Tag: southern

Abandoned Church in Nitta Yuma, Mississippi

Abandoned Church at Nitta Yuma

Recently I visited the unincorporated community of Nitta Yuma in the Mississippi Delta. When driving around the town, which is only a few blocks, I came across this abandoned church. I wasn’t able to go inside on the day of my visit but I did come across a video that was posted from someone else’s visit inside the church. (Scroll down to see it).

It looks like it was once a lovely church but it hasn’t stood the test of time. Can’t help but wonder what happened inside these walls and what could have been if it had been cared for and restored.

San Francisco Plantation – Garyville, Louisiana

San Francisco Plantation

San Francisco Plantation, established 1860. This plantation home is one of the most ornate in the South. The story goes that the French phrase “son saint-frusquin,” or “the shirt off his back,” was a description of what the construction of the house cost its first owner, Edmond Marmillion. This became mistranslated into San Francisco.  The property and home is expansive and beautiful. You can opt for a guided tour of the home or, if you’re short on time, you can enjoy a self guided tour around the grounds.

Laura Plantation Slave Cabin – Vacherie, Louisiana

Inside Slave Cabin at Laura Plantation

Researchers  at Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana have been studying and interpreting the slave experience in Creole Louisiana for more than 20 years. It is a part of the history of the plantation and when you visit you will leave more informed about the slave experience on this plantation and their lives beyond the Emancipation Proclamation.

The tour is incredibly educational and really helps you to understand that although slaves were freed by the law of the land, their circumstances and ties to the plantations and lands where they worked didn’t allow many former slaves to experience freedom in their life.

Slave Cabin at Laura Plantation

Slave Cabin at Laura Plantation

Slave Cabin at Laura Plantation

 

 

B.B. King’s Corner – Indianola, Mississippi

B.B.'s Favorite Corner

Indianola, Mississippi has been selected by Budget Travel as one of the top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America. That title is, in large part, due to the it’s deep rooted Blues history. B.B. King was born near Indianola and played in public for the first time at the age of 17 at the corner pictured here, known as BB’s Corner. You can visit this corner at Church Street and Second Street in Indianola. Then take a short drive to the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center to learn more about his life and pay your respects at his final resting place, located on the grounds of the center in the city he loved.

Laura: A Creole Plantation – Vacherie, Louisiana

Laura: A Creole Plantation

If you’re planning a trip along Louisiana’s Great River Road, you’re more than likely looking to tour old plantation homes. It’s Louisiana Plantation country so you have many homes to choose from. If you’re limited on time and can only choose one, I would highly recommend you visit and tour, Laura: A Creole Plantation. Unique French Creole architecture and an emphasis on history make this an exploration that’s worth your time when you’re in Louisiana!
I’ve toured countless homes here in the South but I’ve never experienced a historic tour like the one that you experience here at Laura. The tour guides are well versed in the history because there are so many historical records that allow the story of Laura to be told. According to Laura’s website, the tour is based on over 5,000 pages of documents from the French National Archives, Civil War Pension Records & Laura Locoul’s own memoirs.

Afton Villa Gardens – Saint Francisville, Louisiana

Afton Villa Gardens

The drive into Afton Villa Gardens in Saint Francisville, Louisiana is magical. It’s like entering a secret garden of sorts. And this is only the driveway to get to the gardens! If you’re planning a trip anywhere near West Feliciana Parish in Louisiana, make sure to add Afton Villa Gardens to your list. It only takes about an hour to tour the gardens and it’s worth your time. Read about the gardens and then go explore them!

Whittington Farm – Greenwood, Mississippi

Whittington Farm

The movie, The Help, was filmed in a few Mississippi cities, including Greenwood. Fans of the movie will surely recognize this beautiful farm house that was used for the exterior shots of Skeeter’s house in the film. The farm house is Whittington Farm, located at 7300 County Road 518 (Money Road) in Greenwood, MS. If you ever have a hankerin’ to see it, the owner welcomes visitors to explore the grounds. There’s even a sign on the main gate that invites visitors to “help” themselves to a visit on the grounds. It’s a lovely place and the owner is more than kind to allow visitors. There were a few in the driveway when I arrived early on a Saturday morning. Just a reminder of the hospitality that you’ll only understand and experience when you explore the South. And if you plan to visit, The City of Greenwood has a handy driving tour map that will guide you to the filming locations in town.

Nocatula Legend – Athens, Tennessee

Legend of Nocatula Sculptures

On the campus Tennessee Weslyan College, you’ll find a marker and sculptures that tell the story of the legend of Nocatula and Connestoga.

An officer from a nearby fort had been wounded and was found and befriended by an Indian Chief. The chief’s daughter, Nocatula, cared for the soldier and the two of them fell in love and were eventually married. Over time, the officer was accepted into the tribe and took the name Connestoga which means, “The Oak”. A man who had been a suitor of Nocatula in the past became enraged over her new love. He attacked and stabbed Connestoga. Nocatula knew her love was dying and ran to him to pledge her undying eternal love. Connestoga died and Nocatula plunged a knife into her own chest, killing herself next to her love.

In preparation for the burial of Connestoga and Nocatula, the chief put a hackberry in Nocatula’s hand and an acorn in Connestoga’s hand. The acorn and the hackberry were symbols of undying love it and legend says that from the hackberry and the acorn, two trees grew and stood on the spot of Nocatula and Connestoga’s grave for over 150 years. A testimony of their eternal love.

Old Rodney Presbyterian Church – Rodney, Mississippi

Old Rodney Presbyterian Church

Visiting Rodney, Mississippi takes some patience and intention. If you get there, you were headed there. The drive involves back roads and some dirt roads and once you arrive you have no cell service. But once you see this old place and the architectural treasures and historic sites here, it’s worth the bumpy roads! There are two old churches here including Old Rodney Presbyterian Church that holds a unique connection to the Civil War.

When I was standing in front of the church taking photos I heard a fellow visitor ask a friend “Why on earth would someone attack a church?” He was responding to someone’s mention of Confederate troops shooting in Old Rodney Presbyterian Church. It really happened. The reverend of this church invited crew members of the Union’s USS Rattler to join the church service on Sunday, September 13, 1863. After all, there was a Sunday truce in place and the reverend believed he was doing the right thing. Confederate scouts heard there were Union troops in the church and showed up at the door to demand they leave. When the troops refused to leave, the Confederates starting shooting into the church. Retaliation from the Union followed soon after when they fired a cannonball at the church and damaged the front. And that cannon ball is still in the church. You can see it above the window in the photo below.

Rodney is one of those places where you feel like time stood still. And you can clearly hear and see history here because there are few distractions and little noise to cover up the story of what happened here. If you plan a trip to Rodney, do not rely on your GPS. Look up directions and screen shot them like I did. Or follow the basic direction below. You may need a back up because at some point your phone will not have service.

From US 61 go west on 552 towards Alcorn. Turn left on Fellowship Rd (it’s a big hill) and then take Firetower Rd to Rodney Rd on right. Go 10 mi., Rodney Rd is paved until near Rodney.

Have fun and enjoy stepping back in time in Rodney!

Old Rodney Presbyterian Church