Eudora Welty House & Garden Unveils Renovated Potting Shed

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) is pleased to announce the opening of the Eudora Welty House & Garden (EWHG) Potting Shed. The Garden Club of Jackson awarded a grant to the Eudora Welty Foundation to renovate the interior of the Welty family garage, which was originally built along with the family home in 1925 and has been converted into a much-needed potting shed and workshop.

“For the first time, this potting shed allows our garden volunteers, Cereus Weeders, a proper, dedicated space with the right equipment they need to do the weekly, hands-on work of preserving the Welty garden,” said Jessica Russell, EWHG director. “It also provides the EWHG a special opportunity to serve our local community.

Both Eudora Welty’s prose and personal correspondence are rich with imagery from the natural world. Eudora Welty once said, “I wish I had a sign to tell me what I had better do that day, write or work in the garden.”

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author mentioned in her published works more than 150 types of plants and flowers, many of which grow around her home to this day.

For Eudora Welty, gardening was not a distraction from her writing; it was an inspiration for it. Her biographer, Dr. Suzanne Marrs, observed that for Welty, “the garden and writing were linked at some profound level.”

The design team, Arkansas-based company Natural State Design, LLC (NSD), hand-selected aged materials, board by board, to blend with the building’s historic period. NSD worked closely with Welty staff and retired garden consultant Susan Haltom to meet a wide variety of needs and purposes.

Today, the Welty garden is largely maintained by the dedicated “Cereus Weeders,” a volunteer organization named after Eudora Welty’s Night-Blooming Cereus Club, a group of friends who frequently entertained themselves by attending Night-Blooming Cereus flower-watching parties in Jackson in the 1930s.

For more information call 601-576-6934 or email



A Mother’s Bravery. Her Son’s Legacy. Hear Their Story— The True Story of Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley

The family-oriented traveling exhibit Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See will open on Saturday, April 1, at the Two Mississippi Museums and run through Sunday, May 14, 2023.   

Emmett Till was visiting Mississippi from his home in Chicago in 1955 when he was tortured and murdered for whistling at a White woman.

Developed by the Till family, Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley Institute, Emmett Till Interpretive Center, and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the exhibit shares how a mother’s bravery and fight for justice more than six decades ago fueled the Civil Rights Movement in America. 

“Through this exhibition, we invite people to bear witness to the painful history of racial violence in the United States, and to explore the transformative actions of a grieving mother,” said Pamela D.C. Junior, director of the Two Mississippi Museums.   

“Learning more about Emmett Till’s story is difficult, but I believe it’s crucial for families to understand what happened during the cruel and senseless tragedy to help people heal from prejudice and discrimination and to prevent senseless acts of violence today,” said Jennifer Pace Robinson, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See will close on Sunday, May 14, and then travel to the DuSable Museum of African American History in Illinois, Atlanta History Center in Georgia, and National Civil Rights Museum in Tennessee before reaching its permanent destination at the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Mississippi. This exhibit is recommended for ages ten and up. 

The Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Institute, a non-profit organization, is engaged in research and social justice advocacy. It is dedicated to preserving the memory and historical significance of the life and death of Emmett Till, and preserving the social action legacy of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. For more information about the Till Institute, visit

The Emmett Till Interpretive Center was formed to confront the brutal truth of the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in the Mississippi Delta and to seek justice for the Till family and Delta community. The Center aims to tell the story of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about The Children’s Museum, visit

This project was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom, the Maddox Foundation in Hernando, the Institute for Museum and Library Services [MH-249226-OMS-21], and the Historic Preservation Fund administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior [15.904].

Museum hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. The Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—Two Mississippi Museums—are located at 222 North Street in Jackson. For more call 601-576-6850 or email  


Greenville’s Live Oak Cemetery Added to National Register of Historic Places

Live Oak Cemetery in Greenville was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 2, 2023. The National Register of Historic Places was established by Congress in 1966 to help identify and protect historically significant properties. It is administered in Mississippi by the Department of Archives and History. 

Live Oak Cemetery is among the largest and oldest Black cemeteries in Mississippi and was, during Greenville’s most prosperous decades, the town’s only burial site for African Americans.  Between circa 1850 and 1969, more than seven hundred people were buried there. One of the most notable burials was Holt Collier (1848-1936), a former enslaved person, soldier and master hunting and tracking guide. Collier served as the guide in 1902 for President Theodore Roosevelt in Sharkey County when Roosevelt famously refused to shoot a black bear tethered to a tree by Collier during the hunt. News accounts of the president’s sportsmanship led to the creation of the world-famous toy, the “Teddy Bear.” 

