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.
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.
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.
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.
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.