Summer break is just around the corner. The kids are out of school, the sun stays out later and the weather gets warmer. Whether you are a parent looking for something to do with the kids or just want to take a day off, there are many different places in North Mississippi, from museums dedicated to the history of the Old South, one-of-a-kind shops and some of the best food in the state.
By Thomas Simpson
Corinth Interpretive Center
In the city of Corinth, travelers can stop by the city’s Interpretive Center and find the site of the historic Civil War battle of Shiloh.
There are several statues and exhibits scattered throughout the park, which reaches all the way across the Tennessee border. The park also plans to host several events during the 2017 year.
“We have ranger programs from May to September, teacher workshops and a to-be-determined concert series planned this summer,” supervisor and park ranger Ashley Berry said. “On September 30, we will hold a large scale living history event where men will perform a living history show, not a reenactment, to show how everything happened during the battle. For those interested in the history of the South, the Interpretive Center is the first stop to Shiloh.”
For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/shil/learn/historyculture/corinth.htm.
The Apron Museum
While many museums people find throughout the country focus on events in history, there are others you can find that focus on a theme. In the city of Iuka, there is an antique store-turned museum that centers around a peculiar theme – aprons. Director Carolyn Terry has a collection of aprons that she has gathered over the years, from the hard times flour-sack work aprons to Coca-Cola, barbeque and even a pressman’s apron.
“It is the only public display of aprons you will find in the country,” Terry said. “The museum started out as an antiques and apron shop, but visitors were intrigued at the number of aprons we had.”
Today, Terry has close to 4,000 different aprons that represent the art, fashion and history of the eras the aprons were popular in.
“People come in here and are just amazed at the colors and designs of the aprons,” Terry said. “They are all from the United States, not foreign countries, because I wanted to display authentic aprons.”
For pictures and information, visit the museum’s Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/ApronMuseum/
Amory Regional Museum
In 1974, the Amory Bicentennial Committee bought an old, worn down building from the city of Amory for $10. The citizens of the city donated $50 thousand to the cause and, on June 27, 1976, the Amory Regional Museum was dedicated.
“We are in our 41st year and are working on the bicentennial project,” director Bo Miller said. “We have several different exhibits like a rail car permanently attached and a Chickasaw canoe dating back to the 17th or 18th century.”
The museum also has a cotton gin, picture, military and medical room with several different artifacts from the area. Admission to the museum is free as well.
“It is very family friendly,” Miller said. “I like to think we have something for everybody.”
Visit the museum’s Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/Amory-Regional-Museum-309704629781/ for more information.
Marshall County Historic Museum
If you are traveling down I-22, take exit 30 and head north to find another piece of Mississippi history.
The Marshall County Historic Museum devotes its exhibits to the history of Marshall County and Holly Springs, including Civil War-era artifacts, Victorian children’s books, quilts and an 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic room, among other things.
“There are also some Kate Freeman Clark paintings throughout the museum,” director Meredith Gray said. “We are in the process of creating a room towards her which will include never before seen sketches and clothing.”
The museum is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids.
“This is a sensibly located museum in the heart of Holly Springs,” Gray said. “We just want to provide a place that contains a lot of history where we preserve, protect and promote that history.”
For more information, visit their website at http://www.marshallcountymuseum.com/
The Tanglefoot Trail is a 40-plus mile biking trail that stretches in the center of North Mississippi. In downtown New Albany right off of Bankhead Street, locals stop by the Trailhead Plaza and grab a bite to eat, shop at the local vendors or take a stroll on the trail.
“The trail was originally asphalt, which caused a drainage problem in the city,” director of tourism Sean Johnson said. “The Trailhead Plaza, finished in 2014, was built to replace that asphalt and give the downtown area a focal point, where it has become the centerpiece of the town.”
The plaza is the start of the Tanglefoot Trail and is in the center of the New Albany’s favorite restaurants and shopping, including Sugaree’s bakery, a local favorite.
“The plaza has become the centerpiece of the town,” Johnson said. “It is the perfect stop for anyone coming on or off the trail.”
Oxford is best known for the home of the University of Mississippi. Located just near the campus, travelers can find the family home of Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner.
Faulkner, who moved his family into the home from 1930, lived in the Antebellum-style home until 1962, his death. In 1972, his daughter, Jill, sold the house to the university to secure it as a place for people worldwide to learn more about the award-winning author.
“The home is mostly dedicated to the memory and literary achievements of Faulkner,” curator William Grissith said. “When you come here, you can see his home and view the many different rooms. There are also several interpretive panels with interesting facts and information on the family.”
Visitors can also walk the grounds of the property and visit the nature trail, where Faulkner drew inspiration for his writing. Admission is $5, but kids 12 and under and University of Mississippi students get in free.
For more information, search http://www.rowanoak.com/
In West Point, just north of Starkville, there is a mansion, originally built as a cotton gin in 1852 by General George Hampton Young that houses antiques gathered throughout the years.
Robert Snow, a railroad worker and antique dealer, and his wife, Donna, bought the mansion in the spring of 1962 and turned it into their home. Soon, the couple started giving tours of the house to show the exquisite architecture and history of the mansion.
“For $10 – age 6 and under have no charge – you can tour the mansion and see everything Young and the snows kept,” tour guide Jimmy Denning said. “There are artifacts dating back to the 19th century. There is also a garden outside with peacocks and peahens, and one of the largest and oldest magnolia trees in the state.”
The name Waverly Mansion comes from the Waverley Novels by Sir Walter Scott, which included characters like Robin Hood. Donna and Robert both have passed away, with Robert’s death coming in March, but Denning believes the impact the couple left behind is still felt.
“If you want to see the history of the Old South, this is the place to do it,” Denning said. “Rob and Donna did an excellent job of promoting and preserving that history here.”
In Southaven, just south of Memphis, concert fans can catch a show at the largest outdoor venue in North Mississippi.
The BankPlus Amphitheater, which opened in 2006, has hosted the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney, Alice in Chains, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blues Traveler, Eric Church, Sugarland and Miranda Lambert. The venue normally hosts country and classic rock acts and seats close to 12,000, with 4,400 reserved seats and an elevated, trimly kept lawn that can hold an additional 7,000.
“The venue is up close and personal where the seats are right up to the stage,” director of marketing Andy Hamm said. “It is in an ideal setting with the nearby Snowden baseball complex in our backyard along with great food options and Memphis just five minutes north.”
Chris Stapleton, Journey and Better than Ezra are a few of the acts the amphitheater is hosting this year. The venue also plans to have full coverage wife and expanded seating within the next year or so, Hamm said.
“There aren’t enough big, live music venues in Mississippi,” he said. “The amphitheater gives you that experience.”
For the venue’s 2017 schedule, visit http://bankplusamphitheater.com/
Bulldog Burger Co
Some of the best dining and cuisine can be found in Starkville, home of Mississippi State University.
Bulldog Burger Company, which opened last February, has become a staple to students and locals in the area. The restaurant serves gourmet burgers, salads and the chicken sandwich, a local favorite. It also offers handmade milkshakes and bread pudding made out of Shipley’s donuts.
“We are probably one of the most family-friendly restaurants in the area,” manager William Goss said. “We are a lunch-dinner chain where you can walk in and out without spending more than $15.”
For a look at the menu, visit their website at www.bulldogburgerco.com.