Located on the Louisiana and Mississippi border is the town of Gainesville, located in Hancock County. In the past, the town was an active port on the Pearl River, but declined during the 1800s. Later in 1962, the land was acquired by NASA and is now home to the Stennis Space Center.
In 1860, John Deason, a Mexican War veteran, organized a militia company here. The “Gainesville Volunteers” entered Confederate service in 1861 as Co. G of the Third Mississippi Infantry. During the Civil War, the unit served in the Gulf Coast region and fought in the Vicksburg, Atlanta, Middle Tennessee, and Carolina campaigns.
Mississippi Welcome Center, Interstate 10, Mile Marker 2, Gainesville, MS – Border of Louisiana and Mississippi
Church Hill, Mississippi, is named after Christ Church, which sits on a hill. The church was built around 1820 and is designed after county church buildings in England. It is located about 18 miles north of Natchez.
During the height of the cotton boom, the area was home to many wealthy cotton planters before the Civil War. During the 1800s, however, soil erosion caused the decline. Antebellum plantations still lie along Highway 553.
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive that stretches through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee – linking Nashville, TN, to Natchez, MS. The current roadway mainly follows the path of the Old Natchez Trace, which was a combination of a wilderness road, horse trail and foot path. One of most frequently used sections of the trail was known as Natchez or Chickasaw Trail.
It was regularly used throughout the late 1700s and early 1800s as a commercial road between the East and the Southwest and Mississippi River, but it had been animal and Native American trail for thousands of years. The original wilderness road ran through Old Town, MS, which was an area settled due to the abundance of bison and water. This section is known as the Old Natchez Trace.
Due the difficulty of navigating the Natchez Trace, in 1800, the U.S. Congress created legislation to create a major road that would allow for easier travel between Nashville and Natchez. “The Government Road” was completed in 1802, and this road linked Nashville with the original Trace.
Historical Marker Inscription
Two portions of a nearly 200 year old wilderness road, the Old Natchez Trace, are preserved here. Nearly 500 miles long, it grew from Indian trails to a national road and communications link between the Old Southwest and the United States to the northeast.
A short 5-minute loop walk to your left lets you see both sections and lets you stroll down a steeply eroded, sunken part of the Old Natchez Trace.
Natchez Trace Parkway, Ridgeland, MS 39157, United States
While most burial mounds in Mississippi are dated to around 100 B.C. to 400 B.C. (the Middle Woodland period), the six burial mounds at Boyd Site date to around 800 to 1100 A.D. (the Late Woodland and Early Mississippian periods).
In 1964, the National Park Service excavated some of the mounds. One of the mounds appears to be 100 feet long, but is actually 3 different mounds. Within these 3 mounds, 41 burials were found.
While few artifacts were discovered within burial sites, the pottery that was discovered possibly indicate that the mounds were created in two different phases: one within the Late Woodland period and another within the Mississippian period.
Historical Marker Inscription
Archaeologists tell us that there was a house here sometime around 500 A.D. and that the pottery found in the mounds was made before 700 A.D. Likely, the population was continuous over centuries with customs being handed from generation to generation, relying on field, forest, and stream for food. The simple social system was probably based on family and close relatives.
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
The mounds are located approximately 6 miles from I-55 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, Madison, MS 39110
Known as the “Singing Brakeman” and “America’s Blue Yodeler”, James Charles Rodgers, better known as Jimmie Rodgers, was a pioneering country music star. He has been regarded as the Father of Country Music, combining elements from different genres, including jazz, folk music and work chants.
Born on September 8, 1987, the son of a railroad section foreman, Jimmie was attracted to music from a young age. At 13, he won an amateur talent show and soon after ran away to join a traveling medicine show. His father found him and brought Rodgers back to work on the railroad. During the early 1900s, he worked as everything from a call boy to a brakeman to a baggage master.
In 1924, he developed tuberculosis – a disease that would plague him throughout his life and lead to his death – he abandoned railroad work and devoted himself to music. He wouldn’t, however, find success until 1927 working a regular, unpaid spot on an Asheville, North Carolina, radio station.
His luck turned again, when he learned that Ralph Peer, an agent for Victor Talking Machine Company, was doing field recordings. There was a positive response to his release, and he wound up recording again for Peer, leading to the release of “Blue Yodel (T for Texas), which became his first big hit.
Rodgers would spend the next five years traveling across the nation, appearing in a movie and recording with famous stars, including the Carter Family, Bill Boyd and Louis Armstrong.
