More history from Florence … Today’s post is all about markers. These markers did not have accompanying structures, so I’m posting them here. Lots of history to read. I hope you enjoy and are as pleasantly surprised as I was.
You may have heard of the famous recording studios in North Alabama. I’ll have more on that in a later post. But there’s an older music legend from this area that left his mark on music to this day. On a recent trip to Florence, Alabama, I visited W.C. Handy’s birthplace. It’s part of the Mississippi Music Trail, also. In case you’re not familiar with the famous musician, scroll to see more about the “Father of the Blues.” Enjoy!
So I just discovered a gem a couple of hours away … Florence, Alabama. I’d driven through years ago but never stopped. so I didn’t know much at all about the town. In doing some Internet research, I learned it had tons of history, so I trekked over to see for myself. I’ve posted a few pictures here and will post more later. I was very impressed with the downtown area, which was buzzing, even though (I believe) its local college, the University of North Alabama, was out for summer. I hope you enjoy these photos.
Seeing these ruins was particularly fascinating to me …
Today is National Day of Prayer, so I’m posting some historic churches I’ve photographed over the years. Of course, large churches aren’t necessary for prayer. Neither are small churches. But praying together as Christians to encourage one another is one of my favorite directions of the Bible. I hope you enjoy these photographs, and I hope you participate in National Day of Prayer in your own way, whether in the solitude of your home, your office or in worship with others at your church or synagogue.
I’ve lived no more than two hours away from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, my entire life and have visited a few times over the years, but only last weekend did I discover the treasure there. And I’m not talking SEC sports. In a quest to find a daytrip of history discoveries, I Googled what Tuscaloosa has to offer, and to my surprise, I found many National Register properties and a set of ruins I was chomping at the bits to see. So my family and I headed out last weekend to see these “jewels of history.” And I was not disappointed … except for the insane asylum that we couldn’t find and learned later was torn down. So … here are the photographs and brief descriptions of these marvelous pieces of architecture.
I had never heard of “ruins” in Tuscaloosa, but here they are — the leftovers of the state capitol (when the capital was Tuscaloosa). It was built in 1826, and after the decision to make Montgomery the capital, the building was used for other things, including a female college. Unfortunately, the building burned in 1923.
Click the photographs to advance the slideshow.
… and right behind the Jemison House is this …
… and this one. This building is not antebellum like the others but is historic and beautiful, nevertheless. It’s the former Tuscaloosa High School, built in 1924 and used now as the offices for the school district. Look at that entrance!
On the campus of University of Alabama …
I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of historic Tuscaloosa, Alabama. And regarding the insane asylum I mentioned earlier, I’d read that the Alabama State Hospital for the Insane/Bryce Hospital was built in the 1850s (at least the administration building) and I’ve seen articles about its restoration. I was very excited to see this, and we found Bryce Hospital, but no antebellum period administration building. We looked everywhere. Then I called Bryce Hospital, and the person answering the phone said it had been torn down. If anyone has information to the contrary, please comment below … I’m still extremely interested in this landmark.
Sometimes history isn’t so pleasant. As long as man has walked the earth, crime has been an unfortunate reality. In many instances, the way lawbreakers were treated in the past differs greatly than how they’re treated now, and you can learn all about it at the Old Montana Prison Museum and its sister museums near Deer Lodge in western Montana.
Montana State Prison was the first Territorial Prison in the U.S. West and was built by convict labor. The prison took in its first inmate in 1871 and closed in 1979, and the last inmates were transferred to the new prison, 3.5 miles away. Now a museum, the complex serves as a grim reminder that “bad guys” have always been around.
I interviewed Melanie Sanchez, museum curator, to learn a little more about the Prison.
How did you come to serve in this capacity?
