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.
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.
Ah, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Such a beautiful place to explore in the spring! What you don’t see in the photo is the line of people that stand behind the beautiful gardens that line Monticello to get a photo of the house and flowers.
Monticello is a historic treasure. It’s worth the time and money to visit, even if you think you already know Thomas Jefferson. I had read so much about his life but seeing his architectural dream that he brought to life is inspiring. Jefferson dedicated his adult life to designing and redesigning Monticello. His dedication to detail and willingness to tear some things apart and start over again to make it better, remind you that you can do the same thing with your life.
Springtime reminds you that dreams are worth dreaming and you should continue to pursue them, even when obstacles stand in your way. You just may build something beautiful!
Stone house at Manassas Battlefield (c. 1848). During the Civil War, the area around this 19th century Stone House saw action during the two battles of Manassas. The house served as a hospital during both battles. Two privates of the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, who were wounded during the 2nd Battle of Manassas (Aug 1862), left their mark inside this house. 21 year old Private Charles Brehm, and 17 year old Eugene Geer, were treated in an upstairs room. Both men carved their names into the floorboards of the room and the carvings can still be seen to this day. By the end of 1862, Geer had died; Brehm survived and lived until 1909. You can visit the Stone House and adjacent grounds as part of the Manassas National Battlefield Park driving tour
Longwood, in Natchez, Mississippi, epitomizes the rise and fall of the antebellum south. It’s the only unfinished antebellum home in the country. The history of the home may explain why spirits of the former owners are said to linger here.
I host a podcast called Southern Mysteries and last March I dedicated an episode to this fascinating place. Listen to learn about the history of Longwood