Articles by Rufus Ward
In the 1970s, I found an old Choctaw basket in the attic of my great aunt Marcella Sykes Billups Richards‘ home in Columbus. It was not a tourist-trade basket but a well-made, reinforced work basket more than 100 years old.
The South Side Historic District in Columbus is an architectural gem with about 250 homes on the National Register of Historic Places.
Most Christians today will celebrate Easter, enjoying a traditional meal at one of the year’s most important family gathering times.
It’s spring and many people are planting flower and vegetable gardens in their yards.
I have often written about John Pitchlynn and Fort Smith at Plymouth Bluff during the Creek Indian War of 1813-14 and the French army that camped there in 1736, but what fascinated me about the bluff when I was a child was fossils.
Cherry Dunn came by my house a couple of months ago and showed me an interesting photo that she had. It was a tintype photo that had been passed down through her family from 150 years ago.
A headline in the April 27, 1839, Columbus Democrat read, “Daring and Atrocious Murder.” The news account began, “One of the most daring and outrageous acts of villainy in the annals of crime was perpetuated a few miles from our town.”
I’ve written before about how the Riverwalk is not only a touch of natural beauty at the edge of downtown but also a place steeped in history. Much of that history is the Black history of Columbus.
The origin of Franklin Academy goes back to the chartering of Columbus as a Mississippi town.
Columbus was first officially recognized as a town on Dec. 6, 1819, but as the Town of Columbus, Alabama.
I’ve written before about the Tombigbee flood of 1847.
It is considered the worst flood ever recorded along the upper Tombigbee. It washed away almost the entire towns of Colbert, West Port and Nashville in what was then Lowndes County.
I recently gave an 1882 book, “Minstrel Songs Old and New,” to the Black Prairie Blues Museum in West Point. The book contains a fascinating collection of popular music from the mid-1800s.
It began in the late fall of 1854 and extended through the summer of 1856. Before it was over several Tombigbee steamboats sank, and one caught fire and burned.
Today is the 200th anniversary of the town of Columbus, Alabama, being officially recognized as part of the state of Mississippi and not Alabama.
Recently, several people have asked me whether Columbus will be celebrating its bicentennial in 2021. My response of “but the bicentennial was last year” always seems to draw perplexed looks.
Before the 1800s Christmas was a mostly religious celebration. Then in 1823, Clement Clarke Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published.
I recently purchased a watercolor at the Columbus Arts Council’s gift shop at the Rosenzweig Arts Center.
With Christmas fast approaching, it is interesting to consider the traditional foods of a Christmas meal. They may not all be what you think.
Acting on the recommendation of the State Board of Health, the mayor of Columbus after a Friday meeting of the Columbus board of health has announced that “All schools, churches, theatres, pool rooms, motion picture shows and all public gatherings be closed and suspended until further notice.”
No, that was not Mayor Robert Smith last week. It was Columbus Mayor D. S. McClanahan on Oct. 2, 1918. It was the great Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.
Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with history, tradition and food.
Sometimes an unusual inanimate object can tell a most interesting story.