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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.


Ask Rufus: Palmer Home: In the Beginning

Posted 3/2/2019 in Local Columns

Newspaper accounts from the summer of 1898 tell of the successful efforts of Rev. W.S. Jacobs and the Presbyterian Church in Columbus to raise the funds necessary to establish an orphanage.


Ask Rufus: The Benchmark Floods of 1847 and 1892

Posted 2/24/2019 in Local Columns

The flooding caused by last week's rains brings to mind high water of past times. The Tombigbee Valley has a long history of high water and floods. Some of the Tombigbee floods have been devastating, even washing away almost entire towns.


Ask Rufus: The Passing of the Tombigbee Steamboats

Posted 2/16/2019 in Local Columns

The first steamboat arrived at Columbus in 1823. For almost 100 years they were the principal means of shipping and passenger service along the Upper Tombigbee River.


Ask Rufus: A Forgotten Aviation Milestone

Posted 2/9/2019 in Local Columns

The centennial of an aviation milestone that was connected to our area passed unnoticed 11 days ago. It was the first transcontinental round-trip airplane flight and only the fourth transcontinental flight.


Ask Rufus: The 'Bold Feat' of Simon, a Free Black French Captain

Posted 2/3/2019 in Local Columns

In the 1730s, conflict in Europe between England and France spread to the Tombigbee River Valley between the Choctaw-French alliance and the Chickasaw-English alliance. It was a North American extension of a European conflict with a local twist.


Ask Rufus: Columbus Water/Ways

Posted 1/26/2019 in Local Columns

A Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit on waterways has opened at the Agnes Zaiontz Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Transportation Museum on Seventh Street North here in Columbus.


Ask Rufus: Ancient Medicine

Posted 1/19/2019 in Local Columns

The winter edition of American Archaeology has a fascinating article titled "Physical and Spiritual Health." It is about general health care and medical care among Indians in prehistoric and historic period America.


Ask Rufus: A Fire, Post Roads and a Bicentennial

Posted 1/12/2019 in Local Columns

There remains a lot of confusion over when the Columbus Bicentennial should be celebrated. To that we can add, 'Which Columbus is which?'


Ask Rufus: The Iron Men of Sewanee, On the 7th Day They Rested

Posted 1/5/2019 in Local Columns

On Friday the New York Times ran a story: "Long Before Alabama, The South Had Sewanee." According to the article: "The Sewanee Tigers provided a blueprint for Southern college football domination."


Ask Rufus: The Riverwalk, A Pathway Through History

Posted 12/29/2018 in Local Columns

Recently I have been walking along the Riverwalk in Columbus. Anyone who has not walked that delightful pathway has missed an enjoyable merging of beauty, history and good exercise.


Ask Rufus: Christmas Greetings From WCOC

Posted 12/22/2018 in Local Columns

In December 1929, an unusual Christmas card was sent out from Columbus and Meridian.


Ask Rufus: Christmas Traditions?

Posted 12/15/2018 in Local Columns

My column today is a look at some unusual Christmas celebrations in Mississippi during the 1800s and earlier.


Ask Rufus: The Fish Trap

Posted 12/8/2018 in Local Columns

I just took a journey through history, fishing, politics and up the Tombigbee. It all started in the parking lot of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in West Point one day last week.


Ask Rufus: The Face in a Photograph

Posted 12/1/2018 in Local Columns

It is a rare and very poignant image. A lady photographed as a slave in Columbus circa 1860.



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