Steeped in history, Columbus is a very special Southern town. Broad treelined streets, wide sidewalks, spacious lawns, and lavish antebellum and Victorian homes speak of the history that is Columbus.
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R.E. HUNT MEUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS WELCOME CENTER
The Tennessee Williams Welcome Center is the first home of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Tennessee Williams. Tennessee Williams made history with well-known plays such as A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie.
Tennessee Williams, the man said to be the most important American playwright, was born in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911. He spent his beginning years in an old Victorian home that was the rectory for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where his grandfather, Reverend Walker Dakin, served.
In 1993, that home was in danger of being torn down to make room for a church expansion. In an effort to preserve this historic literary landmark, the home was loaded onto flatbed trailers and taken to Main Street. Once there, the home was restored and just three months after opening, Tennessee Williams was honored with a U.S. postage stamp and a public ceremony was held there. The home was also recently honored with the designation of a National Literary Landmark and it now serves as the official Welcome Center for Columbus.
COLUMBUS HISTORIC FOUNDATION
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE
Founded May 30, 1849
Fourth Street South
For additional information on tours and attractions, please contact: Frank Goodman (662) 328-2569.
Located on Fourth Street South just south of the City of Columbus, Mississippi, Friendship Cemetery is situated on a bluff overlooking the Tombigbee River. This historic burial ground was founded May 30, 1849, on a five-acre parcel of land owned by the Union Lodge No 35 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
In 1957 the Odd Fellows deeded the cemetery to the City of Columbus, which maintains the present 65 acres containing approximately 16,000 graves.
In 1980 Friendship Cemetery was names to the National Register of Historic Places.
Friendship Cemetery is noteworthy not only as the burial place of people whose names are synonymous with the founding of Columbus but is also important for its associations with other people and events, which shaped the history of Mississippi and the nation.
In addition, buried in Friendship Cemetery are veterans of the American Revolution, The War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
An early memorial ceremony honoring the Civil War soldiers buried in Friendship Cemetery has been credited as the forerunner of the modern Memorial Day.
A walk through Friendship Cemetery yields visual emblems calls to mind historical, economical, and social realities of the past 150 years.
Since 1991, history students at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science ( a public, residential high school for gifted students, located on the historic campus of the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus) have presented Tales from the Crypt, a dramatization where history comes to life.
Each Spring during the Columbus Pilgrimage, visitors tour the cemetery by candlelight and stop by tombstones to hear monologues from authentically costumed students standing by graves of those whose lives the re-create. The dramatizations culminate a year-long research effort by the students.
Friendship Cemetery stands as a monument to the lives of the great as well as those "to Fortune and to Fame unknown." Within its gates lie thousands of individuals who have shaped the direction of a city, a state, and a nation.
MAIN STREET COLUMBUS
Before it was even completed, the Columbus Riverwalk was a hit with locals and tourists.
By the time the 1.25-mile trail officially opened in June 2005, thousÂands of people were familiar with the wooded path that meanders along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The first completed phase of the riverwalk features two pavilions, benches, trash receptacles and lighted trails. Recent Eagle Scout projects added birdhouses, bat-houses and a walk along the levy.
"We always knew this would be a good thing, but it's unbelievable just how many people are down there using it every day," says Jan Miller, manager of Main Street Columbus.
And the Riverwalk isn't nearly finished.
"There are a lot of ongoing projects that are going to keep making Riverwalk better and better," Miller says.
Main Street Columbus was the catalyst behind the project that was several years in the making. Miller says it's all about quality of life.
"You can choose to work anywhere in the world," she says. "You choose to live and work in a community because of its quality of life. This trail has added so much to our community. Even the nay-sayers are now saying that they are really enjoying the Riverwalk."
The trail is a flurry of activity in every season with local residents and visitors walking, jogging, walking dogs and bicycling. It also features security and ongoing maintenance projects, and fishermen like the increased number of access points to the river.
"It's absolutely beautiful," says Brice Miller, who relocated here from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina with his wife and three children. "Our family has always enjoyed spending time together on weekly walks, and now we have the ideal place for doing that."
Future phases of the project may include opening the old river bridge to pedestrian traffic and connecting the riverwalk to other paths. Additional pavilions also are planned, and Main Street Columbus is working with local birders to offer bird-watching seminars along the Riverwalk. Jan Miller says a recent search resulted in the identiÂfication of 54 different butterfly species.
"Now that the first stage turned out so well, we have community support to do more things with Riverwalk," Miller says.
With the first phase of Riverwalk open, several weddings and family reunions are being planned at the trail for summer 2006. Riverwalk also is the site for several Market Street Festival events in May.
Story by Kari K. Ridge
UTILITIES AND SERVICES
Columbus Light and Water
Caledonia Natural Gas District - 662.356.4250
Columbus Butane Gas Co. - 662.328.5765
Dowdle Butane Gas Company - 662.328.3128
Atmos Energy - 1.800.863.7749
Columbus Light & Watermeets and exceeds all State and EPA standards imposed upon utilities, which provide drinking water.
Surrounding communities have their own water associations. Tel.: 662.328.7192
Caledonia Water and Sewage 662.356.6993
East Lowndes Water Association 662.328.1065
Prairie Land Water Association 662.245.1150
South Lowndes Water Association 662.329.3929
Columbus Light & Water Department is a division of the city and serves 13,000 electric customers and 10,300 water customers. Services are provided by 80 employees . Power is supplied by TVA. Tel.: 662.328.7192
4-County Electric Power Association serves electricity customers outside the Columbus city limits. In its four-county service area, the EPA serves more than 40,000 customers. Services are provided by 175 employees. Power is supplied by TVA. Tel.: 662.327.8900
Cable One, Columbus 662.328.1781
Northland Cable, Starkville 662.323.1615
WCBI (CBS), Channel 4 (Cable Channel 7) 662.327.4444
WTVA (NBC), Channel 9 (Cable Channel 5) 6662.327.6464
WLOV (Fox), Channel 27 (Cable Channel 9) 662.494.8327
Cellular Phone Service
Cellular South 662.327.5700
Cingular Wireless 662.328.7721
Sprint PCS – 1.800.777.4681
Residence – 662.557.6500
Business – 662.557.6000
The Commercial Dispatch – 662.328.2424
(not published on Saturday)
American Family Online - 1.888.817.9314
BellSouth Internet Services - 1.800.436.8638
Cable One - 662.328.1781
Exceed Technologies – 662.328.8333
Mississippi Internet, Inc. – 1.800.647.7477
Acme Pager Service – 662.329.5091
Columbus Communications 662.328.5415
Delta Telepage USA – 662.329.1247
Metro Communication Services – 662.328.3000
Teletec Communications – 662.328.8474
WACR-AM, 1050 and WACR-FM, 103.9 – 662.328.1050
WAJV-FM 98.9, WJWF-AM 1400
WMBC-FM 103.1 – 662.329.1030
WKOR-AM 980, WKOR-FM 94.9, WMSU-FM 92.1
WMXU-FM 106.1, WSMS-FM 99.9, WSSO-AM 1230 – 662.329.9793
WLZA-FM 96.1 – 662.258.7170
WZBQ-FM 94.1 – 662.393.4418