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Ask Rufus: Christmas Traditions?

Posted 12/15/2018 in Local Columns

My column today is a look at some unusual Christmas celebrations in Mississippi during the 1800s and earlier.


Ask Rufus: The Fish Trap

Posted 12/8/2018 in Local Columns

I just took a journey through history, fishing, politics and up the Tombigbee. It all started in the parking lot of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in West Point one day last week.


Ask Rufus: The Face in a Photograph

Posted 12/1/2018 in Local Columns

It is a rare and very poignant image. A lady photographed as a slave in Columbus circa 1860.


Ask Rufus: Steamboats and Holiday Fare

Posted 11/24/2018 in Local Columns

Last week was the Thanksgiving holiday and soon Christmas will be upon us.


Ask Rufus: 'An Irreparable Loss'

Posted 11/17/2018 in Local Columns

Reading news accounts last week brought to mind the many landmarks that Columbus has lost. Just during my lifetime, far too many historic and irreplaceable buildings have been destroyed.


Ask Rufus: Columbus in 1837

Posted 11/3/2018 in Local Columns

An interesting description of Columbus and Lowndes County was published in the Columbus Democrat on November 25, 1837.


Ask Rufus: The Foxhole in the Trees

Posted 10/27/2018 in Local Columns

Bradford Freeman lives in Caledonia, but 74 years ago he and the other members of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 101st Airborne Division were part of an operation along the Rhine River to rescue about 300 British soldiers and prisoners of war that had escaped being cut off by Germans at the Arnhem bridge -- the "bridge too far" of the movie by that name.


Ask Rufus: No. 27 and Mrs. Harris' Pumpkin Pie

Posted 10/20/2018 in Local Columns

It is the little twist and turns of history which makes it so interesting to delve into. A week ago I wrote of the search for lost Civil War graves in Columbus' Friendship Cemetery. Surprising as it may seem, that story may be tied to the current fad of pumpkin spice.


Ask Rufus: Looking Underground

Posted 10/13/2018 in Local Columns

This past four days have been both fun and fascinating. Last Wednesday, the project to locate lost Civil War graves of Union soldiers in Columbus' Friendship Cemetery cranked up.


Ask Rufus: The Lost Heroes of Memorial Day

Posted 10/6/2018 in Local Columns

This week a project will commence to try and locate lost graves of Union soldiers who were buried in Friendship Cemetery in Columbus during the Civil War.


Ask Rufus: Spanish Mustangs of the Prairie

Posted 9/22/2018 in Local Columns

Out of the devastation of Hurricane Florence last week came a bit of good news. The wild horse herds of the Carolina barrier islands had weathered the storm in pretty good shape.


Ask Rufus: 'It runs like a scared dog'

Posted 9/15/2018 in Local Columns

With the coming of the September and October rains, the Tombigbee's summer time shallow water gives way to rising water of fall and thoughts in Columbus and Aberdeen long ago turned to the arrival of steamboats.


Ask Rufus: The Lost Silver Mine of Black Creek

Posted 9/8/2018 in Local Columns

Many places have legends of lost gold or silver mines. In the 1950s Josh Meador, the Oscar-winning head of Animation Effects for Disney Studios, enjoyed going out in search of a lost Nevada gold mine.


Ask Rufus: Choctaw origins

Posted 9/1/2018 in Local Columns

Last June I wrote about John Wesley's 1737 account of two Chickasaw chiefs, Postubbee and Mingomawtaw, telling of their spiritual beliefs. Last week I came across an 1828 newspaper account of a Choctaw origin story.


Ask Rufus: The Heritage of the Blues

Posted 8/29/2018 in Local Columns

The blues is Mississippi's music and though African-American in origin, it transcends race and culture.


Ask Rufus: Turkish Corners and Lady Drivers

Posted 8/25/2018 in Local Columns

Last week I wrote about the 1800s interior decor of Waverley.


Ask Rufus: Waverly as it was

Posted 8/18/2018 in Local Columns

The exterior appearance of Waverly, a National Historic Landmark, between West Point and Columbus is well known and pictured in many books on architecture.


Ask Rufus: A 100-year heritage of military aviation continues

Posted 8/11/2018 in Local Columns

The twist and turns of history are always interesting.


Ask Rufus: Dinner at Moshulitubbee's, 1822

Posted 8/4/2018 in Local Columns

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to dine with one of the principal chiefs of the Choctaw Nation in 1822?


Ask Rufus: A visit to Massacre Island

Posted 7/28/2018 in Local Columns

Last week we went to Massacre Island, Alabama, which is not only a delightful vacation spot but a place intertwined with the history of the Tombigbee River Valley.



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