My husband and I moved to Deer Lodge in 2010. I have always had a love for history. When both of my children were old enough to go to school I was asked by a former employee if I would like to come down and volunteer at the museum. Let’s just say after that I was hooked. I was fortunate at the time that I was here, the museum learned that their curator was going to be leaving, and I jumped on the opportunity for the position. I have been working here now for close to five years.
What seems to be the most popular part of the museum to your visitors?
We have five museums here, and out of the five the Old Prison Museum, and our Montana Auto Museum (over 160 autos from an 1886 Benz to 1970’s muscle cars) are among the most popular. Our others are Yesterday’s Playthings (toy museum), Frontier Montana (western museum) and Powell County Museum (history of the area).
What is YOUR favorite part?
If I just choose one thing I would be lying; I truly enjoy all that this place has to offer.
How many inmates were incarcerated when the prison first opened?
On July 2 of 1871, the prison received 9 inmates. The first prisoner received was Samuel E. Hughes, who was serving a year’s sentence for armed assault.
Was there an area for capital punishment at the prison?
Well, no, the prison in those days was not designed for that. All inmates that were condemned to death in the state of Montana never came to the prison. After their sentencing they were hung in the county they committed the crime. But with that being said, we did have an escape attempt in 1908. That failed escape attempt from the prison left Deputy Warden John Robinson dead, and Warden Frank Conley with 103 stitches on his back and neck. The two inmates involved were George Rock and William Hayes. They were hung in the prison yard. Rock and Hayes were also the only two men that capital punishment was ever served to at the prison.
Did any riots take place? Were any inmates killed by riots, etc.?
Yes - we had a major riot in 1959 that made national news. A book has also been written about it called “Jerry’s Riot.” On April 16, 1959, Jerry Myles and Lee Smart led twenty inmates in a riot which left Deputy Warden Ted Rothe dead. Myles and Smart took 18 prison employees and five “stool pigeon” inmates (inmates who had ratted on others) as hostages, soaked rags with flammable liquid and threatened to burn them alive. After 36 hours of mounting tension, Warden Floyd Powell implemented a daring rescue attempt. The National Guard fired the bazooka at the tower where the ringleaders were headquartered. Meanwhile, a team of men burst through the door in the west wall, crossed the yard, and entered the Cell House, freeing the hostages. Myles and Smart were found dead of an apparent murder-suicide at the top floor of the tower. Although the riot focused attention on the overcrowded conditions at the prison, it was 20 years before the last prisoners were finally moved to the new prison.
How many total inmates were incarcerated there throughout the years?
This is a guess, but close to 100,000.
Who was the most infamous prisoner there?
Turkey Pete - In 1918, at age 40, Paul “Turkey Pete” Eitner was sentenced to life in prison for murder. A model prisoner, he was assigned to tend the prison turkeys. As the years passed, reality slipped away from him. One day a man stopped to admire the turkeys and Eitner sold the man the entire prison flock for 25 cents apiece. This ended Eitner’s farming days but marked the beginning of his new fantasy career as an “entrepreneur and philanthropist.” The prison administration humored Eitner and allowed him to have printed checks from the prison print shop. He “purchased” the prison and proceeded to “operate” it. He “paid” all the prison expenses and wrote checks to the guards for their salaries. Eitner Enterprises saved Brazil’s coffee crop, sold pink alligators, purchased alfalfa seed from Poncho Villa, sold grasshopper legs to Fidel Castro and sold ships to the Navy. When Turkey Pete died in 1967 at age 89, his cell (cell #1) was retired and converted into a barbershop. His funeral was the only one ever held within the walls of the prison.
What do you enjoy about working here?
In my line of work here at the museum, I get to be hands-on with our artifacts. That truly is a very special part of my job. I get to hold pieces of history! Every artifact also has a story to tell. Having the chance to get its story out to our visitors, so that they can enjoy them, means so much to me.
The Old Prison Museum and Montana Auto Museum is located at 1106 Main Street, Deer Lodge, MT 59722.
