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Ask Rufus: The 1842 Tombigbee Bridge

Posted yesterday in Local Columns

It's always rewarding when research confirms an earlier educated guess.


Ask Rufus: A Photo and a Hurricane

Posted 7/13/2019 in Local Columns

It's odd how sometimes two seemingly different events suddenly merge into a single story.


Ask Rufus: A Howling Wilderness and a Misnamed Road

Posted 7/6/2019 in Local Columns

In northeastern Lowndes County there is an old road now named Wolfe Road. That name is another example of people not knowing their own history.


Ask Rufus: Stories to Treasure

Posted 6/29/2019 in Local Columns

I was planning on writing today about the 1830s homes of Columbus that are rapidly being destroyed without even an attempt to salvage valuable materials out of them. However, the last two days I have had several people ask me about family stories.


Ask Rufus: 'To All Those Fond of Flowers'

Posted 6/22/2019 in Local Columns

"To all those fond of flowers..." So began an advertisement in an 1841 issue of The Southern Argus, a 19th Century Columbus newspaper. We all enjoy the gardens and flowers of spring and summer, but have we ever thought about what gardens were like in Columbus 175 years ago?


Ask Rufus: The Beginning of a Town, June 1819

Posted 6/15/2019 in Local Columns

The founding of Columbus involved a series of settlements and events stretching from 1810 to 1819.


Ask Rufus: Allison's Wells, A Grand Mississippi Resort

Posted 6/8/2019 in Local Columns

On Friday I was at the Duncan Gray Episcopal Conference Center for a Gray Center board meeting. Located at Way, Mississippi, nine miles north of Canton, it is not only a beautiful setting but a historic one as well.


Ask Rufus: Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944

Posted 6/1/2019 in Local Columns

This week marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. It is a week that reminds us that the generation of World War II was not just the greatest generation but a generation of heroes.


Ask Rufus: Remembering Memorial Day

Posted 5/25/2019 in Local Columns

Columbus has long claimed to be the inspiration if not the birthplace of Memorial Day.


Ask Rufus: Sergeant, not General, James Doolittle

Posted 5/18/2019 in Local Columns

Working on the column about my father's World War II experience last week, I came across a newspaper clipping that reminded me of one of the stories he had told me about Stalag Luft IV, the POW camp he was in.


Ask Rufus: May 12, 1944, Smoky Stover Jr's Last Mission

Posted 5/11/2019 in Local Columns

Seventy-five years ago today my father, Rufus Ward Sr., then a tail gunner on a B-17 in the 337th Squadron of the 96th Bomb Group based at Snetterton Heath, England, flew his last combat mission.


Ask Rufus: Col. Alva Temple, Red-Tailed Hero of the Sky

Posted 5/4/2019 in Local Columns

I just remember Lt. Col. Alva Temple (USAF ret.) as the owner of a Gulf service station on Highway 69 just below its intersection with Yorkville Road. I wish I had known then what I know now, for I would have loved to have talked with him.


Ask Rufus: Springtime Strawberries

Posted 4/27/2019 in Local Columns

Last week Karen bought a flat of fresh strawberries at the Mayhew Tomato Farm. Besides enjoying the strawberries in a pie, on pound cake and with a scoop of ice cream, I reflected on the relationship of strawberries to local history and to Mayhew in particular.


Ask Rufus: A Reflection of Sainte-Chapelle

Posted 4/20/2019 in Local Columns

Annunciation Catholic Church in Columbus is an example of a type of Gothic form rarely found in the South and is one of the most architecturally significant religious structures in Mississippi.


Ask Rufus: An Evening with Heroes

Posted 4/13/2019 in Local Columns

In late January, Steve Wallace, Danny Coggins and I went with Brad Freeman to the German POW Museum in Aliceville, Alabama.


Ask Rufus: Southern Scenery

Posted 4/6/2019 in Local Columns

When researching southern history, it is always interesting to find first-person accounts of earlier times but it is most fascinating to find early images. It is surprising just how many of those early images are around and how they can relate to the present.


Ask Rufus: Walking through South Side

Posted 3/30/2019 in Local Columns

The South Side Historic District in Columbus is a real gem. It provides a place where, in a less than an hour's walk, you are carried through almost 200 years of architectural history.


Ask Rufus: Was Kubla Khan's Sacred River the Tombigbee?

Posted 3/23/2019 in Local Columns

Connections are always interesting. With the recent blooming of daffodils and jonquils I could not help but think of one of my favorite poems.


Ask Rufus: The Grave in the Woods

Posted 3/16/2019 in Local Columns

Last fall I was on an outing with friends in Clay County to visit an old cemetery in the Kilgore Hills northwest of West Point.


Ask Rufus: The Masterpieces of Gee's Bend

Posted 3/9/2019 in Local Columns

It began with a box of scraps of fabric, a prayer and the blessing of hands, and resulted in the creation of beautiful works of art in the form of unique quilts.



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