Jimmie Rodgers (1897 – 1933) is widely known as the “father of country music,” but blues was a prominent element of his music. The influence of his famous “blue yodels” can be heard in the music of Mississippi blues artists including Howlin’ Wolf, Mississippi John Hurt, Tommy Johnson, and the Mississippi Sheiks. His many songs include the autobiographical “T.B. Blues,” which addressed the tuberculosis that eventually took his life.
Jimmie Rodgers and The Blues Meridian native Jimmie Rodgers (1897-1933) was the first major star of country music and introduced the blues to a far wider audience than any other artist of his time, black or white. He was not the first white performer to interpret the blues, but he was the most popular, establishing the blues as a foundation of country music.
More than a third of Rodgers’s recordings were blues, which he encountered as a young man while working as a railway brakeman and traveling musician. In 1927 he recorded the song “Blue Yodel” that sold over a million copies and earned Rodgers the nickname “The Blue Yodeler.” His distinctive style mixed blues, European yodeling, and African American falsetto singing traditions. Before Rodgers, several African Americans, notably Charles Anderson, had specialized in yodeling, and in 1923 blues singers Bessie Smith and Sara Martin recorded Clarence Williams’s song, “Yodeling Blues.”
Although most of Rodgers’s songs were original, some of his most popular were versions of blues classics. “Frankie and Johnnie” was an African American ballad about a murder in St. Louis in 1899, and blues artists including Jim Jackson from Hernando, Mississippi, had made earlier recordings of “In the Jailhouse Now.” Rodgers employed African American musicians in the studio, including Louis Armstrong, who, along with his pianist wife Lil, backed Rodgers on “Blue Yodel No. 9.” Other sessions featured blues guitarist Clifford Gibson and the Louisville Jug Band.
In early 1929 Rodgers toured Mississippi with a vaudeville show that included blues singer Eva Thomas. Bluesmen who claimed to have met, traveled, or performed with Rodgers included Hammie Nixon, Rubin Lacy, and Houston Stackhouse, who recalled that he and Robert Nighthawk accompanied Rodgers in a show at the Edwards Hotel in Jackson (c. 1931). Rodgers’s influence on African American musicians from Mississippi is evident in recordings by the Mississippi Sheiks, Tommy Johnson, Furry Lewis, Scott Dunbar, and Mississippi John Hurt, whose song “Let the Mermaids Flirt With Me” was based on Rodgers’s “Waiting For A Train.” Howlin’ Wolf attributed his distinctive singing style to Rodgers, explaining, “I couldn’t do no yodelin’, so I turned to howlin’. And it’s done me just fine.”
If you don’t want me mama, you sure don’t have to stall If you don’t want me mama, you sure don’t have to stall. ‘Cause I can get more women than a passenger train can haul
The Belhaven Historic District is located in a hilly area of Jackson, Mississippi. The district includes Belhaven University and the Eudora Welty House. The area is distinct due to its many different architectural styles, including Queen Anne, Greek Revival and Neoclassical Revival. This is why this neighborhood is considered one of the most architecturally diverse areas in the country.
Named after the house of a Confederate veteran of the Civil War, Jones S. Hamilton, the Belhaven Neighborhood is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jackson. The name Belhaven was given to the home in honor of Hamilton’s ancestral home in Scotland. Before that, in 1875, the area was known as Moody Estate. By the early 1900s, North State Street was considered to be one of the most fashionable places to live with its large homes.
In 1983, the neighborhood was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Historical Marker Inscription
The Belhaven neighborhood developed north of the city as Jackson’s first suburb. Composed of more than 1,300 historic structures dating from as early as 1904, Belhaven is Mississippi’s largest historic district. The neighborhood includes a wide variety of building styles with a mixture of commercial and residential developments, as well as religious and educational institutions.
The Belhaven Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Intersection of Riverside Drive and Peachtree Street, Jackson, MS
Located in Lauderdale County in the East Central Hills of Mississippi, Meridian started in 1831 after the Choctaw Indians left the land as part of the terms of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. The city got its name from a settler who believed that the word “meridian” actually meant “junction” or “zenith”.
Richard McLemore of Virginia was the first to come to area and then offered free land to others to try to get them to move the region. By 1855, railroads had linked Meridian with other areas, and, by the 1860s, there were 15 families living in the town.
Meridian played a role during the Civil War. It was the location of the Confederate arsenal, a stockade for prisoners and a military hospital, and it even was the location of the state capital for a month in 1863. In February 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman destroyed the city. The only surviving antebellum mansion in the area from before this time is Merrehope, a Greek Revival home.
For a period of time during the 1890s until 1930, Meridian was also the largest manufacturer in the state. It was known for timber and cotton production.
Historical Marker Inscription
Formerly Sowashee, it was chartered 1860, and throve as rail junction during the Civil War, serving in 1863 as temporary capital and as depository of the state’s official records.