For more information, contact:
Welcome to the first installment of Music Mondays, when I feature people and places relating to music history. Today I introduce you to the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
To learn a little about the museum and the history of jazz, I interviewed Marissa Baum, the museum’s Director of Development and Communication:
Melissa, what does your job entail?
I am the Director of Development and Communications, so my job includes everything from managing press releases and PR, social media, graphic design and ads, to web development, memberships and major gifts, annual fund campaigns, grant writing, and more!
What do you wish for a visitor to gain/learn after touring the museum?
I think sometimes jazz feels a bit inaccessible, in that there's something you're supposed to "get" and if you don't, you can't appreciate it. But there is such a beauty in the history of jazz and how it developed (and continues to develop!) as an American art form, that anyone can enjoy and appreciate it.
What is the most popular item on exhibit?
Easily the most popular item on exhibit is Charlie Parker's plastic Grafton alto saxophone. Played in the famous Jazz at Massey Hall concert in Toronto, Canada, this saxophone was a part of a monumental moment in jazz history: It was the last time that Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach played together as a quintet. And while some of these musicians had recorded with one another in small combos, Jazz at Massey Hall was the very first time that all five musicians recorded together. The performance took place only two years before Parker's death and is regarded by many as one of the final great performances of his career.
What is YOUR favorite item on exhibit?
Personally, I adore a film from our John H. Baker Jazz Film Collection called Pie, Pie Blackbird. It's a 1932 Vitaphone pre-Code short comedy film released by Warner Brothers on June 4, 1932, starring African American musicians Nina Mae McKinney, the Nicholas Brothers, Eubie Blake, and Noble Sissle. Pie, Pie Blackbird is the Nicholas Brothers’ first film and Fayard (Nicholas) was 18 and Harold (Nicholas) was 11 at the time of release. Their acrobatic infused tap dancing is just awe inspiring, and their talent is unparalleled.
The American Jazz Museum is located at 1616 East 18th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108. For more information, visit the museum’s website at https://americanjazzmuseum.org.
A fascinating museum lies in the nation’s heartland that provides much more than a glimpse into 19th century medicine of the mind. In a time when mental disease was very misunderstood by the layperson, Victorian-era physicians were beginning to experiment and study every facet of this mysterious frontier of medicine, morose as some of those experiments were.
The Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis is dedicated to the memory of the patients and doctors of the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane and to the education of the public about the struggles and triumphs of those with mental illness and their caregivers and physicians.
I interviewed Sarah Halter, executive director of the Indiana Medical History Museum, to learn a little more about this very interesting museum.
How long has the museum been open?
The labs here closed in 1968, and the building reopened just about a year later in 1969 as a museum with the original furnishings, equipment, specimens, etc. still intact.
What are a few of the exhibits?
We operate like a house museum, because the building is so authentic and intact. It is very much a time capsule. But we do have small exhibits and displays in certain parts of the building and offsite at libraries, etc. Some recent exhibits covered topics like the history of lobotomies, the closure of Central State Hospital in 1994 from the perspective of the patients there who wrote newsletters, rehumanization of our specimen collection (telling the human stories of the specimens), the art and institutionalization of the artist John Zwara who spent the spring and summer of 1938 here as a patient and painted beautiful watercolors of the grounds and buildings as they were then, etc.
What is the most popular item on exhibit in the museum?
The Anatomical Museum room gets a lot of attention, which is one of the reasons we are working to rehumanize those specimens which were preserved from patients who were autopsied here in the building during its time as a lab. Other popular objects include the photomicrographic camera in the photography studio, a pediatric iron lung for infants and toddlers, and the hand-cranked centrifuge in the Clinical Chemistry Lab.
What is your favorite item on exhibit in the museum?
I don't know if I can choose just one. I love our historic library collection and am thrilled with a current project we're partnering with the Indianapolis Public Library on to fully catalog the whole collection, make it searchable through their online catalog, and later to digitize about 200 of the 6,500 or so books in that collection that will be available online for anyone who wants to use them!
