Pioneer Day Festival October 7, 2017

If you like to shop, the Pioneer Day Festival, sponsored by the Carroll Society for the Preservation of Antiquities, is an arts and crafts festival just for you on Saturday, October 7.  In addition to shopping, you can learn

  • about the history of aprons through an exhibit from the Apron Museum in Iuka,
  • about crayon quilts from the Vaiden Quilters Guild,
  • about Mississippi John Hurt through an exhibit from the Mississippi John Hurt Museum,
  • about Mississippi through interactive activities on a giant 16 by 20 foot floor map from the Mississippi Geographic Alliance based at Ole Miss.

All of these activities are free.

More information about the Pilgrimage and Pioneer Day Festival check us out on Facebook or at

A Walk Through Carrollton with Walt Grayson

Thanks to a Bicentennial Grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, you can visit Carrollton on your smart device as well as in person.  The annual Pilgrimage and Pioneer Day Festival will be held October 6-7.  Five homes will be open for home tours for a fee.  But the big excitement will be the free walking tour that you can download to your smart device to learn about the history and architecture of 26 buildings in Carrollton.  While the walking tour does not get you in the buildings, it will enhance your walk from home to home.

To Mississippians, Walt Grayson is the voice of Mississippi, taking us along on trips down “Mississippi Roads” for a “Look Around Mississippi.”  Now he takes us through Carrollton’s history and architecture.  Although the app has been available through the Apple and Google Play stores only a few weeks, visitors are already coming to walk through Carrollton with Walt.”

Pilgrimage homes will be open Friday and Saturday, from 9 am to 5 pm.  These are family homes, not museums or staged exhibits.  Tickets will be sold at the Town Hall at 701 Lexington Street.  Adult tickets are $25.  Tickets for students grades 1-12 are $10.

More information about the Pilgrimage and Pioneer Day Festival check us out on Facebook or at

A New Twist on an Old Art

Quilting is an old needle art that can be something made from scraps sewn together with batting to keep the family warm.  Or it can be something made from carefully chosen fabric, pieced together to form a fabric work of art to be sewn together with batting for either a decorative use or to keep warm.  At Carrollton’s annual Pioneer Day Festival, festival goers can see a new twist on this old art – crayon quilting.

Using crayons to create the design on muslin squares which are then sewn together with coordinating fabric gives an almost water color painted effect to the finished quilt.   Put this together with an age-old needle art of quilting and you have something that you will treasure for years to come.

Most of us learned to use crayons at an early age.  Some folks are quite good at creating designs with them.  School classes use the process and the creative art to make a unique class project.

Members of the Vaiden Quilters Guild will have quilts to look at and instructions for getting started with a crayon quilt to give away Saturday, October 7, 2017.  Look for these talented ladies in the Courthouse halls!

Dr. LouAnn Heath Woodward to Speak at CCDA Annual Meeting

Dr. LouAnn Woodward, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School Of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, will be our speaker.  A native of Carroll County, she is the daughter of Bruce Heath and the late Bobbie Heath of the Jefferson Community.  She has served as an emergency medicine physician, academic administrator, associate vice chancellor for health affairs and the vice dean of the School of Medicine before being named to her current position.

The Carroll County Development Association Annual Meeting will be held at the Carrollton Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on Tuesday, May 23, at 7 pm.  Dues include the cost of the meal.  Meals for non-members will be $11.00 each.  Please make reservations by May 17 by calling 662-237-6910.  More information about the CCDA can be found on the ABOUT THE CCDA  tab above.


Artists for A Taste of Soup Announced

Carroll County has an abundance of talented people and always has. This year’s A Taste of Soup and Art Exhibit will showcase some of these.

Linda James is retired from the medical field.
She is well known for her humor, her singing, and her community spirit.
She is becoming known for her nature photography and her paintings. She will have a selection on display at the February 4.

Elizabeth Saunders is the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Ed Saunders, who serve the Carrollton Methodist Charge. Elizabeth makes hats, scarves and other items from yarns. Elizabeth is our student artist this year.

Pam Shaw is retired from the North Carrollton Post Office. Since her retirement she has been making birdhouses with her husband, Jerry Shaw.

