Tupelo, Mississippi Information

Tupelo, Mississippi. Elvis was born here, wars were fought here and the best civil war sites in the south can all be seen from this little southern town.

Tupelo, Mississippi. It is a booming metropolis boasting nearly 35,000 people. A big city feel with down home Southern charm and hospitality. Tupelo, named "All American City", has the distinctive appeal of historical Civil War battlefields and historical sites along with the added advantage of becoming the largest furniture manufacturing Mecca in the nation.

Incorporated as an official city in 1870, Tupelo was named after it's native Tupelo Gum Tree. The crossing of the Mobile & Ohio and the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham railroads in 1887 at the heart of Tupelo assured Tupelo it's place in history as an up and coming town.

Tupelo was the first city in the nation to provide its citizens with dependable and inexpensive electric power through TVA, the Tennessee Valley Authority, in 1933. The first concrete road in Mississippi was constructed in 1914, a forty-nine stretch of highway that exists today.

Thousands of people from all over the world, including Japan, Australia and New England, flock to Tupelo, Mississippi to see the birthplace of Elvis Presley. A two-room house built by Elvis' father, Vernon Presley, for $180.00 for which he borrowed the materials for, the home has been restored to it's original period and shows the humble beginnings that Elvis started his life with.

Along with Elvis Presley's birthplace, you can visit the "Times and Things Remembered" themed museum, which houses memorabilia from Elvis' early life, motorcycle boots and even a jumpsuit from Elvis' Las Vegas act. While you are visiting the grounds, be sure to visit the Memorial Chapel and the Elvis Presley park where you can picnic and hold community events.

If Indians to astronauts are your forte, you may want to visit the Oren Dunn City Museum. You can visit this museum that is housed in an old dairy barn and see collections of Chickasaw Indian artifacts, a 65-million-year-old dinosaur fossil; a working sorghum mill, a dogtrot cabin dating back to 1873, and of course additional Elvis Presley memorabilia. The Oren Dunn City Museum also boasts impressive displays of NASA space equipment, including the first Christian flag to orbit the moon, one of the first American flags to fly on the moon and one of only two stamped envelopes that were canceled on the moon.

If the Civil War fascinates you, be sure to visit Brice's Crossroad National Battlefield and the Tupelo National Battlefield.

Brice's Crossroads, a one-acre site maintained by the National Park Service, features paved trails and signs to explain the battle lines and troop movement during the battle on June 10, 1864. The Union Army began this battle with one goal in mind, to make it impossible for the Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest to interfere with General William T. Sherman's railroad supply line from Nashville to Chattanooga, Tennessee during the Atlanta campaign. The Union troops under General Sammuel D. Sturgis, marched from Memphis, Tennessee to hold General Forrest in Northeast Mississippi. Forrest's men were outnumbered by more than two to one and they retreated. The battle at Brice's Crossroad was considered to be a major tactical victory for the Confederate Army.

You can also visit the Bethany Cemetery where ninety-nine confederate soldiers are buried. Ninety-eight of the brave soldiers have been identified for their heroic battle and death. An additional 836 acreage has been purchased and is now preserved by the National Park Service surrounding this site. If you travel four miles east of this battlefield, you may visit the Brice's Crossroads Visitors and Interpretive Center whose collection of Civil War artifacts and interactive exhibits make this a memorable visit.

Located on Tupelo's West Main Street, the Battle of Tupelo Civil War site marks the last major battle of the Civil War in Mississippi. The site is maintained by the National Park Service and includes maps detailing the battle. The battle raged for two days in July 1864 and was one of the bloodiest in the state. One the heels of the Confederate victory at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads, the Battle of Tupelo had Confederate Generals Stephen D. Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest battling against Union troops under Generals A. J. Smith and Joseph A. Mower command. Fighting for the railroad lines supplying General William T. Sherman's campaign against Atlanta, Georgia, the Union army claimed a partial victory in this battle but soon retreated back to Memphis.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a historic 400-mile two-lane highway joining Natchez, Mississippi with Nashville, Tennessee. The parkway began its humble beginnings as a trail used by Indians almost 8,000 years ago. It later became used by the Spanish explorers, British troops and the settlers of the south. Nicknamed "Devil's Backbone" for the perilous journey from murdering thieves, wild animals and attacking Indians, this trail was the most widely used route of transportation in the south until the advent of the steamboat.

The Natchez Trace is one of the nation's most unique national parks open year round. It allows you to explore Chickasaw Indian mounds, scenic trails, and the graves of thirteen unknown Confederate soldiers. Wildlife and indigenous plants of the south, including magnolia and dogwood trees provide a tranquil and soothing journey along with many sites along the 400-mile stretch of highway.

Don't forget to visit the Natchez Trace Headquarters located in Tupelo for more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway and it's varied and unique history. Maps and brochures are available for the most discriminating historian buff.

The Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery is an unusual place to visit while in Tupelo. Adopted in 1901 as the first U. S. Fish Hatchery, with a 1903 Victorian house located on the pond which used to be home to many hatchery superintendents over the years, this beautiful and useful site contains gardens which attract native wildlife and visitors from all over. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to use this facility to maintain native fish for restocking programs. The house and gardens, now maintained by the Tupelo Garden Club is open for weddings, luncheons, picnics and other events.

The Lyric Theater located in the downtown historical Tupelo area across from the courthouse on the square is still in use today. It's beginnings as an opera house has perpetuated Tupelo's desire for arts and music. Still in use today after being restored, it seats 489, and is home to the Tupelo Community Theater.

The Tupelo Artist Guild Gallery is also located in the historic downtown Tupelo area, housed in the historic Peoples Bank and Trust Company building built in 1905. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic places. A revolving exhibit gallery, admission is free and the facility is available for rental by appointment.

In 1993, a 10,000-seat coliseum was opened in Tupelo. Today the Bancorp South Center hosts some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Housing more than 37,000 square feet, the coliseum can be used for events ranging from concerts and conventions to hockey and rodeos. The Bancorp South Center can be customized for auditorium type of events or banquets from 500 to 3,000 people.

The Tupelo Furniture Market is one of the biggest annual events in the area, pulling in over 10,000 visitors from all over the world to one of the most notable Furniture Market exhibits in the nation.

Dining and accommodations in Tupelo can create a sense of coming home. With lodging by such luxury inspiring names by Courtyard by Marriot and the Hampton Inn to name a few and dining by such familiar names as the Cracker Barrel and Applebees. To the local bed and breakfast inn, The Mockingbird Inn Bed & Breakfast to eating the best farm-raised catfish this side of the Mississippi at Malone's Fish & Steak house. Tupelo is sure to be a warm and inviting town, whether you're dropping by for a visit or planning to stay.

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