There are so many well-known historic sites in Mississippi, from the antebellum homes that fill the state to famous battlefields, such as Vicksburg National Military Park. But what about the lesser-known historic sites? From impressive archaeological finds to centuries-old structures, these hidden gems in Mississippi will transport you directly to the past.
1. Poplar Hill School, Jefferson County
Considered a “time capsule into African American life and education,” Poplar school is a rare example of a rural school built in the early 20th century in order to serve the local African American community.
2. Old Biloxi Cemetery, Biloxi
Located across the highway from the beach, this cemetery is teeming with history. A lot of the headstones bear dates prior to the 1900s and many include some type of background information, making for an interesting journey to the past.
3. The Winterville Site, near Greenville
This prehistoric Native American ceremonial site is believed to have been constructed by a tribe that thrived in the area from about 1000 A.D. to 1450 A.D. The site originally consisted of 23 mounds but has diminished in size over the years due to several mounds being leveled by construction and farming. Today, the 42-acre site includes 12 mounds, two large plazas, and a museum – all of which can be toured free of charge.
4. St. Augustine Seminary, Bay St. Louis
Included in Preservation in Mississippi’s “101 Mississippi Places to See before You Die,” this historic seminary is as significant as it is beautiful. The seminary was opened in the 1920s for the purpose of training African Americans for priesthood, which was a huge feat since many schools at the time didn’t admit black students.
5. Emerald Mound, Natchez
Constructed sometime between the 1200s and the 1600s, the Emerald Mound is the second-largest ceremonial mound in the nation. The mound itself is 770’ by 435’ and is 35’ high, and can be toured daily, free of charge.
6. Manship House Museum, Jackson
This historic home, which once belonged to the Civil War mayor of Jackson, is one of only a few examples of Gothic-revival residential architecture in the state. The home has been completely restored based on archaeological, architectural, and historical research, even utilizing diaries, photographs, and letters of the home’s former residents.
7. Sciples Mill, DeKalb
This over 200-year-old mill is one of the few remaining water-powered grist mills in the nation that still operates for profit. Aside from the corn meal, grits, flour, and fish fry mix the mill offers, guests are treated to a good time thanks to the nearby Water Mill Opry. Every Saturday night, locals gather at the Opry for live music, dancing, and great food, and for a $5 cover charge, you can join in on the fun.
8. U.S.S. Cairo, Vicksburg
In 1977, the gunboat USS Cairo was transported to the Vicksburg National Military Park and partially reconstructed. It was at this time that numerous artifacts were recovered, which included weapons, munitions, naval stores, and personal gear of the soldiers who served on board.
9. Holly Springs Railroad Station, Holly Springs
This historic depot dates back to the 1850s, and by the late 1800s, received a $20,000 renovation. The spectacular building was once a popular spot with a lot of activity, attracting everyone from presidents to party-goers.
10. Deason Home, Ellisville
During the Civil War, Jones County resident Newton Knight and several others deeply disagreed with the Confederacy and the war as a whole. Following the fall of Vicksburg, a number of Confederate soldiers deserted their posts and returned home to Jones County. Several months later, Confederate Major Amos McLemore was sent to round up the deserters. On October 5, 1863, McLemore was shot and killed in the Ellisville home of Amos Deason. It is widely accepted that Newton Knight pulled the trigger. For more information on the Deason Home, including tours and ghost hunts, click
or call (601) 577-1066.
11. Lunar Lander at the John C. Stennis Space Center, near Bay St. Louis
Once used by Apollo astronauts as a trainer for a mission to the moon, this 30’ tall Lunar Lander is now on display at the Stennis Space Center’s launch pad. The base of the structure features Astronaut Fred Haise’s boot prints and autograph, making this piece of history that much more fascinating.