Monday, May 20, 2013

THE NATCHEZ TRACE...History In My Own Back Yard

This weekend Hubby, our son Henry and I attended the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Natchez Trace.  It was held at the Tupelo Visitor Center, which is located less than a mile from our home.  There were children's activities, classic cars exhibits representing 1938-today, live music, history reenactments AND hot dogs & drinks at 1938 prices (5 cents for sodas and 10 cents for hotdogs )! Special guest speakers included US Representative Alan Nunnelee, US Senator Roger Wicker and US Senator Thad Cochran.
The opening greetings and welcome were delivered by Tupelo Mayor, Jack Reed, Jr. 

The Natchez Trace, also known as the "Old Natchez Trace", is a historical path that extends roughly 440 miles (710 km) from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, linking the Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. 
It was created and used for centuries by Native Americans, and was later used by early European and American explorers, traders and emigrants in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  Native Americans used many early footpaths created by the foraging of bison, deer and other large game that could break paths through the dense undergrowth.  Bison traveled north to find salt licks in the Nashville area. 
After Native Americans first began to settle the land, they began to blaze the trail further, until it became a relatively well-worn path.   Later, The "Kaintucks", or boatmen from the Ohio River Valley, would walk approximately 500 miles from Natchez to Nashville along the Natchez Trace in about 30 days. Today, the trail is commemorated by the 444-mile (715 km) Natchez Trace Parkway, which follows the approximate path of the Trace.  Maintained and administered by the National Park Service, the Parkway is headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi. 
The Natchez Trace Parkway was seventh on the Top 10 Most Visited Places of the National Park System in 2012.

The Natchez Trace has been a close part of my life, almost all of my life.
I drive down this beautiful parkway at LEAST once a week.


-Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory when he died on the Natchez Trace in 1809, at Grinder's Stand in Tennessee. A monument was erected in his honor in 1848 and can be seen along the Natchez Trace Parkway today.

-Andrew Jackson traveled on the Trace with his troops during the War of 1812.

The Natchez Trace poem is found in My Magnolia Memories and Musings -In Poems book

My Magnolia Memories and Musings - In Poems           Link to Amazon