Saturday, September 29, 2007
Of special note in this collection is the Perlinger Archives where nearly 2,000 movies are viewable and downloadable. The Prelinger Archives was founded in 1983 by Rick Prelinger in New York City. Over the next twenty years, it grew into a collection of over 60,000 "ephemeral" (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films. In 2002, the film collection was acquired by the Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.
The Movie Archive is fully searchable and the various collections can be browsed. For example, a simple search of “Mississippi” produced 79 results. Some interesting general searches resulted in the following:
To Hear Your Banjo Play: This 1947 film presents the origin of the banjo, the development of southern folk music and its influence upon Americans. Pete Seeger plays his banjo and narrates the story.
Southern Highlanders: This 1947 film records residents of the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee and their culture.
The Mississippi River Flood of 1927: This 1936 short silent film was produced by the Signal Corps of the Mississippi flood of 1927.
Lewis and Clark: This is a 1950 film dramatization of the expedition made by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the land from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast.
The Plantation System in Southern Life: This 1950 documentary is a view of the plantation system and its effect on Southern culture.
Building a Levee With Mule Power: This 1937 documentary footage is from a Depression-era documentary that describes the importance of the Mississippi River.
Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge: This beautiful 2005 documentary was produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Internet Archive Movie Archive is simply a massive collection of films where the researcher can literally spend hours on end viewing all types of movies – everything from television commercials of the 1950’s and Depression era documentaries to Hollywood silent movies and modern films.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Carolina was established during the 1830’s when pioneers from the Newberry District area of South Carolina began to settle in the newly opened Chickasaw Cession lands of Mississippi. Because the rolling hills of Itawamba County strongly resembled the settlers’ original home, the community became known as Carolina.
Most of Carolina is geographically located between the Boguefula and Boguegaba Creeks in Itawamba County. Between those creeks, the visitor can discover the heart of the community with many roads containing beautiful scenes of nature, rural farms, forests, wildlife, and more.
Today, many citizens of Carolina are direct descendants of those early pioneers. Organizers of the event are hoping that Carolina Heritage Day will generate interest in the community’s rich history. Everyone attending the event is invited to dress ‘old fashioned’ as way of participating in the community’s celebration. There will be an old-time covered dish lunch served at noon.
Activities will include a grist mill demonstration, Carolina classroom re-enactment, wagon train, story time, dulcimer music, quilting, and other activities. Displays will include Chickasaw artifacts from the community, Carolina School photos, family photos, and much more, Most of the historical activities will occur during the afternoon.
Nearby cemeteries contain the graves of many of the area’s first settlers. These cemeteries include the Carolina Cemetery, Wiygul Cemetery, Conwill-Goodwin Cemetery, Myers-Shumpert Cemetery, New Chapel Cemetery, Elliot Cemetery, Boozer Cemetery, and Bean Cemetery. Local family historians will be able to assist visitors in locating the graves of these first settlers.
The Carolina Community Center is located on Carolina Road off Highway 371 in southwestern Itawamba County.
Photographs: Conwill's Store in the Carolina Community and Livingston pottery monument in New Chapel Cemetery.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
For many years, the advertising medium of painted advertisements on buildings was very popular and today there has been a renewed interest in the hand painted signs. During the heyday of painted advertising on buildings, almost all outdoor advertising companies offered a wall-painting service in the early years. The paint was usually brightly colored. The signs were painted usually once a year, but sometimes twice or more a year. The painters were known as "wall dogs," and they had to work with many different kinds of surfaces.
Various companies “rented” the space on buildings and would pay the building owner a monthly rental for the sign space. Thousands of these unique treasures of Americana in cities, towns, and rural areas across America are not as fortunate as Fulton’s treasure. These signs are doomed, either by destruction of the buildings that are their canvasses, a fresh new coat of paint, or simply weather and time.
Photograph by Bob Franks
Monday, September 24, 2007
Located in the cemetery is a monument erected by church members back during the 1960's memorializing the first person buried in the old cemetery, Betsy Noble, who died around 1837. My uncle, Samuel Feemster Riley told me once that she was a young girl when she died. Riley's grandfather, John Riley and his brother Moses Riley, donated the original land to the church and cemetery shortly after arriving in Itawamba County from Newberry District and the story of Betsy Noble had been handed down through the generations.
Todate, I have been unable to find any information on a Noble family in early Itawamba County. Betsy Noble is simply an Itawamba County mystery.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
It was a time when the farmers burned off their fields and white gold in the form of King Cotton was hauled from the bottomlands, with miles of roads in the countryside being littered with scraps of the white gold that had blown off the cotton wagons on the journey to the gin, like a surreal snow. Autumn was also a time when hill country fields of sorghum and ribbon cane produced the tasty syrupy molasses that was a staple in all the country households.