Can you tell me a little about the Old Pathology Building?
The building was the Pathological Department of Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane, as it was called in 1896, when the building opened. The hospital itself opened in 1848 as the Indiana Hospital for the Insane and closed in 1994, then called Central State Hospital. The building was dedicated to research on physical causes of mental illnesses - tumors, lesions, inflammation, traumatic injuries, congenital defects, degenerative diseases, etc. to find cures and preventative measures so that patients' outcomes could improve and these diseases could be prevented in the future.
It was only the second pathology lab of its kind in the country and today is the oldest surviving freestanding path lab in the US. There is nothing else like it in this country. The building has three clinical labs - bacteriology, clinical chemistry, and histology, a library and auxiliary library, photography studio, operating theater, autopsy room, records room, and chemical storage room that are all preserved intact and on the public tour. We also have a demonstration garden of medicinal plants and an adjacent building that houses a 1950s doctor's office. This recreated office was located in Lewisville, IN, a rural area, and the doctor's practice was in the basement of his home there. We offer guided tours of the building and garden, programs like lectures, panel discussions, theatrical productions, hands-on science programs, movie screenings, etc., and soon we're starting guided tours of the former grounds of the hospital in which we're located.
What does your job entail?
I wear many hats, of course, but I run the organization day to day, which includes everything from fundraising, budgeting, strategic planning, community outreach, managing staff and volunteers, handling PR/media relations and HR, working with our Board of Directors on things that fall into their area of governance, coordinating preservation efforts and managing construction projects, working with developers and the City of Indianapolis as well as other property holders here on the former grounds of Central State Hospital as the area is developed to ensure that the site's history is preserved, creating partnerships and collaborations with other cultural, history, education, and community organizations for various programs and projects ... the list goes on.
How did you get into this business?
I started working here as a graduate intern 12 years ago and fell in love with the building and the subject matter. I was a graduate student in the Museum Studies program at IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis ) here in Indianapolis with a background in history, anthropology, and archaeology. I was hired as staff when my internship ended, became the Director of Public Programs here two years later, and then in May of 2014 was chosen as the new Executive Director when my predecessor retired.
The museum is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday. Tours cost $10 for adults, $5 for university students, and $3 for children under 18.
3045 West Vermont Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222
You’ve heard the words – probably even had to memorize “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” in school. Often we learn about famous people and what they did. But do you ever dig deeper?
Dozens of events and places influence a writer, from births to deaths to illness to adventures and the people they came across in their lives. I’ve always believed, and we’ll learn below, that even the structure where one spends his time and sleeps and lives his life play a part as well.
Wadsworth-Longfellow House in Portland, Maine, did serve as inspiration for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), famed poet and national literary figure. Four generations of the family lived in the house, and all were significant contributors to New England culture and literature. According to the Maine Historical Society website, General Peleg Wadsworth built the house in 1785-1786. He and wife Elizabeth raised ten children here before retiring to the family farm in Hiram, Maine, in 1807. The last person to live in the house was Anne Longfellow Pierce, Henry's younger sister. Mrs. Pierce, widowed at an early age, lived in the house until her death in 1901. At that time, in accordance with a deed she executed in 1895, the house passed to the Maine Historical Society to be preserved as a memorial to her famous brother and their family. Virtually all of the household items and artifacts are original to the Wadsworth and Longfellow families.
Let’s take a quick look at the house and learn about it first-hand.
My interview with John Babin, Visitor Services Manager, Wadsworth-Longfellow House
What does your job entail?
