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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi


Antebellum Days

Mississippi is rich in beauty, history, and romance. The old homes now standing, which were built in the early days of Pontotoc County, form the links that bind us to the glamorous and historic past. Hidden away in the private parks or groves of stately trees by the roadside, a number of old colonial homes are found. Within many of them are veritable museums of priceless treasures. Here the early settlers lived in regal splendor surrounded by acres of fertile lands with slaves to do their biding. A cordial welcome was extended to all who sought the hospitality of these homes; here the elite gathered to spend many happy hours in feasting, music, and dancing; romance and history were in the making.

The purpose of his chapter in our unique history of the county is to take one back to ante-bellum days, to live again in memory in the old homes whose builders are gone, lo, these many years, and whose walls are fast falling into decay. Let us reveal in this past glory through the pictures, sketches, and stories herein revealed.

Many of these homes of our citizens were not designed so much for architectural splendor but with a view to comfort and convenience. The houses were widely spaced. They were enclosed with picket or plank fences, usually of ornamental design, and painted or white-washed. The houses were set well back from the street, with a well shaded frontage of forest trees; a brick walk led from the front gate to porch. Old fashioned shrubbery and beds of flowers near the door gave an air of culture and refinement to the household that required no introduction to its inmates. The material needs of these early settlers were supplied from then rear. There were the servants house, the "Smoke" house, barn, stable, orchard, vegetable garden, wood-yard, wood-lot, a small pasture, poultry house, etc., constituting a compact and modest provision for the comfort and convenience of the home. All of it was discreetly hidden from the view of casual passersby or the prying eyes of curious strangers

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