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Ask Rufus: A potpourri of history

Posted 7/14/2018 in Local Columns

I have been writing this history column for eight years now and even though there are topics I have covered in several columns, I still have people ask me, "why don't you write about that topic or tell that story?"

 

Ask Rufus: A River Pilot's Story

Posted 7/7/2018 in Local Columns

The Eliza Battle was considered one of the largest and finest steamers on the Tombigbee during the 1850s and had been described as a floating palace.

 

Ask Rufus: Columbus' most interesting buildings

Posted 6/30/2018 in Local Columns

For almost 40 years, Ken P'Pool has been with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and Mississippi's go-to person in historic preservation.

 

Ask Rufus: Stories on a Southern Porch

Posted 6/23/2018 in Local Columns

It may be social media or just changing times, but sipping cool beverages and listening to grand stories while sitting on a porch on a hot summer day seems to be a relic of the past.

 

Ask Rufus: Could this weekend be Columbus' 200th birthday?

Posted 6/16/2018 in Local Columns

Although Columbus was not officially recognized as the "Town of Columbus" until a December 6, 1819, act of the Alabama legislature, its founding may have been 200 years ago this weekend.

 

Ask Rufus: Forever gone

Posted 6/9/2018 in Local Columns

Greenpeace once sold a T-shirt with a picture of a dinosaur and the caption "Extinct means forever." That phrase well applies to some beautiful birds that once graced our skies.

 

Ask Rufus: John Wesley's Chickasaw Interview of 1736

Posted 6/2/2018 in Local Columns

The year 1736 was a pivotal year in the history of the Tombigbee River Valley.

 

Ask Rufus: Memorial Day

Posted 5/26/2018 in Local Columns

Last week a project was announced to try and located lost graves of Union soldiers who had been buried in Friendship Cemetery in Columbus during and at the close of the Civil War.

 

Ask Rufus: Tales to be told

Posted 5/19/2018 in Local Columns

Recently I have been working on a project that involves Friendship Cemetery here in Columbus.

 

Ask Rufus: The Rebel Tombigbee Squadron

Posted 5/12/2018 in Local Columns

Two weeks ago I wrote of the poem the Blue and the Gray and Friendship Cemetery on the banks of the Tombigbee River.

 

Ask Rufus: Eight O'May

Posted 5/5/2018 in Local Columns

In the Columbus area, the "Eight O'May" has long been called "Emancipation Day." It is the day which tradition says the slaves in the Columbus area learned they were free.

 

Ask Rufus: By the flow of the inland river

Posted 4/21/2018 in Local Columns

By the flow of the inland river, Whence the fleets of iron have fled, Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver, Asleep are the ranks of the dead

 

Ask Rufus: The Victory Flying Circus of 1919

Posted 4/14/2018 in Local Columns

A couple of months ago I wrote about Payne Field, a historic World War I air field four miles north of West Point, and the centennial of military aviation in the Golden Triangle.

 

Ask Rufus: A cultural crossroads of architecture

Posted 4/7/2018 in Local Columns

The site where Columbus now sits has for hundreds of years been a cultural crossroads.

 

Ask Rufus: Choctaw Code Talkers of World War I

Posted 4/2/2018 in Local Columns

When researching a topic you don't always find what you are looking for, but sometimes you find something even better. Recently I was looking through spring of 1919 issues of Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military newspaper. I was searching for information on the Army Air Service's Victory Loan Flying Circus which was a military aerial acrobatic group traveling the U.S. in the spring of 1919 putting on air shows to promote the sell of U.S. bonds to pay World War I debt.

 

Ask Rufus: A tornado's wrath

Posted 3/24/2018 in Local Columns

Last weekend we saw bad weather with the storms of north Mississippi turning into tornadoes in Alabama. Sometimes it seems tornadoes are one of the rites of spring. That led me to review old area newspapers for accounts of the tornadoes of long ago. I found in the late 1830s and early 1840s issues of the Macon Intelligencer several interesting accounts of tornadoes from around the country.

 

Ask Rufus: Factory Hill, Frog Bottom or Burns Bottom, it's a historic neighborhood

Posted 3/17/2018 in Local Columns

The neighborhood is now commonly called Burns Bottom but in the past has also been known as Factory Hill and Frog Bottom. It is one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in Columbus.

 

Ask Rufus: A duel, a preacher and The Ten Commandments

Posted 3/10/2018 in Local Columns

With Passover and Easter approaching the classic movie, "The Ten Commandments," is sure to be shown again. Few people, though, know the Aberdeen, Columbus and Holly Springs tie to the movie.

 

Ask Rufus: The stories flowers tell

Posted 3/3/2018 in Local Columns

Last week the snowdrops bloomed. It was almost two weeks earlier than they bloomed last year.

 

Ask Rufus: The Tombigbee Disasters of March 1

Posted 2/24/2018 in Local Columns

As I write this column on the last Saturday in February with a weather watch for severe storms approaching, I cannot help but think of the Tombigbee steamboat the Eliza Battle.

 

 

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