As the Visitor Services Manager at the Maine Historical Society, one of my duties is the management of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House; it includes scheduling of all the Guides and Docents who give tours in the home. Types of tours vary throughout the day, because we offer both guided and self-guided tours. For a guided tour, one tour guide will bring a group over and the group will view the house room-by-room, narrated by the guide. For a self-guided tour, a group is given an introduction and can walk through the house at their own pace with tour guides stationed in different areas to direct and answer questions. We also offer a free download for Android or Apple phones for our app. When using the app, the visitor can take an audio tour or read from the materials provided on the app. Scheduling of the guides and docents also includes daily historic walking tours of the city, all school visits which include viewing our exhibits, touring the house and historic walks through the city for the students; and scheduling of all private tours, bus groups and cruise ships. The job also includes management of the museum store staff and staff for our exhibit areas. Other duties include but are not limited to, weekly admission reports of numbers and metrics, working retail, tour guiding, opening and closing of the campus, hosting events and giving historic talks off-site to different venues throughout the state.
How did you get into this business?
I started as a docent giving tours of the Wadsworth- Longfellow House.
What do you wish for a visitor to gain/learn after touring the house?
How very close and loving both the Wadsworth and Longfellow families were. This was the place where three generations of the same family lived and where some died. It’s also the place that inspired the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to write poetry, writing his first published poem in the home at the age of 13.
What is the most popular item on exhibit in the museum?
The most popular item is a portable writing desk that belonged to the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
What is your favorite item on exhibit in the museum?
The portable writing desk, because this is one of two pieces of luggage Henry took with him on his first trip to Europe. On this desk he wrote of his travels to family members and friends, describing in detail the different towns and villages and the people he met on his quest to learn foreign languages. He met Washington Irving in Madrid, Spain. As a child, a favorite book he enjoyed reading was “The Sketch Book” by Irving.
What is the oldest item in the house?
A table in the parent’s bedroom next to the bed underneath a painting of the poet. The table was inspected by an antiquarian who specializes in early American objects and said it was made in New England and dates back to around 1760.
Wadsworth/Longfellow House hours and admission:
Open May – October
Closed May 23, 2019, 3-5 pm for staff-wide training.
School/educational group tours available year round by reservation only
National Trust Members: 20% off
Seniors & Students: $13
AAA members: $14
Children 6-17: $4; 5 and younger, free
Family (up to 2 supervising adults + 3 children): $35
Groups: $10 per person
Price includes admission to gallery.
For more information, please contact:
Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
207-774-1822 ext. 212
Aberdeen Southern Heritage Pilgrimage
Saturday, April 6, 2019
I visited my hometown of Aberdeen, Mississippi, this weekend to tour a few homes during its annual pilgrimage. I always enjoy this event, usually as a hostess at one of the homes on tour, but sometimes just to relax and enjoy the tour as a spectator. Two of the homes are new to the pilgrimage, and I was anxious to see them. My father joined me, and we visited Sunset Manor, McKinney House and Dunlee. These are by no means the only homes that were on tour; several more beautiful homes were open, but time did not allow us to tour them all.
A note for blog readers not familiar with antebellum homes. To some, the word “antebellum” seems to mean “large,” but that’s not the case. Antebellum simply means “built before the war” – specifically, the American Civil War. An antebellum house can be a small cottage or a mansion or any size in between. Growing up in a town with these beautiful homes can either make one appreciate them all the more, or it can make one a little apathetic. I think when I was young, I was the latter. But the older I get, the more passionate I become for history and these lovely places enjoyed by families who lived here many years before I did.
When I tour any historic structure, I’m mesmerized with anything original: furniture, wallpaper, flooring, etc. I find myself slightly transformed to the 19th century, imagining the inhabitants walking the very floors I’m walking, or turning the actual doorknob I’m touching.
I hope you enjoy these photos and information on the houses we visited. Please check the website for next year’s pilgrimage dates, and plan to make a trip to Aberdeen and transport yourself back in time.
Photos are my own. Architecture and historic information on each house were taken from the Monroe Journal’s 44th Annual Aberdeen Southern Heritage Pilgrimage booklet and aberdeenpilgrimage.org.
