History is most definitely in the chill fall air as a number of events with a historical theme are planned around the county in the coming days and weeks.
Please join the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors for a groundbreaking for the Ingram’s Mill Community Center Walking Trail at 5:30 p.m. today and an open house inside the new Ingram’s Mill Community Center (the old Ingram’s Mill Schoolhouse) to follow.
DeSoto County Government officials, including DeSoto County Administrator Vanessa Lynchard and Environmental Services Manager Ray Laughter, Grants Administrator Brian Riley and yours truly, the Time Traveler, are among the many individuals helping to hunt down history and information in preparation for this event.
Past graduates of the old Ingram’s Mill School are encouraged to attend and swap stories of school days.
The Ingram’s Mill community was named for the Ingram family which owned and operated a sawmill in the area dating back to the early days of the county’s history.
Thomas Ingram, E.G. Ingram, E.W. Ingram, Nathan Ingram, Needham Ingram and other members of the Ingram family settled in the eastern part of DeSoto County not too long after DeSoto County was carved from the Chickasaw Indian lands. The Ingram family possessed land holdings and farmed acreage in eastern DeSoto County and across the county line into neighboring Marshall County.
During the American Civil War, forces under Confederate General Stephen D. Lee encamped in and around Ingram’s Mill, records show.
The old schoolhouse was a center of activity for many years, as well as a voting precinct during the formative days of the county.
Another exciting event upcoming is a Halloween visit to the award-winning DeSoto County Museum by the acclaimed author of “Voices of the Dead: Battling the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878,” Horn Lake native and 1963 Horn Lake High School graduate John Babb.
His book begins in a chilling, gripping manner: “During four terror-filled months in 1878, a yellow fever epidemic struck 154 towns and cities, killed over 20,000 people and wiped entire businesses and families from the face of the earth …”
Babb has promised to wear a long, black frock coat for the occasion. Candy, hot cider and old-time treats will be served for this real-life horror story which will be the inaugural launching of the first “Nights At the Museum” series. Babb’s book signing and reading of this ghostly tale of death and disease will begin at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31, Halloween night.
Come observe this old-fashioned fright-filled night with a historical twist at the museum while the kiddies trick-or-treat.
Acclaimed author Mark Grisham, brother of best-selling novelist John Grisham, will be on hand at the DeSoto County Museum this Saturday morning from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., Oct. 26. Grisham is the author of his latest book, “Diablo,” set on the eve of the Civil War as a man searches for his abducted wife and discovers love, intrigue and treachery along the Mississippi River. Grisham will be on hand to sign copies of his book and the Time Traveler just might coax him to read a few excerpts.
Speaking of suspense and thrills, fans of the Time Traveler need to be sure to mark their calendars for the annual Springhill Cemetery “All Souls’ Day Tour,” which begins at sunset or about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday night Nov. 3. Tours will begin assembling around 5 p.m.
Actors include a host of prominent citizens and community actors and even a Broadway actress.
Costumed actors will portray some of the area’s earliest and since departed citizens. Thanks to the DeSoto Family Theatre for the costumes and Dan Lehman for assisting in the tour and production, which has been the brainchild of Hernando Mayor Tom Ferguson, a fellow history devotee.
Not to be outdone, on Nov. 9, the City of Hernando will be presenting “A Dickens of A Christmas” in and around the historic DeSoto County seat of Hernando. Carriage rides from the DeSoto Museum and along the city’s streets past its oldest neighborhoods, churches and businesses are in store.
You don’t want to miss these “treats” to be sure!
ROBERT LEE LONG is Curator of the DeSoto County Museum.