Charlene Senn is an artist with an embroidery machine. Whether you are looking for classic monograming, cute sayings or pictures, Charlene has probably done something that will you would like.

Stephanie Clanton is an artist with a camera, setting up touching family pictures using Carrollton as a backdrop or making Carrollton and Carroll County the focal point.

Don’t forget to get your tickets for A Taste of Soup and Art Exhibit at the Carrollton-North Carrollton Library or from a Friend of the Library. To check on availability of tickets, call the Carrollton-North Carrollton Library at 662-237-6268. For more information, call Pam Lee at 662-237-6910.

Dine with the Friends of the Library!

As I sit down to write about the upcoming events for the Friends of the Library in Carroll County, the song words – “Oh, the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful – run through my mind followed by “And since we’ve got no place to go,” let’s read, let’s eat chili, let’s eat soup! Regardless of the weather, reading can take us places near and far away. We can go back in time or zoom into the future. We can learn and imagine and grow and so much more because we read books.
The Carrollton-North Carrollton Library and the Vaiden Library are provided by our county for use by Carroll County residents. The Friends of the Library is an organization that supports the local library, supplying extra funds and volunteers. Carroll County has two Friends organizations, one for each library. January and February are their main fund raising months.
On Friday, January 20, the Friends of the Vaiden Library will host their annual chili lunch. The $8 ticket buys chili, cornbread, dessert and tea. It will be served from 11 am to 1 pm. For more information call the Library at 662-464-7736.
On Saturday, February 4, the Friends of the Carrollton-North Carrollton Library will host their annual soup tasting and art exhibit. The $10 ticket buys “tastes” of 6 soups – Burger in a Bowl Soup, Chicken Lemon & Rice Soup, Easy Chili, New Year’s Day Good Luck Soup, Mexican Stew and Smoky Pork Taco Soup. To help celebrate our state’s 200th birthday, door prizes will be given away to those who know the answers to Mississippi trivia questions. Do you know who our capital is named for? Where Eagle Brand Milk was first processed? What is our state flower, tree, bird or duck? There are several websites that contain trivia about the different states and there will be posters and information on the tables to help soup tasters win a door prize. Tickets will be available at the Library and from many of the Friends. Because of seating, only a limited number of tickets are sold so get yours today! Call the Library at 662-237-6268 or Pam Lee at 662-237-6910 for more information.

Carrollton Christmas Tour of Homes

On Tuesday night, December 13, 2016, Bill and Judi Gillespie, Craig and Kathleen Clark, Snooky and Pam Lee, Clint and Mary Gee and Russell and Mary Courtney Wilson invite you to visit between 5:30 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. for the annual Christmas Home tour.

The tickets required for the home tours will be sold beginning at 4:00 P.M. at the Town Hall in Carrollton. The tickets cost is $5.00 per person. Maps will provide directions to the homes.

The Christmas Home Tour is sponsored by the Carrollton Pilgrimage Board. Proceeds from the event will go toward Pilgrimage projects.

“Opry on the Square” New to 2016 Carrollton Pilgrimage & Pioneer Day Festival Activities.

Margaret Corder as Minnie Pearl

Margaret Corder as Minnie Pearl

“Opry on the Square” is a new event for the 2016 Pioneer Day Festival. “Minnie Pearl” [Margaret Corder] will host the event.

Featured Opry Musicians

Robert Box

Robert Box

Robert Box – a 5-time Mississippi State Banjo Champion and an International Southern Gospel Instrumentalist of the Year

Donnie Buckner with the Buckner Family Bluegrass Band

Donnie Buckner with the Buckner Family Bluegrass Band

Donnie Buckner
– both a Mississippi State Fiddle Champion and a Banjo Champion as well as a Mid-South Banjo Champion.

Opry on the Square will begin at 11:00 am, following the presentation of the winners of the Miss Pioneer Day Festival Pageant.

Bring your lawn chairs to the west side of the Carroll County Courthouse in Carrollton to enjoy the wonderful music and fun. Carroll County talent includes Mike Hyde, Bennie Rigby, Jackie McIlwain, LaGatha Abbott, Terry Herbert, Alan Malone and the Cobbins Family.