Cane molasses has been a staple in southern households for generations. Since the 1800’s, sorghum cane and ribbon cane were the two predominant canes used in production of southern molasses. The juice was extracted with horse or mule-powered crushers and the juice was boiled, like maple syrup in New England, in a flat pan, and then used as a sweetener for other foods.
During autumn in Itawamba County, sorghum molasses mills would spring up in various communities. During childhood I remember playing around the molasses mills. The horse would slowly make its trip around the mill enabling the crusher to crush the fresh cane. Workers would feed the cane into the crusher and the sweet juice would drain into a large rectangular pan that was heated by a wood fire. Several workers would slowly stir the liquid with big wooden paddles removing the foam. When the liquid got to the right consistency, the molasses would be drained and sealed into metal buckets.
My most vivid memories of the local seasonal sorghum cane mill was fighting the thousands of buzzing bees hovering near the cane pulp pile hoping to get a taste of the sweet sorghum, and chewing on the fresh sugar cane with the rest of the community children. The cane mill was a gathering place for the community and molasses making was truly a community affair.
Today when autumn arrives in the hills of Itawamba County, I always think of the old- time molasses mill and usually pick a crisp cool morning to bake a big batch of oversized Mississippi buttermilk biscuits from scratch. After slicing a few of the biscuits open, and adding a heaping portion of fresh butter on the open biscuits followed by a generous baptizing of sog’um molasses over the melting butter, I sit down, and savor the scents, tastes and memories of a time gone by.
Shady Valley Photograph by Bob Franks
Itawamba County Sugar Cane Mill Photograph by Wanda Booth Turner
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Link to AP Article
Sunday, September 16, 2007
In July of 1864, William was wounded in a battle at
After his regiment surrendered in
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
The Battle of Ackia was fought in present-day
By the first of April they proceeded by boat up the
On May 26 the forces approached three fortified hilltop villages named Apeony, Tchoukafalaya and Ackia that were collectively known as
They became pinned down on the side of the hill with mounting casualties but several outlying cabins were taken. After several hours of combat the French fell back without having made the slightest breach in the fortress at the point of attack. During the night hours the Chickasaw improved their position by razing surrounding cabins and vegetation. As the French were shot of ammunition and provisions, and worried they could not carry the wounded, they retreated the way they had come.
The Battle of Ackia location today is an important Mississippi historical site in neighboring
Illustration: Excerpt from 'Plan a L'Estime ou Scituation de Trois Villages Chicachas', by Ignace-François Broutin (
For further reading:
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Historic Jefferson College is a historic property of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Near Natchez, at Jefferson College, the first educational institution of higher learning in Mississippi, visitors can tour a restored dormitory room, student dining room, kitchen buildings, and other historic sites. The adjacent nature trail winds up and down through a wooded ravine, past St. Catherine's Creek, over bridges, past Ellicott Springs, and a historic cemetery, with plants and trees clearly identified along the way.
Jefferson College, incorporated by an act of the first General Assembly of the Mississippi Territory in 1802, was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, president of the United States and president of the American Philosophical Society. Territorial governor William C. C. Claiborne served as president of the college's first Board of Trustees.
For more information on the special exhibit, Marie Hull, Home and Abroad, call 601-442-2901.
Jefferson College photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress
The society will maintain its site on Rootsweb as a mirror site as well. Be sure to check the society's website and new material is being added on a regular basis. The address of the society's new web presence is located at http://www.itawambahistory.org.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Town of Mantachie Photograph: 1907
John Wesley and Mary McCain Walker Probate Records
Board of Police Minutes: 1886
Old Probate Packets of Itawamba County
Itawamba County Tombstone Art
Historic Maps in Your Research
Itawamba County Towns and Businesses: 1866
Itawamba County News Abstracts: 1912
Private Monroe West World War I Letter
The Clark Family Bible
Rachel P. Armstrong Obituary: 1930
John W. Thornberry Obituary: 1930
Israel Standifer Edens Probate Records
Directory and Historical Sketch of the Fulton ME Church South
Rowena Catherine Tynes Guardianship Records
Alphabetical Index to Itawamba Probate Records Online
The Old Hamptons Graveyard
Lunceford Store at Otis
The Itawamba County Fair: 1925
The Mississippian Railroad: The First Years
Bankhead National Highway in Itawamba County
Fulton Then and Now: A Photographic Exercise
Plat Book A Abstracts
Itawamba County Teachers Directory: 1931-32
Old Rankin Family Confederate Soldier Tintype
Itawamba Settlers magazine is mailed to the membership four times per year and is included with membership dues. For further information about Itawamba Settlers magazine, please consult the society's website.