City Social Magazine

MAR-APR 2019

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Page 51 of 59

52 R E A D U S O N L I N E A T W W W . C I T Y S O C I A L . C O M Story and photos by Cheré Coen 52 We were huddled on the balcony of Smith Restaurant, drinks in hand, wait- ing for the parade. Homecoming takes center stage in the small town of Corinth, Mississippi. Here, students and assisting parents help create elabo- rate floats and decorate cars and trucks. Despite the rain, crowds lined the streets, taking photos and yelling names at Corinth High School seniors being honored. I was an outsider in this small town near the Tennessee and Alabama borders, but everyone adopted me as a native and pretty soon I became friends—even on Facebook—with a host of people. We ended the night playing trivia in the bar. And that evening sums up Corinth well, a town where no one's a stranger. That wasn't always the case. Before the Civil War, rail lines connected through the crossroads of Corinth hauled goods and people from the Deep South to the East Coast. At the war's outbreak, the Union knew that to dismantle this crucial railroad junction would be to cut the Confederacy in two. In an effort to destroy this railroad hub, battles within the town and the nearby Shiloh, Tenn., battlefield would become some of the bloodiest of the war. When you walk through the quaint town of Corinth today, the town exudes history, including the historic depot and those infamous crossroads. Trains still roll through town but it's hard to imagine the hardships and horrors that once befell this quiet oasis, just an hour east of Memphis and a quick drive north of Tupelo. One way to enjoy Corinth's history is to take the "60 Sights in 60 Minutes Historic Walking Tour" through downtown. You can pick up a brochure at the visitor's center in front of the old depot or at the Corinth Coca- Cola Museum, which is part of the tour. Once again, while walking through town, brochure in hand, Corinth residents greeted me and offered assistance. Here's a few spots you'll find taking a walk-about through Corinth: The Crossroads remain in front of the depot which houses the Corinth Crossroads Museum. Across the tracks is Trailhead Park with its many historical markers detailing what used to be in Corinth before and during the Civil War, such as the Tishomingo Hotel, which doubled as a war-time hospital. Coca-Cola has been bottled in Corinth for more than 100 years and the free museum highlights the family- owned business, displays Coke artifacts and sports an old-fashioned counter that serves— you guessed it—Coke products. The walking tour takes visitors by several historic homes, including the 1868 Byrd-Ijams Stone House that housed Union soldiers and the 1857 Verandah Curlee House that served as headquarters to several Confederate generals, such as Gen. P.T.G. Beauregard of Louisiana. It was at the Verandah Curlee House that plans were made to attack Union troops at Shiloh. Borroum's Drug Store across from the courthouse is the oldest drug store in continuous operation in Mississippi and home to the "Slugburger," a dish "stretched" during hard times with other ingredients. Be sure to accompany your unique burger with one of their delicious milkshakes. One of the most picturesque spots is the Fillmore Street Chapel, built in 1871 for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and now the oldest church in town. Corinth, a Lesson in History and Friendship

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