Come early and shop at the many arts and craft booths, visit the Winterville Mound exhibit, and tour some of our historic homes and buildings.

Carrollton Masonic Lodge Open for 2016 Pilgrimage

Carrollton Masonic Lodge F & AM #36 was chartered 3 January 1838. This was the first Masonic Lodge established in Carroll County. The Hall is the second oldest in the state in continuous use as a Masonic Hall.

The Lodge has all but the first twelve years of their minutes. Many of the founding fathers of Carroll County were members of the Lodge. The minutes contain interesting information about the County and Town throughout the years. One being the rates for electricity, the Carrollton Electric Company in 1904 raised the rates from $1.65 per month to $6.00 per month. Members of Lodge felt this was too high and voted to have the power shut off and returned to using oil lamps. This continued for five years when the Electric Company lowered the rate to $1.50 per month.

The cornerstone for the current Masonic Hall was laid in 1899. The cost of the Hall was $1,483.00. John Sidney McCain (Sen. John McCain’s grandfather) served on the Building Committee.

The Carrollton Post Office was located in the north first floor room from 1899 to 1952. In 1919 the Red Cross was located in one of the first floor rooms and in 1946 the State Board of Health rented part of the first floor for the Carroll County Health Department. In 1952 when the Post Office moved out, the Selective Service Board rented space. Through the years the building has housed various Doctor’s offices and a florist shop.

In 1951 the Hall was renovated and in 2005 the Lodge began and extensive renovation/restoration. Work has been done on the foundation, the exterior has been painted, the roof replaced, and the porch repaired. The Lodge room has been painted and the floors refinished. The entire building has been rewired and plumbed. Two years ago HVAC was installed. Work has begun on the first floor rooms.

Carrollton Masonic Lodge

Carrollton Masonic Lodge

Funding for the restoration has come in the form of grants from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, donations from the general public, and yearly fundraisers. One of which is selling sausage biscuits and coffee each year early in the morning on Pioneer Day during the Carrollton Pilgrimage.

This information has been provided by the Carrollton Masonic Lodge.

Cotesworth Open for 2016 Pilgrimage

Your pilgrimage won’t be complete without taking the short drive to Cotesworth, the home of James Zachariah George from 1861 until his death in 1897. There, you can purchase tickets for a tour of the home. George was a major figure in Mississippi government during Reconstruction and a United States senator from 1881 till 1897. It was at his three-legged desk–still at Cotesworth–that George, having taken a leave of absence from his Washington job, drafted a major portion of the 1890 Mississippi Constitution. A few yards away from the home is George’s library, thought to be the only hexagonal structure still standing in Mississippi. jzgeorge_library_at_cotesworth

But Cotesworth is more than a destination for historians, architects, and people interested in old homes. Indeed, the stately Greek Revival mansion amid its pastoral setting has caught the eye of Hollywood. In the 2012 movie The Help, nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award, Cotesworth is the home of Celia Foote, played by Jessica Chastain (nominated for an Oscar for this performance), whose maid is Minnie, played by Octavia Spencer (winner of an Oscar for this performance). More recently, James Franco turned Cotesworth into the Compson home in his film adaptation of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.

Owned by George’s great-granddaughter Katharine Williams until its purchase by the Cotesworth Culture and Heritage Center (CCHC), the Cotesworth house has recently undergone partial restoration and renovation, including the installation of central heating and cooling on the first floor, as well as an ADA-compliant restroom. Cotesworth is now available for weddings, parties, meetings, tours, and other events. Furthermore, plans are in place for a complete restoration and renovation of the house and library, including the addition of period-appropriate furnishings and accoutrements. The goal of the CCHC is to make the house, library, and grounds not only a site for special occasions, but also an interactive educational arena.

You will definitely be glad you took the time to visit Cotesworth. You may even decide to schedule an event there yourself, or you may want to donate to the CCHC. If so, call 662-237-9600 for all the information you need for planning your own Cotesworth experience.

Pilgrimage Tickets are $10 and will be available only at Cotesworth.

Written by Josephine Neill-Browning, Cotesworth Culture and Heritage Board