Also interred at Live Oak are Reverend. E.W. Lampton, Mississippi’s first Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and John W. Strauther, a local banker, business owner, and civic leader, as well as eighty-three veterans from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Graves of Civil War veterans include those of the U.S. Colored Infantry and U.S. Colored Cavalry.  

“We are grateful to the National Park Service for recognizing the historical significance of Live Oak Cemetery,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “We also thank the many local people who have worked over the years to preserve and maintain this site that is so central to Greenville’s African American culture and history.” 

For more information call 601-576-6850, or email



Two Mississippi Museums to Host Passover Freedom Seder

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) and the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) will hold the Mississippi Freedom Seder on March 28, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the Two Mississippi Museums. Inspired by the 1969 Freedom Seder, where hundreds of people of all backgrounds gathered to explore and celebrate freedom in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, this communal event invites participants to the Passover table for an evening of commemoration, stories, and community.  

“We are pleased to co-host this Freedom Seder with our community partners,” said Katie Blount, MDAH director.  “In doing so, we remember the courage of visiting Jewish Freedom Summer volunteers in 1964 and Jewish Mississippians who advocated for racial equality in the Civil Rights Movement.”   

 “Our Mississippi Freedom Seder in 2019 brought our communities together for conversation and reflection,” said Michele Schipper, CEO of the ISJL. “We are excited to co-host this event again and tell these Mississippi stories.”

This program will feature original music from Lapidus & Myles, a collaboration between Rabbi Micah Lapidus and Mississippi native Melvin K. Myles.

Passover is an eight-day Jewish holiday, referred to as the “festival of freedom.” Passover celebrates the liberation of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. The traditional meal, where the story of Passover is shared along with rituals, readings, songs, and food, is called a Seder. Seders celebrate freedom from bondage and freedom from oppression, providing a shared communal celebration of freedom and friendship for all.   

At the first Freedom Seder, held on April 4, 1969, more than 800 people gathered in a church in Washington, DC, to commemorate the first anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. Using the words of the traditional Passover Seder, calling for justice, peace, and liberation, the 1969 Freedom Seder strengthened Black and Jewish community relations and established a touchstone for contemporary Seders.  

This participatory program will include a Passover meal. All are welcome and invited to join us in honoring this historic tradition.  

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for youth and are available here. For more information, call 601-576-6800 or email



Mississippi Historical Society Meets, Awards Prizes

The Mississippi Historical Society held its annual meeting March 2-3 in Jackson to honor its 2023 award winners, including the best Mississippi History Book of 2022, the lifetime achievement award, teacher of the year, and awards of merit.

Leslie-Burl McLemore, a former member of the Jackson City Council and current alderman in Walls, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the civil rights movement and a founding member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964 that made history in Atlantic City, New Jersey. As the founding chair of the political science department at Jackson State University, he was a trailblazing academician. More recently, McLemore was involved in the location, funding, and interpretation of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and played a central role in creating the Mississippi Freedom Trail, a group of historical markers about civil rights history.

Evan Howard Ashford, assistant professor of history at State University of New York Oneonta, received the Book of the Year Award for Mississippi Zion: The Struggle for Liberation in Attala County, 1865–1915. The book examines how African Americans in a rural Mississippi county shaped economic and social issues after the Civil War.

Jere Nash won the Journal of Mississippi History Article of the Year Award for “The Mississippi Legislature Changes the Flag,” which documented the remarkable, historic passage of a law in 2020 that led to the adoption of a new state flag for the state.

The Outstanding Local Historical Society Award was presented to the Historic Ocean Springs Association for its project installing more than thirty interpretive signs at landmark locations throughout the historic districts of Ocean Springs.

The Teacher of the Year Award was presented to Alexandria Drake of JPS-Tougaloo Early College High School.

Awards of Merit were presented to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture & Commerce for publishing a history of the agency from the first commissioner in 1906 through the present; city of Jackson and Visit Jackson for organizing the celebration of the bicentennial of the city’s founding; city of Madison for installing ten historical markers to mark significant sites in the city’s history; Jackson State University for its community-building project to honor the life and legacy of James “Jim” Hill, a Reconstruction politician who was the last 19th century African American to be elected to statewide office in Mississippi; LightHouse | Black Girl Projects for  its work to add the Unita Blackwell Property to the National Register of Historic Places; Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument for opening as the first national monument in the state of Mississippi; Mississippi Humanities Council for its Museum on Main Street program; Mississippi Museum of Art for its brilliant exhibit called A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration; and the Museum of African American History and Culture and the city of Natchez for designating twenty-seven African American historical sites with markers.

