The State of Mississippi may not currently be high on your planned list of heritage tourism destinations, but let me suggest some reasons you may want to consider it. A while back, I wrote an article about the historical significance of Corinth, Mississippi, in the northeast corner of the state, as a strategic site in the Civil War 150 years go this summer. A few miles south is the Tupelo National Battlefield, commemorating the battle in July 1864. Were any of your ancestors involved in these actions? I have a number of ancestors in different lines that served in the Corinth theater.
Tupelo, of course, is best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley. Mississippi has three National Heritage Areas: 1) Mississippi Hills (covers 30 counties) in the northeast, 2) Mississippi Delta (18 counties) in the northwest, and Mississippi Gulf Coast (6 counties) on the gulf coast, that provide a wide range of historical, cultural and natural aspects of the state to review and include in your planning. I wrote a planning document you may also find useful in considering Mississippi as a destination.
I lived in Biloxi, on the Gulf Coast, for a few months, many years ago. Since that time, through hurricanes and the oil spill there have been a lot of changes but all indications are that much of the change has been for the better and the area is again fully prepared to provide heritage tourists with totally fulfilling experiences. The Jefferson Davis home, Beauvoir, for example, has been restored and reopened although work continues on the Presidential library; so you may want to check ahead if that gets on your list of interests.
So, is the State of Mississippi now on your planning consideration list? I’ll have more suggestions, so continue to follow these blog posts as well as my monthly feature article here at The In-Dept Genealogist.
Dr. Bill Smith is the author of The Heritage Tourist, a monthly column in The In-Depth Genealogist which focuses on the social context of travel and history when applied to our genealogy. Dr. Bill can be found blogging at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories.
© Dr. Bill Smith 2012