life. Initial partners are the MSU libraries, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, the MSU Extension Service, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Agriculture and forestry have played significant roles in the development and history of this state,” said Vance H. Watson, interim vice president for agriculture, forestry, and veterinary medicine. Noting that MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is celebrating its centennial in 2003, he said the new collaboration is a way to highlight the continuing economic, social, and cultural contributions of agriculture and forestry to the state. An important collection has already been donated: more than 300 scripts and nearly 17,000 negatives from the 1954-61 television feature “Farm Family of the Week,” broadcast by WLBT-TV in Jackson. The materials were donated by the late Howard Langfitt, longtime host of the program. The larger CHARM collection contains diaries, account ledgers, and other materials, including photographs of the first mechanized cotton picker, introduced in the state during the 1930s. To expand accessibility, CHARM will digitalize materials and make them available on the World Wide Web. For more information about the consortium, call Frances Coleman, 662/ 325-7661.
by the Mississippi Department of Archives
and History Elbert R. Hilliard, director Chrissy Wilson, editor