Early Peoples, Early Visitors

The Hills story begins before recorded time, when the first intrepid hunters tracked great beasts, beating a path that would eventually become the Natchez Trace, a prehistoric progression that unfolds into the present day. The rich Trace narrative at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center just outside Tupelo.

Native American history rises before your eyes at burial mounds in New Albany and Tishomingo County. Visitors can also get a view of their daily life at the Chickasaw Village exhibit located at milepost 260 near Tupelo.

In 1540-41 Spanish explorer, Hernando DeSoto wintered in the Hills, a rendezvous immortalized in the murals found at both the DeSoto County Courthouse and the Pontotoc Post Office. Another attraction awaits visitors in French Camp, where Europeans first traded with the Choctaws. This interesting village and its history are worth a visit and is located at milepost 180 on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Those Europeans would give way to the King that was Cotton and built palaces that were fit for royalty. Many are open for viewing year-round and a great time to visit is during spring pilgrimages in Columbus, Holly Springs and Aberdeen. All around the Mississippi Hills, doorways are open to a fascinating past.