Sunset Manor, 1836
Architecture style: Greek Revival
Sunset Manor is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Capt. Thomas Coopwood built the first variation of the home, two original rooms built circa 1836, and Charles Gates transformed it into a Southern town cottage in 1856. The house has four fluted Doric columns on the front, with four interior rooms measuring 20 x 20 x14 with a 16 x 40 division hall opening onto a loggia with bedrooms on each side.
Click thumbnails below for larger photos and captions.
McKinney House, 1902
Architecture style: Victorian cottage
McKinney House contains furnishings including period antiques from 1890 to 1900. In the master bedroom is a half-tester bedroom suite from New Orleans made between 1880 and 1890.
The Magnolias, 1850
Architecture style: Greek Revival
Dr. William Alfred Sykes built the home for his wife in 1850; she died a year later. The home was passed down through the family until Corinne Sykes Acker died. Clarence Day II purchased the home and deeded it to the City of Aberdeen. The Magnolias is open year-round from 1-4pm Wednesday-Friday or by appointment. A hostess can be reached at 369-7956 for tours and to arrange weddings and other events.
During pilgrimage, Civil War reenactors were to stage an encampment on the grounds, but because of the threat of rain, they used the kitchen building as their headquarters to showcase authentic items carried by a typical Confederate infantry soldier.
Architecture: Greek Revival
Dunlee never disappoints. Owned by friends of my parents, this house is a beautiful yet comfortable antebellum home. This one-and-a-half story cottage was built by Dr. William A. Dunkin, a local physician, planter and merchant. The front part of the house is original, but the posterior was rebuilt in the early 1900s. Paired Doric box columns support a pedimented gable set perpendicular to the main roof gable. The house rests on brick piers, and the original floor plan of a central hall flanked by a dining room and parlor is still discernible despite several alterations and additions to the back of the house.
The Bellamy Mansion in Wilmington, North Carolina, was built 1859-1861 by Dr. John Dillard Bellamy for his wife Eliza and growing family of eventually 10 children. Located in the downtown area, Bellamy Mansion includes the house, slave quarters and surrounding gardens. Its history includes a horrific fire, subsequent restoration and recent slave quarters renovation. It is open to the public for tours as well as events. This author asked Operations Manager Leslie Randle-Morton a few questions about Bellamy Mansion and her role there.
Interview with the mansion’s operations manager, Leslie Randle-Morton
What is your background?
Born and raised in Tupelo, MS, I attended the University of Mississippi and received my bachelor's degree in elementary education in 2003. After teaching language arts and social studies at the middle school level for almost a decade in Pontotoc, MS, my husband and I relocated to Wilmington, NC, where I pursued and obtained my master's degree in public history from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2016. My dream since I was a small child was to work in a museum in some capacity. I have loved history for my entire life, and working in a house museum ended up a perfect fit for all of my loves and skills.
How did you come to serve in this capacity?
Whilst in graduate school, I obtained a part time job at the Bellamy Mansion Museum working on the weekends giving tours and managing the site. Eventually, I also took on the role of archivist and in-house researcher where I was able to develop educational programs, historical exhibits, and maintain the museum's collections. I was tapped for the full time position of Operations Manager when a colleague moved to the West coast, and it was just remarkable timing as I had recently graduated from UNCW.
Is the "museum" mentioned on your website the house itself?
The Bellamy Mansion Museum is a site comprised of 2 original buildings (the 1859 slave quarters and the 1861 mansion) along with 2 reconstructed buildings (the carriage house which is now our visitors' center and gift shop space and the poultry shed which is now the restrooms).
What is your favorite item in the museum?
