Monday, November 2, 2009

In the Woods...

The recent dry weather with clear skies and beautiful sunshine has been a welcome addition to Itawamba County after the wettest October ever recorded. Sunday was the perfect time for a walk in the woods as the Autumn leaves in Itawamba County are at their peak now painting the hills and valleys with vivid hues of red, orange and yellow.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pass the Peas..... Please

The Columbus Decorative Arts Preservation Forum and Antiques Show and Sale will be held November 5-8 in Columbus, Mississippi. On the Tombigbee River, downriver from Itawamba County, Columbus is known for its many antebellum structures. Events at the forum and antiques show include:

Gala Preview Opening: Thursday, November 5 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Trotter Convention Center located at 123 5th Street North. The Antiques Show and Sale will be Friday and Saturday, November 6-7 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Trotter Convention Center.

The Decorative Arts and Preservation Forum begins on November 6 with Pass the Peas, Please… The 19th Century South and its Changing Palate at 9 a.m. At 8 p.m. in Carrier Chapel on the campus of Mississippi University for Women, Jim Gibson, pianist from Atlanta, Georgia will be featured. On Saturday, November 7, beginning at 8:30 a.m. free lectures featuring prominent nationally known speakers, including John W. Keefe, Curator Decorative Arts, New Orleans Museum of Art and Carolyn Bercier, Deputy Director, Herman-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses, New Orleans.

Dinners and entertainment will be held in historic Columbus homes. For advance tickets and forum information call the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation or Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 327-2686 or visit

The Columbus Decorative Arts Preservation Forum is funded in part by a grant through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Billups-Garth Foundation.

Poster photography Neil Alexander, Southern Lights Photography

Friday, October 30, 2009

National Day of Listening is November 27

StoryCorps, the most ambitious oral history project ever undertaken, has announced the second annual National Day of Listening, to take place on November 27,2009. The National Day of Listening is an effort to encourage all Americans to honor a friend, a loved one, or a member of their community by interviewing them about their lives. The interview process takes less than an hour and offers a meaningful alternative to holiday consumerism.

Participants are encouraged to record their National Day of Listening interviews using equipment that is readily available in most homes – from cell phones to tape recorders to computers or even pen and paper. StoryCorps has created a free Do-It-Yourself interview guide with equipment recommendations and interview instructions available online at

“In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the idea of listening during the holiday season has clearly resonated with people across the country,” says StoryCorps founder and MacArthur “Genius” Dave Isay. “The National Day of Listening, which coincides with Black Friday – traditionally the largest shopping day of the year – proves that simply listening to one another is the least expensive and most meaningful gift we can give.”

StoryCorps’ national partners for the National Day of Listening include NPR, the Corporation for National and Community Service and the American Library Association. Although StoryCorps does not currently have the capacity to include National Day of Listening interviews in its collection at the Library of Congress, the organization provides simple instructions for recording and preserving interviews at

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Autumn Afternoon

Yesterday afternoon I couldn't resist photographing the giant sugar maple tree on Fulton's West Main Street just off the town square. Not long after the Cotswold cottage style home was built during the late 1930's on the site of an old antebellum home lot, this tree was planted and for generations, has been probably the most photographed tree in Itawamba County. Every autumn the tree bursts into vivid hues of yellow and orange greeting visitors driving up the hill into downtown Fulton.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Headed South

A sign of the colder season coming, this flock of geese was seen headed south over Itawamba County along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway last week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ancestry Magazine Added to Google Books

Google is an excellent resource for the historian and genealogist and the company is always introducing exciting new features. I am an avid user of Google Books and Google Scholar.

This past January I wrote about Google Books adding magazines to its offerings. In December of 2008 Google announced an initiative to help bring more magazine archives and current magazines online, partnering with publishers to begin digitizing millions of articles. Included now in the ever-growing collection is Ancestry magazine.

All issues of Ancestry magazine are available for reading from the January-February 2004 issue through the January-February 2009 issue. Each issue of Ancestry magazine is packed with stories, articles, and expert advice to help family historians take their research further than ever before. From where to look for new family history clues to detailed how-they-did-it breakthroughs and regular features including Megan Smolenyak's "Found!," reader-submitted heritage recipes, photos, and backstories, Ancestry magazine offers the inspiration and the know-how in every issue.

More and more magazines are set to appear in Google Book search results and you can limit your search only to magazines through the advanced search features. From the Google Books search page, simply click “Advanced Book Search” and from the advanced book search page, select “Magazines" and search for “Ancestry Magazine.” To browse all issues, simply click the “browse all issues” link in the upper left corner of the page.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Genealogy Fair Via Interactive Video Network to the Held in Fulton

An upcoming Genealogy Fair will be held over interactive video network on November 6, 2009, beginning at 12 noon until 5:00 pm. There will be a great line-up of genealogists who will speak on a wide array of topics.

Genealogy is considered to be the fastest growing hobby in America with an estimated 60% of the American population interested in learning more about their family history.

The speakers for the fair starting at 12 noon - 1:15pm: Ms. Betty Wiltshire, owner of Pioneer Press of Carrolton, Mississippi. Ms. Wiltshire is considered to be one of the foremost genealogists in our state. She will discuss how to get started in genealogy research. 1:30 – 2:45 pm: Dr. Lynne Mueller is a reference librarian in the Special Collections department at Mississippi State University Library. In addition to being a certified genealogist, she organizes the annual Genealogy Fair at MSU which attracts enthusiasts from across the southeast. Her topic will be the use of courthouse records to discover historical clues. 3:00 – 4:15pm Dr. Edwin Ellis is a retired MSU professor who spends every available moment researching his family history. He brings a great deal of humor and practical insight to conducting genealogy research. He will discuss using Civil War records to glean information about long lost relatives. 4:30 -5:00pm Ms. Mariah Smith from MSU will show us how to preserve memories and converting photos to fabric.

The fair will be held at the MSU-Itawamba Extension Service located at 304C West Wiygul Street in Fulton. Please bring your lunch, come and stay, or come and go. For more information please call 662-862-3201.