Corinth, Mississippi – Ante Bellum Homes, Civil War Battlefield and Southern Hospitality

March 25, 2012 · 0 comments

in Best Road Trips, Excursions and Day Triips

Corinth Mississippi is a great place for a Road Trip

If you haven’t  heard of Corinth, MS, you probably aren’t planning a trip here, but this is a town you would love to visit. Corinth, Miss is an old, vibrant, progressive city. It is a place where the past and the present clasp hands as good friends might. The city is filled with and surrounded by attractive choices. It is located in the northeast quadrant of US Highways 45 & 72. US Hwy 45 runs north and south from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico. US Hwy 72 runs east and west from Chattanooga, TN to Memphis, TN. It is less than 10 miles from Corinth, MS to the Tennessee state line. This is not an out-of-the way location.

I have made three or four road trips to Corinth, Missippi. We like to go to Corinth because it always has a friendly atmosphere, good food and enjoyable shopping. They have unique shops here that keep bringing us back. One of Charlotte’s favorite stores is Sanctuary Antiques and Garden Shop at 1009 Taylor Street. They sell antiques, gifts, floral, garden accessories and home decor. The store is located in an old Episcopal church building and the landscaping around the old church is worth the time of a stroll-through, even in you aren’t inclined to go in and shop. The folks who run this shop are very friendly and helpful.

Corinth is a gathering spot for entertainment events

Corinth is an easy drive from Memphis and Jackson, TN, Tupelo, MS and Florence and Huntsville, AL. This neutral location makes Corinth an ideal location for event planners. The city’s Crossroads Arena has been the  site of scores of concerts and events.

Corinth is a surprisingly beautiful city, especially considering that it is in a predominantly rural county. There are just over 37,000 people in Alcorn County and more than 14,000 of them live in Corinth, MS. The county has four other towns and one village. In spite of its small size, there are good hotels, local and chain restaurants, good shopping and other services road trip pros expect to find. Not even the presence of the giant chain stores has put slack in the chain of local commerce.

I love towns that are old, well cared for, clean and are making a determined effort to remain viable. Corinth, MS fills all three criteria. The town was first named Cross City in 1853. That name was given because the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad and the Memphis & Charleston Railroad made a junction here.   Later, the town’s newspaper editor dubbed the town Corinth, for the city of that name in Greece, which was also a crossroads city. The name stuck although most who live around here have forgotten the source of the name.

Don’t Miss Crossroads Museum Downtown

The junction of the two main railways made possession of the city a strategic piece of real estate during the Civil War. Multiple battles were fought here in 1862. They were waged for control and use of the two rail lines. The first battle was called The Battle of Shiloh and the second was named The Siege of Corinth. One of the main streets in modern Corinth is named Van Dorn, for the local hero Major General Earl Van Dorn, of the Confederacy.

Most folks enjoy take a self-guided tour of the Civil War sites. You can get brochures and tour guides at almost any tourist information site in the city. You can preview some of the sights at a website called Civil War Album, which also lists information on many other Civil War sites.

It is easy to find what you’re looking for in Corinth, Miss 

The area has two very helpful visitor or convention centers. The Alcorn County Welcome Center, was built in the traditional colonial style and is decorated with antiques primarily from the 1800’s. It is Located at 2028 South Tate Street in Corinth, It is more like a cozy Southern home than the typical rest stop. The other, The Corinth Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is next to the old depot at 215 N. Fillmore Street, in downtown Corinth. You should check with these folks if you are interested in festivals, markets and events with changeable times.

No trip to downtown Corinth is complete until you enter Borroum’s Drug Store, established in 1865, by Dr Andrew Jackson Borroum. It is Mississippi’s oldest operating drug store. You can still sit down at an old fashioned soda fountain and eat hand-scooped ice cream. They call their hamburgers “Slug Burgers.” The burgers and shakes will take you back in time. (This only happens for those who were ‘back-in-time,’ at one time) The shelves hold hundreds of small trinkets and souvenir items.  The store is located across from the Alcorn County Courthouse at 604 Waldron Street.

We haven’t eaten in every restaurant in Corinth, but Martha’s Menu is a local favorite, which is also one of our favorites. The menu always includes Southern Cooking favorites. If you’re planning to eat here at noon, be prepared to meet a crowd. The food is hard to beat anywhere.  It is located at 202 Taylor Street in the downtown shopping area.

There are ‘oodles-and-scads’ of Ante Bellum homes and buildings built just after the century turned nineteen, so many it is impractical to attempt a listing in a short post. If you want more information go to one of the info sites I listed in paragraph seven above.

Here is a short list interesting things to do in Corinth, Miss. There is a 20 acre Corinth National Cemetery. There are also parks for the Civil War as well as homes of the famous men who fought the war. The Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center is at  W. Linden Road. The Corinth Contraband Camp was a place where freed slaves began a new life. It is at 902 North Parkway.

 Don’t miss the Crossroads Museum at 221 Filmore Street in downtown.

Benjamin Franklin Liddon was responsible for building a home and several outstanding commercial buildings in Corinth. He built the Coliseum Theater, which is on the  National Historic Registry. This is a 999 seat, fully functional theater, which boasts architecture which was very expensive when built and is still beautiful.

Between the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, which is part of Shiloh National Military Park, and the other museums and cultural venues it would be easy to spend very little money and do an awful lot. These all combine to make Corinth a highly cost-conscious visit. If you live close enough you can come and go many times and still enjoy this city. If you need to stay overnight there are lots of good choices for hotels and several B&B’s.

“Pickin” on the Square” is a year-round event. It starts at 7 pm every Thursday night. The event takes place on the grounds of the Alcorn County Courthouse in downtown Corinth. If the weather gets cold the free event moves inside the historic Corinth Coliseum Civic Center, which is close to the square. Musicians just gather and play

The Green Market is held at the Corinth Depot. The purpose of the Green Market is to offer an opportunity for local farmers, gardeners, artisans, craftsman, etc. to sell their wares in an open-air, grassroots setting. The Green Market encourages buying locally to stimulate local economy. It is a great way for residents and visitors to gather and share their goods.

Don’t overlook the excellent sights in the surrounding area

Traveling east from Corinth on MS Hwy 2, you can go to J P Coleman State Park, which is located on the Mississippi side of the beautiful Pickwick Lake. The lake was created by building Pickwick Landing Dam, a project of the Tennessee Valley Authority. This huge lake is an excellent location for all types of water sports. It is best known for record-size Smallmouth Bass and catfish.

The lake is on the north end of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Three states are helped by the commercial traffic made possible on this incredible waterway. It benefits Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. At various points along the way, ports, locks and dams, all huge facilities, are installed. The bustle of activity is amazing and the economic impact is wonderful. The locks and dams have made the river navigable for much larger vessels than were previously permitted.

I could go on and on about Corinth, MS because it is one of my favorite Mississippi towns. We have only scratched the surface of things to do in Corinth, but come on down and scratch around for yourself. That’s the best thing to do anyway. It is much more fun to make a road trip than it is to talk about one.

But if you want to talk about a good road trip … I’d be happy to hear from you. When we aren’t on a road trip, we’re planning one, or listening to someone tell about a great place they’ve found.

It’s time I gave my fingers a rest. You keep rolling up the miles and dialing up the smiles. We don’t count the miles, we just count the smiles, and there are lots of them in towns like Corinth, MS.

Until next time,

Bill Taylor

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