Day Tripping: Columbus, Mississippi

May 2nd, 2015     Travel

Columbus, MS, is a good day trip destination from New Albany.

In 2008,  the National Trust for Historic Preservation name Columbus one of its “Dozen Distinctive Destinations.”

Founded in 1821, Columbus has a collection of antebellum homes second in number in Mississippi only to Natchez. These homes are showcased every spring with a pilgrimage that is a “must see” for those interested in knowing more about the antebellum era.  Also established in 1821, Franklin Academy was the location of Mississippi’s first public school, and is still in operation today.

During the Civil War it was the site of a sizeable arsenal and was the target of a Union Army capture attempt. Nathan Bedford Forrest saved Columbus from the torch when he defeated the Union force in the Battle of Okolona in February 1864. Both Union and Confederate soldiers, along with many prominent Mississippians, are buried in Columbus’ Friendship Cemetery. It is here, according to local historians, that the practice of young women decorating the graves of soldiers from both sides of the Civil War gave rise to the Memorial Day holiday.

The clock tower of the "W" was severely damaged bya a tornado in November, 2002.

The clock tower of the “W” was severely damaged by a tornado in November, 2002.

Columbus is the home of the Mississippi University for Women, known as the ” W,” was founded in 1884. The “W” has been admitting men since 1982.

Playwright Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams, was born in Columbus March 26, 1911. His birthplace, formerly the rectory of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, is now the welcome center for the city.

If you are looking for an interesting day-trip, or just in the area for business, plan time to tour our neighbor city and explore some of its sites.

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