Tougaloo College professor Daphne Chamberlain completed her term as president of the Society and welcomed new president Will Bowlin of Northeast Mississippi Community College. Rebecca Tuuri of the University of Southern Mississippi was elected vice president. New board members are DeeDee Baldwin, Mississippi State University; Sylvia Gist, Migration Heritage Foundation; Jean Greene, Utica Institute Museum; Sharelle Grim, Mississippi Delta Community College; Brian Perry, Mississippi Department of Agriculture & Commerce; and Rory Rafferty, Pass Christian Historical Society.

The Mississippi Historical Society, founded in 1858, encourages outstanding work in interpreting, teaching, and preserving Mississippi history. Membership is open to anyone; benefits include receiving the Journal of Mississippi History, the Mississippi History Newsletter, and discounts at the Mississippi Museum Store. For information on becoming a member visit


Two Mississippi Museums Free on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Memory of Mississippi Governor William Winter on His 100th Birthday

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Two Mississippi Museums in December 2017, former Governor William F. Winter declared, “These two museums were built for all of us, but most especially they were built for our children and our grandchildren and future generations.” His dream was that every Mississippi student would visit these museums at least once.  

Winter would have turned 100 on Tuesday, February 21. To honor his legacy, the Two Mississippi Museums will be free to the public on that day. This day of free admission is made possible by Jones Walker LLP, which acquired Watkins, Ludlam, Winter and Stennis where Governor Winter worked for over 50 years. 

“Governor Winter had a such a profound impact on the people of Mississippi and our nation. We are pleased that more people will have access to the museum on the day of his birthday. This is the perfect way to honor Governor Winter’s legacy in such a meaningful and impactful way—the exact way he lived his life,” said Bill Hines, managing partner of Jones Walker LLP. 

Winter was known for his strong support for public education in Mississippi. He helped to raise endowment funds to bring Mississippi’s school children to the Two Mississippi Museums, or as he called them, “Mississippi’s largest classroom.” 

“On this day, which would have been our father’s 100th birthday, we can think of no greater way to celebrate his life,” said his daughter Eleanor Winter. “He and others worked for years to make these museums a reality. It would bring him the greatest pleasure to know that the doors are flung wide open on his birthday for all to explore and learn about our state’s history.”   

The Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum stand at the intersection of Winter’s greatest passions—history, education, and racial justice—and he was the leading force behind the public/private partnership through which they were built.  

He believed the museums would, in his words, “challenge us to have a better understanding of where we have come from, and then inspire us to work harder to find our common ideals and goals.” He believed that “we will find that we have much more in common than what might appear to divide us.”   

“All Mississippians should have the opportunity to experience the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum,” said Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH). “We are grateful to the Winter family and to Jones Walker for this wonderful tribute to Governor and Mrs. Winter at the Two Mississippi Museums.” 

Pamela D.C. Junior, director of the Two Mississippi Museums, said, “We hope you will visit us Tuesday, February 21, to honor this living memorial to Governor’s Winter’s life and work.”   

Winter served on the MDAH Board of Trustees for more than 50 years and was president for nearly that long. He died December 18, 2020, at the age of 97. Elise Winter, his wife of 70 years who was a community activist and author, died just six months after her husband on July 17, 2021.    

The William and Elise Winter Education Endowment was established by the Foundation for Mississippi History to memorialize Mississippi’s former governor and first lady and their commitment to education and preservation. Funds are used to defray costs such as admission, travel, and on-site lunches for students.   

For more information about free Tuesday, February 21, at the Two Mississippi Museums, email, or call 601-576-6850. 

To learn more about school field trips to the Two Mississippi Museums or to make a field trip reservation visit 


Parking Update for Saturday, February 11, 2023

The following streets around the Two Mississippi Museums and the William F. Winter Building—Amite Street, Jefferson Street, Mississippi Street, and North Street—will be closed Saturday, February 11, for the Dixie National Rodeo Parade that begins at 10:30 a.m. 

Visitors who arrive by 10 a.m. may access the parking garage by turning off of High Street south onto Jefferson Street. The streets will reopen once the parade ends around 11:30 a.m.  


Save America’s Treasures grant program awards $500K to MDAH

Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) has received $500,000 in federal funds from the National Park Service (NPS) as a result of Congressionally Directed Spending in the most recent federal appropriations process.  With these funds from the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant program, MDAH will be able to establish a Historic Preservation Field School at Historic Jefferson College (HJC) located in Washington, Mississippi. 

The field school is part of a larger MDAH initiative to establish the Natchez Center for American History at Jefferson College. In addition to the field school, its components will include community gathering spaces, a visitors center, and an interpretive center that will share the powerful stories of this region, with a focus on the rise and fall of a cotton kingdom that was built on slavery. 

“The Save America’s Treasure grant will support the restoration of historic Raymond Hall to house students who are earning college degrees while learning preservation trades that are in great demand in the marketplace, especially in this region,” said Katie Blount, director of MDAH. “We are grateful to Mississippi’s Congressional delegation for their strong support for this initiative.” 