We are not a fully furnished house museum which was intentional when the museum opened as a stewardship property of Preservation North Carolina in 1994 (we are celebrating our 25th anniv. as a museum under Preservation North Carolina this year). We consider ourselves more like a community hub as we host almost 50 events a year and are a rental space for private events like weddings. My "favorite" part of the museum is the original slave quarters. The two-story brick building, once ubiquitous in cities where slavery was legal, is now a rare building. It is my favorite part of the site because the structure, which is one of the only restored urban slave dwellings open to the public on the East coast, allows visitors to learn about the realities of slavery in cities in an authentic setting. Most visitors' knowledge about American slavery comes from resources that often only involve rural slavery--from literature to Hollywood productions.
What seems to be the most popular with visitors?
Being a house museum, people get excited about the entirety of the site--the fact that you can learn about the lives of the wealthy Southern planter family and the lives of their domestic enslaved workers in authentic settings. Often, antebellum house museums do not retain original outbuildings like the original slave quarters--many were converted after the Civil War and then torn down once they fell into disrepair--so the opportunity to experience a virtually intact urban antebellum compound is fascinating to visitors including international visitors.
What is the oldest item in the museum or on the grounds?
There are some furnishings which date back to the early 19th century--antiques the family brought with them when they moved into the home in 1861. The oldest structure is the slave quarters--completed in 1859 by enslaved workers to house the enslaved laborers Dr. Bellamy employed to build the mansion between 1859-1861.
What do you enjoy about working here?
There is never a dull moment working at an historic site which also hosts many events and sees approximately 28,000 visitors per year. I enjoy the historical research and exhibit design aspect as well as giving tours to school children, but I equally enjoy the event planning and hosting. The only aspect of my job that I frequently complain about is the sheer number of stairs I climb and descend each day.
For more information, visit the mansion’s website or contact Leslie below:
Bellamy Mansion Museum
503 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
Today’s blog post is a future post on my Instagram account, @CornerstonesInTime where I feature historic buildings and their cornerstones.
The John M. Stone Cotton Mill in Starkville, Mississippi, was built in 1902. According to Mississippi’s Dept. of Archives and History’s page on the cotton mill, “Named for former governor and second president of Mississippi State A & M College, John M. Stone, the cotton mill was neither constructed on the school campus nor supported with college funds. Its association with the school's textile facilities is, however, undeniable.”
The building is now a conference center, wedding and event venue and office space complex called The Mill Conference Center. On its website themillatmsu.com is the following historical account:
1902: Curious crowds from all around made their way to the tiny city of Boardtown to get their first glimpse of electric lights. Lit up at night while workers on the inside produced world-standard quality fabric, those on the outside looked on in awe at the brand new cotton mill, hardly aware the big, bright building would usher their little town into the new century. Production made the town an economic goldmine while statewide industry proved Mississippi was capable of great feats.
Fast-forward to 2015, nearly 50 years after the last thread of “Starkville Chambray” was produced, and The Mill at MSU re-opened with the same excitement and promise as more than 100 years before.
#cornerstone #architecture #history #starkville #mississippi
I visited Reelfoot Lake in West Tennessee yesterday to see family we haven’t seen in years. I love historic markers and was pleased to find three while at the lake. I didn’t have the opportunity to get out of the car and get a closer photo of the Gen. Cates marker, and it’s illegible in my photo, so I looked up the text and have included it here:
Clifton B Cates was born on August 31, in Cates Landing, Tennessee. He attended school in Lake County and the Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri. A graduate of the law school of the University of Tennessee, Cates served as combat commander in both the first and second World Wars. His Marine service included combat duty in five operations in World War I and four operations in World War II. Cates served in China with the Fabled Fourth Marines. After commanding the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines in 1937, Cates led the First Marine Regiment. First Marine Division on Guadalcanal during World War II. As a Brigadier General, Cates commanded the Fourth Marine Division during the conquest of Tinian and Iwo Jima in 1944. Cates was the first Tennessean to achieve the rank of full general. From 1948 to 1952, General Cates served as the 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Wounded seven times, General Cates received many American and foreign medals. A member of the US Marine Corps for thirty-seven years, General Cates' military service extended to the Korean War. He died in 1970 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.