Mooresville is a charming village situated near the Tennessee River in Limestone County, Alabama. From the moment you arrive, you feel at home and at peace. It’s a bit like stepping back in time.
According to the village website, Mooresville’s history began in 1805 when the first settlers arrived in the area and set up homesteads on lands occupied by the Chickasaw Indians who later ceded the land to the Federal Government. Public land sales began in 1816.
At the time, Limestone County was part of the Alabama Territory. About 4500 people called this area home.
On October 15, 1818, the sixty-two residents of Mooresville petitioned the Alabama Territorial Legislature for an Act of Incorporation, which the Legislature approved within a month. Alabama would become a state one year later, which is why Mooresville villagers refer to their home as “the town older than the state.” Some of the 58 residents of the village are descendants of the original settlers.
Enterprise, Mississippi, is full of history and beautiful historic homes like the Stephenson-Allen House.
Enterprise is situated in rural Clarke County in east central Mississippi. The city was established in 1834 to serve as the county seat (the seat would later move to Quitman, Mississippi). An abundance of nearby waterways, including the Chickasawhay River, made travel to Enterprise accessible by steamboat. The city grew quickly and by 1839 was incorporated with streets and alleys. The waterways surrounding the county also allowed it to enter the booming cotton trade. Enterprise became a busy river city with people coming from far way to trade goods and then purchase the necessities for living. The ongoing trade in Enterprise led to a large commercial center.
A mother will do anything to protect her child, even beyond this life. This is the grave of Florence Irene Ford in Natchez City Cemetery. Florence died when she was 10. Yellow fever took her from her family. During her life she was extremely frightened of storms. Whenever one occurred she would rush to her mother to find comfort. Upon her death her mother was so struck with grief that she had Florence’s casket constructed with a glass window at the child’s head.
St Mary’s Basilica in Natchez, Mississippi is the oldest Catholic building still in use in the state. The interior of the church is decorated with 23kt gold leaf, multi-color stencils, tromp l’oeil and free-hand artistry.
The church is open to the public and you’ll find a self guided tour guide as you walk inside so you can understand every detail of this architectural and spiritual treasure of the South
St. Mary Basilica 107 S. Union St. Natchez, MS 39120 Telephone: 601.445.5616
Saturdays are made for exploration and relaxation. Recently, my mom visited from Alabama and we decided to make a Saturday trip to Laurel, Mississippi to explore and have some fun in this lovely Southern town.
I’ve visited a few times and wanted my mom to experience the charm and hospitality you find when you explore “the city beautiful.”
We arrived in town early and decided to start at Peddler’s JUNKtion Antiques and Vintage. The store was voted Laurel’s #1 Best Place to Find a Bargain in 2017 and #2 Best Gift Shop! So if you’re into antiques, anything vintage this is a great place to explore. Plus they have a boutique inside with jewelry and fashions.
As you walk through what remains of Fort Morgan, you feel as though you can hear echoes of soldiers singing that old song, “Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave, Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore, Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave. Oh! Hard times come again no more.”
Some historical highlights from Fort Morgan’s website:
Fort Morgan is a pentagonal fort that was constructed between 1819 and 1834.
The U.S. Army garrisoned Fort Morgan as a staging area for Creek Indians who were being removed to Indian Territory in 1837.
When Alabama politicians prepared to debate secession, the state militia seized Fort Morgan on January 5, 1861, and it remained under Confederate control until August 1864. After the Battle of Mobile Bay, Union land and naval forces subjected Fort Morgan to a siege of more than two weeks before its commanding officer surrendered on August 23, 1864. Although the Corps of Engineers had repaired the severely damaged structure by 1867, it and other harbor defenses languished in the years after the Civil War.
The fort was used as a training facility during World War I, but the War Department declared Morgan obsolete in 1923 and sold it to the state of Alabama in 1927 for use as a state park.
Fort Morgan was briefly activated during World War II to counter the German U-boat threat in the Gulf of Mexico
Thomas Wolfe, an Asheville native, reached international fame after his first full length novel, Look Homeward, Angel, was published in 1929. There are many incidents in the book that reference his mother’s boardinghouse that was known around town as “Old Kentucky Home”. In the book, he referred to it as “Dixieland”. The Victorian home was constructed in 1883.
Wolfe’s vivid references to Asheville and his “Old Kentucky Home” led to Look Homeward, Angel being banned from public libraries in Asheville for seven years. Time heals all wounds and Wolfe is now honored as one of the city’s most famous sons and the “Old Kentucky Home” is a well preserved memorial and museum that honors one of the giants of 20th century literature. Asheville is a lovely city with such a diverse history. If you’re ever passing through I highly encourage you to make the time to visit the “Old Kentucky Home” and take a tour.
Anytime I visit Asheville I stop by my favorite local coffee shop, Izzy’s Coffee Den, and I grab a coffee to go. Then, I head over to Tom’s place at 48 Spruce Street to pay my respects and sit in a rocking chair on the front porch and have a cup of coffee. If you ever come here, I recommend you do this after the tourist center closes and it’s quiet and peaceful. And if you’re looking for some great books to add to your reading list, add one of Wolfe’s four novels to your list:
To me, the South means beauty in unexpected places. Mount Helena, off old Highway 61 in the Mississippi Delta, is a unique Southern home because it sits atop a ceremonial Indian mound. It’s the last thing you expect to see when you’re driving along the flat Delta region. But I think that speaks to the South you encounter day after day. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something beautiful and unexpected comes into view and you’re reminded why you love calling the South home.