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

Carrollton Historic Pilgrimage and Pioneer Day Festival October 7-8, 2016

Mississippi has many beautiful scenes in its landscape but few have as much to offer as Carroll County and Carrollton, in particular. It is centrally located in the middle of the state and is easily. It is only a “stone’s throw” off Highway 82, one of the state’s major highways. As you enter the town of Carrollton, you are instantly transported into an earlier historical era as you view the homes, businesses and churches. This town has a long and interesting history and we would like to share with you.

One of the primary means of doing this is during the yearly Pilgrimage when homes and churches open their doors for a weekend in October. This year the Pilgrimage dates are October 7-8. Four of the churches will be open with a hostess to greet you as you tour our places of worship. Some of the churches began before the Civil War and minutes offer interesting bits of history. A stroll through the business district leads you to the Merrill Museum which contains a number of clues to the history of the town as well as the county.



The “crown jewel” of Carrollton lies in its homes which span over a century of architectural styles. The owners have maintained them in top order and look forward to showing you their homes. This year there will be 5 homes open, three of which have never been open for the Pilgrimage before. In addition, Cotesworth, the home of Senator J. Z. George, will be open. Senator George is an author of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890. On display in the home is the desk he used when writing this document.

On Saturday there will be vendors hawking their wares and selling food so you can maintain your energy to take it all in. Also there will be live entertainment throughout the day, our very own “Opry on the Square.” Now, what more could you ask for except to enjoy some of the nicest people in the state who will be glad to show you why we are proud of our hometown?

Comments provided by Barbara Rayburn, chairman of ticket sales. For more information about the Carrollton Pilgrimage and Pioneer Day Festival, visit our website – VisitCarrolltonMs.com or email us at CarrolltonMsTours@gmail.com.

Vaiden to Celebrate Its History October 8

To celebrate its heritage, the Town of Vaiden will host its annual Heritage Festival on Saturday, October 8, 2016. The Festival will open at 8 am and close at 5 pm. It will be filled with children’s activities, booths of arts and crafts, commercial items, and food. Entertainment will include a praise team, The Wilson Singers, The Delta Crossin’, Little Willie Farmer and his Blues Band and Ms Lannie McBride. You are invited to come join us in our celebration. For more information about the Festival, call Diann Ellis at 662-464-5266.

Organized in 1859 and incorporated a year later, Vaiden was named for Dr. C. M. Vaiden an early settler. In the 1837, Dr. Vaiden hired architect and master builder James Clark Harris to build Prairie Mont which closely resembled another of Harris’ masterpieces, Malmaison, the home of Greenwood LeFlore in northwestern Carroll County. Dr. Vaiden was buried at the Vaiden Cemetery with a beautiful monument made of Italy marble making the spot.

In the early days, Vaiden and the surrounding area grew rapidly, thanks to farming, transportation routes, and rail travel. The town became one of the wealthiest towns in Mississippi with its abundance of planters, lawyers, merchants and other business professionals.

Noah House 1875

Noah House – 1875

With the growth, the town developed and buildings, offices and homes were constructed. Because of the number of settlers traveling into town to gather supplies and take care of other business, the town adapted to accommodate the patrons. Livery stables and other necessities were provided throughout town to care for horses, buggies, wagons and carriages while their owners were in town.

Churches also played an important role in the development of the area. In 1840-41, the Baptist Church at Vaiden was built. In 1877-78, the Vaiden Presbyterian Church was built.

Shongolo Church, Vaiden, Mississippi

Shongolo Church, Vaiden, Mississippi

Both still exist with active congregations.

As the area grew, so did the need for education. Among the schools was Richland Academy, founded in 1836 by a Mr. Hughes, a graduate of a University in Ireland. The school offered elementary and classical education. James Z. George was one of the students. He would later buy a stage coach inn just north of Carrollton for his growing family and name it Cotesworth. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1881-1897. Known among his constituents as “the Great Commoner” George was influential in the creation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and worked to aid education and civil service reform. J.Z. George’s statue stands in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., one of two representing Mississippi. George and a number of his family are buried at Evergreen Cemetery at North Carrollton, Mississippi.

Because of the vast size of Carroll County, the county was divided into two districts. Vaiden became the county seat for the second district in 1874. In 1898 the first telephone exchange was installed in Vaiden by the Cumberland Telephone Company. The next year, a furniture factory and brick factory were opened.

The old Courthouse at Vaiden, demolished after the making of Mississippi Burning in 1988, stood on the hillside where a children’s park is located today. The bell from that courthouse stands in front of the new Courthouse, located where a row of stores and businesses once stood. Shelving from some of those businesses can be seen in the Merrill Museum in Carrollton.

Vaiden Courthouse

Vaiden Courthouse

Winterville Traveling Trunk to be Part of 2016 Pioneer Day Festival

To most of us the term “Mississippian” means someone who lives in Mississippi. However, to archeologists the term designates a period in history 1000 to 1700 A.D. and the society that lived during that period. This society was spread across much of the southeastern states. At first glance, their platform mounds appear to be a small hill rise. However, they range in height from eight to almost 60 feet [approximately the height of a 6 story building] and are from 60 to as much as 770 feet in width at the base. There are seven sites in Mississippi that have been designated Mississippi Landmarks and are part of the National Park Service system. Best known are Emerald and Grand Village sites are located near Natchez, Bear Creek located on the Mississippi and Alabama state line near Tupelo and Winterville located just north of Greenville.

According to the National Park Service website, the Winterville site consists of a 43-acre plaza with flat-topped, rectangular ceremonial mounds of various sizes. The largest mound, at the center, is the 55-foot-high Mound A. Archaeologists believe that the site was occupied mainly during ceremonies with the social elite, such as chiefs, priests, and their retainers, being the permanent residents. Buildings were constructed of wooden posts covered with mud plaster and had thatched roofs. It is likely that only members of. Four of the original 23 mounds were destroyed and several others reduced to remnants by agricultural practices before the site became as a state park. Nevertheless, this mound group remains one of the largest and best-preserved in the southeastern United States. Archaeological excavations were conducted at Winterville in 1967-1968. The finds included structural remains, burials, and many ceramic and stone artifacts. From this evidence, the history of the site was reconstructed. The Winterville museum exhibits a large collection of archeological artifacts, including decorated pottery vessels, stone tools, and ornaments from Winterville and other regional sites.


Dr. Mark Howell, Director of Winterville Mounds (administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History), will bring the Winterville Traveling Trunk to Carrollton’s Historic Pilgrimages and Pioneer Days on October 8, 2016. On display will be a tri-fold display (3’ x 3’) with pictures of the Winterville archaeological site, artifacts from there and nearby sites; replications of ancient tools and weapons, such as an atlatl (spear thrower) and fire starter; hands-on pottery sherds and lithics (worked stone); replications of high status ceramics; and handouts about the site, public programs, and those from other nearby archaeological sites and attractions—including the newly established Mississippi Mound Trail. Mound Trail t-shirts will be available for sale as well as books on the archaeology of Mississippi. Dr. Howell will answer questions and give demonstrations on the Native American technology on display. Although everyone interested in our first residents is invited to stop by to talk to Dr. Howell, history teachers will find this exhibit especially interesting.

Note: Two sites Carroll County have been identified as Mississippian sites and are registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Both are on private property and are not open to the public.