Built in 1858 by Captain W.D. Heflin, this antebellum home is filled with furnishings and objects from the late 1800’s.
The sanctuary, built in 1844, is the oldest Presbyterian structure in North Mississippi and the oldest church building in the Oxford area. Constructed of bricks fired on the site, the building was completed in 1846 at a total cost of $2,809.75. The pulpit, the pews, and the pew gates are the original furnishings. Events of interest include the encampment on these grounds by Union troops of Generals Grant and Sherman, and the marriage of author William Faulkner. The church cemetery contains a number of unmarked Union soldiers’ graves, along with slave burial sites and many Confederate soldiers’ burial sites.
Home to William Faulkner and his family for over 40 years, Rowan Oak was originally built in 1844, and stands on over 29 acres of land just south of the Square in Oxford, MS. The clapboard house had no electricity, plumbing or even sound construction when Faulkner bought it in 1930. The writer did much of the renovation himself, even designing the study where today visitors can still see the grease pencil outline for A Fable scrawled on the walls. Details like that—and like Faulkner’s riding boots standing guard near a bedroom chair—yield both a stillness and a presence that makes this National Literary Landmark a personal milestone for the visitors who make the pilgrimage each year.
Located in the heart of Ole Miss, the John Davis Williams Library is known for its literary collections, the crown jewel of which is William Faulkner’s “Rowan Oak Papers”. Discovered in a broom closet at Faulkner’s home, this collection is one of the greatest finds of modern literary manuscripts. They contain several thousand sheets of autograph and typescript drafts of poems, short stories, film scripts, and novels written by Faulkner in some of his most creative years, between 1925 and 1939.
Completed in 1848, the Lyceum was the first building constructed on campus, and visitors can still see the bullet holes in the building’s Ionic columns from the riots surrounding James Meredith’s historic 1962 enrollment. The Civil Rights Monument was dedicated in 2006 to commemorate the the efforts of James Meredith and others who strove to create educational opportunities for all.
Completed in 1859, the observatory is now home to the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Alvan Clark and Sons designed an 18½ inch refractor lens for Barnard, but when the Civil War broke out, it instead went to Chicago and is still in use at Northwestern University’s Dearborn Observatory.
Bailey’s Woods Trail connects the University Museum at the University of Mississippi to Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s residence. The trail is approximately 3/5 mile in length, and takes an average of 20 minutes one-way on foot. The trail is open from dawn to dusk.
The legacy of recently emancipated African Americans stands proudly today in tribute to their determination to build their own church. Their frame Methodist Episcopal Church built in 1867 near the Oxford Square was replaced in 1910 with a twin-steepled brick church. Following the building’s restoration in 2013, the Mississippi Landmark now serves the community as a history museum and an events center. Professionally designed exhibits review African American life from Enslavement through Civil Rights. A video and accompanying panels tell the Burns Church story. Local African Americans are featured throughout the museum. It’s an easy walk to the Burns-Belfry Museum from the historic Oxford Square.
Established in 1836, Lafayette County was named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette and was one of ten counties into which the Chickasaw Cession was divided. Since Oxford was incorporated in 1837, the square has remained the cultural and economic hub of the city and is home to a variety of shops and boutiques, including the South’s oldest department store and one of the nation’s most-renowned independent bookstores. Oxford was selected as the name of the county seat in hopes that it would also become a seat of higher learning, and this goal was realized when the University of Mississippi was chartered in 1844 and opened in 1848. The historic county courthouse is referenced in several of William Faulkner’s works; Faulkner family members and mentor Phil Stone once had offices in this National Historic District; the film adaptation of The Sound and the Fury was shot here; and the Confederate statue that Faulkner memorialized in his fiction (and that his grandmother donated to the town) still stands.
Learn the compelling story of one man’s surprising impact on a scarred country, the story of Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar. As Oxford rose from the ashes, L.Q.C. Lamar prepared to become a statesman in this house while he reflected on defeat and resolved to work for reconciliation between North and South. Later it became Senator Lamar’s retreat from the demands of Washington. His beautifully restored 1870 home graces three acres within Oxford’s North Lamar Historic District, walking distance from the Oxford Square. Professional exhibits present Lamar’s life against the backdrop of secession, war, and reunion. The 1870 house was declared a National Historic Landmark for Lamar’s role in national politics after the Civil War.
Effective immediately, the house is open
Friday-Sunday 1:00-4:00 with free admission.
A few blocks northeast of the Square, the old Oxford Cemetery is nestled in the rolling hills of a quiet neighborhood. Saint Peter’s is the final resting place for novelist William Faulkner as well as many of Oxford’s most prominent citizens. L.Q.C. Lamar, a former U.S. Congressman, Secretary of the Interior under President Cleveland, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice, is buried here. Beside the circle of cedars lies a Revolutionary War Veteran, as well as a Confederate General.
Dedicated to railroad engineer Casey Jones, this museum houses artifacts and memorabilia that tell the story of this historic figure and legendary train engineer.
The DeSoto County Museum features the history and development of DeSoto County, Mississippi, from 1541 to the present. Artifacts and displays begin with the arrival of Hernando DeSoto and his contact with the native inhabitants of Mississippi. Displays continue through the riverboat days with a working model of a paddlewheel boat. Other exhibits feature the parlor of an antebellum mansion and artifacts from the Civil War. Key events in the agricultural, recreational, and social development of DeSoto County are also on display.
The courthouse, a Mississippi Landmark, features restored murals depicting the journeys of famed Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto—who explored this area in 1541-1542—as he searched for the Mississippi River.
This cemetery is the burial site of 11 Confederate Generals including Confederate Maj. Gen. Edward Cary Walthall, Brig. Gen. Winfield Scott Featherston, Brig. Gen. Samuel Benton, Brig. Gen. Daniel and Chevilette Govan. It is also the burial site of victims of the 1878 yellow fever epidemic, as well as Hiram Revels, the 1st African American elected to the United States Senate.
Like many sites concerned with Southern history, the museum devotes the first few exhibitions of its tour to artifacts from the Civil War era. As guests proceed to the upper floors, however, the true quirkiness of the place begins to come into focus. In one room, they find a collection of taxidermy animals indigenous to Mississippi; in the next, flapper girl clothing from the 1920s. Over here a large collection of Victorian children’s books shares floor space with an antique Victrola; while over there items made by the Native American tribes of Mississippi sit next to the first private bathtub ever owned in Holly Springs. From wall to wall, there is truly a little bit of everything: quilts, dresses, Elvis records, old advertisements, antique books and bottles, dollhouses, sports memorabilia, promotional materials from past presidential campaigns.
Located in the Spires Bolling/Gatewood House and named for Civil Rights heroine Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the museum shares the contributions of African Americans in the fields of history, art and culture.
Pre-Civil War church tells the story of the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878.
Rust College is a historically-black, coeducational, senior liberal arts college founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Papers, awards, memorabilia, civil rights material and other items belonging to the former executive secretary of the NAACP who was born in Marshall County.
One of Mississippi’s finest natural/historic treasures, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center conserves 3,000 acres of hardwood forests, wetlands and native grasslands for a variety of uses.