Monday, May 18, 2009

Society Program Meeting Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow evening, members and visitors of the Itawamba Historical Society will be treated to a special program by Dr. Terry Thornton, society member and author of the blog, Hill Country of Monroe County. He will be presenting a program about burial customs in the hill country of northeast Mississippi. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Gordon McFerrin Auditorium of the George Poteet History Center at the corner of Church Street and Museum Drive in Mantachie. A fellowship meal will be followed by the special program. This program should be both entertaining and educational, as Dr. Thornton is an excellent speaker. The public is invited to attend.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lemon Balm

With all the damp weather we've been having in Itawamba County, plants are really doing well. Pictured above is a clump of lemon balm in my garden. Crushed leaves of this herb have a strong scent of lemon. I've always planted lots of herbs within my flower beds. Not only do they add an interesting texture to the garden, they're quite handy in the kitchen as well. I have basil, tarragon, lemon balm, bee balm, mountain mint, chives and two twenty-year-old rosemary shrubs. This year I've added peppers to my flower beds as well.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Flea Market With a Purpose: May 8-9, 2009

The Itawamba Historical Society's annual giant flea market will be held tomorrow and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. This annual event is one of the major events of the year as a financial project. This year's event should prove to be one of the largest yet. Today society volunteers worked at the George Poteet History Center converting the auditorium into a big flea market sale area. Such items as antiques, books, household items, live plants, fresh baked goods, research books, arts and crafts are offered for sale. With the society's auditorium filled with items for sale and more items being displayed on the lawn tomorrow and Saturday, the society invites all those interested in finding a special treasure at a good price to come out and visit the next two days.

The historical society depends entirely upon membership dues and donations to further its work with the preservation and promotion of local history. Throughout the year the society's facilities are open to the public free of charge where hundreds of family researchers visit the society's Gaither Spradling Library and tour Historic Bonds House Museum. And each years hundreds of local school groups learn about their county's past. It is events like the annual giant flea market that keeps the society in operation.

So don't forget to support the society by stopping by the next two days. It will be time well spent.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Keyes Cemetery on a Stormy Day?

I recently purchased a new photography book and one exercise in the book included taking a photograph and replacing the sky with a sky from another photograph. I took a scene I photographed of the old Keyes Cemetery on a sunny day and replaced the sky with a photograph I took near my house of a stormy spring day, which made for unusual results.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Remembering Lawns of White Clover

One sunny warm afternoon last week I was gardening in my yard here in Itawamba County and came across a patch of blooming white clover on my lawn. The site of this clover instantly flooded my mind with memories of childhood summers in Itawamba County.

Back when I was a kid, everyone had patches of white clover on their lawns. This was before today’s monotonous manicured lawns of green turf. The white clover blooms on the lawn would attract butterflies and honey bees. As a kid I would catch bees in a fruit jar and would sit on the lawn combing through the green plants looking for that special lucky four-leaf clover. When the lawn would be mowed, the sweet smell of fresh-cut green clover would sift through the humid summer air creating a fragrant treat for the senses. And of course there’s nothing better than walking barefoot through a field of cool damp clover on a hot Mississippi summer’s day.

White clover has been around these parts for quite awhile. During 1794 a visitor to America wrote: “In every part of America, from New Hampshire to Carolina, from the sea to the mountains, the land … whether wet or dry, whether worn out or retaining its original fertility, from the summit of the Alleghany ridge to the sandy plains of Virginia, is spontaneously covered with white clover, growing frequently with a luxuriance and perfection that art can rarely equal in Europe1.”

For hundreds of years, white clover has been cherished throughout the countryside. During 1892 Cora Randall Fabbri wrote a poem called White Clover. One verse of the little poem reads:

Among the clover in the lane,
The thought comes of a Long Ago.
And for a little while I know
I am a little child again.

1Charles V. Piper, Forage Plants and Their Culture, The MacMillan Company, New York, 1916, 411.

2Cora Randall Fabbri, Lyrics, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1892, 133.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Alabama Death Certificates Index: 1908-1974 Now Online at FamilySearch Labs

FamilySearch Labs recently published an Alabama Death Certificates Index for the years 1908 through 1974. This searchable database includes extracted spouse and parents’ names (if available) as well as death date and location. Other information can include burial location, birthplace, marital status, birth date, parents’ birthplaces and other information typically found on a death certificate.

This is exciting news for those researching the “border counties” of Mississippi such as Itawamba where many family connections cross the state line. To research this index, simply visit FamilySearch Labs (select the Canada, U.S.A. and Mexico Region, then select Alabama Statewide Deaths: 1908-1974).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Overlooking the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

The patio area of the Jamie Whitten Historical Center overlooks the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Located just north of Fulton this complex includes a museum, nature trails, boat dock, fishing pier, camping area, playground and several picnic pavilions. This complex is one of the most attractive attractions along the waterway.