MDAH is partnering with the National Park Service, Historic Natchez Foundation, Mississippi State University, Tulane University, and other area colleges to establish the field school. This consortium is developing training that will supplement traditional classroom instruction, with week-long workshops to meet the requirements of the universities for three credit hours. The field laboratory will include courses in woodworking, masonry, historic finishing, etc.

“This collaboration is vital as there is currently a lack of knowledge of historic building systems and practical experience among many of the students and professionals in the preservation and construction fields,” said Barry White, director of MDAH Historic Preservation Division. 

Established in 1802, Jefferson College was Mississippi’s first institution of higher learning and the birthplace of statehood, where delegates gathered in 1817 to write the state’s first constitution. Jefferson College operated for many years as a preparatory school and later as Jefferson Military College. It served briefly as a Freedmen’s Bureau after the Civil War. The campus is an 80-acre site with eight buildings with construction dates ranging from 1818 to 1937.   

The Save America’s Treasures grant program was established in 1998 to celebrate America’s premier cultural resources in the new millennium. After more than 20 years, this grant program has awarded more than 1,300 grants totaling more than $300 million to projects across the United States. This program is administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  

By preserving Mississippi’s diverse historic resources and sharing them with people around the world, MDAH inspires discovery of stories that connect our lives and shape our future. For more information email 

For more information, call 601-576-6850, or email   


Over $1.2m in Mississippi Historic Site Preservation Grants Awarded

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) has announced the 2023 grantees for the Mississippi Historic Site Preservation Grant (MHSPG) program. 

In 2021, the Legislature authorized the creation of the MHSPG program to acquire sites related to Civil War battles, Native American archaeology, and civil rights history. These funds will allow endangered and significant properties to be preserved. 

Funds in the MHSPG program are used to defray costs for land acquisition to protect historic properties. A one-to-one match is required. For example, an organization receiving $50,000 from MDAH must provide $50,000 in matching funds or other eligible equivalent, which cannot be from other state sources. The fund will only provide up to fifty percent of the appraised value of the property. Colleges and universities, historical societies, state agencies, local governments, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. 

“For over 20 years, the state legislature has offered generous support for Community Heritage Preservation Grant funding, which has aided in the rehabilitation of hundreds of Mississippi's historic courthouses, schools, and other landmark buildings,” said Barry White, director of the Historic Preservation Division at MDAH. “This new MHSPG program builds upon our role in preservation by assisting our partners with the acquisition of significant historic properties. These grants elevate Mississippi’s capability to preserve the historic integrity of these properties, tell their broader stories, and attract new visitors.” 

A receiving property may have significance in more than one area, such as a battlefield with a recorded archaeological site within its boundaries, which will be taken into consideration in scoring applications. In addition, the property must have been previously recognized as significant. It must be individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places, listed in the 1993 Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields, or identified as nationally significant in a National Park Service Special Resource Study. 

The grantee sites for this year are as follows: 

Howell Tract, Prentiss County, American Battlefield Trust - $375,000 

This tract is within the Core and Study Areas of the Brice's Crossroads battlefield.  

Pendleton Tract, Hinds County, American Battlefield Trust - $539,000 

This tract is within the Core Area of the Champion Hill battlefield. It consists of six continuous tracts, the loss of which could endanger the access to the proposed Champion Hill unit of Vicksburg National Military Park. 

Harmon Tract, Alcorn County, American Battlefield Trust - $110,000

This tract is within the Core and Study Areas of the Corinth battlefield. It is almost entirely unimproved and features extant Civil War earthworks. The property is within the legislative boundaries of Shiloh National Military Park, and the National Park Service is actively pursuing its acquisition. 

Buford Tract, Warren County, American Battlefield Trust - $50,000 

This tract is within the Core Area of the Chickasaw Bayou battlefield and is threatened by development in Vicksburg. The property will be subject to a day-of restoration and transferred to the Friends of Vicksburg. Chickasaw Bayou is currently one of the least protected of Mississippi’s battlefields. 

Jones Tract, Warren County, American Battlefield Trust - $30,000 

This tract is within the Core Area of the Chickasaw Bayou battlefield.  

Shiers Tract, Warren County, American Battlefield Trust - $67,500 

This tract is within the Core Area of the Chickasaw Bayou battlefield. The property is in danger of being sold to commercial interests for reuse. 

Wilson Tract, Warren County, American Battlefield Trust - $52,500

This tract is within the Core Area of the Chickasaw Bayou battlefield.  

For more information call 601-576-6940, or email



Be part of history. Volunteer with MDAH and help us preserve and connect Mississippi’s rich historic resources with people around the world.