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Hidden Gems

Here are a few special Northeast Mississippi destinations that are worth a visit.

Written by Leslie Criss | Photographed by Joe Worthem | Illustrated by Sarah Godwin

From hunting for shark teeth to learning about Civil Rights history, there is plenty to discover in northeast Mississippi.


Shark Teeth

Did you know that one of the best places to search for fossils — and shark teeth — is in north Mississippi? It’s true.

W.M. Browning Cretaceous Fossil Park is just off US 45 on the Prentiss County side of Baldwyn. Anyone is welcome to hike, wade and search for treasures in and around Twenty Mile Creek. Fossils of sharks, crocodiles, mosasaurs, dinosaurs and other now-extinct creatures from the Cretaceous era 75 million years ago have been found in the park. One visitor said he found 50 shark teeth of varying sizes one spring day.

A stone marker in the park explains: “Excavations at this site in 1990 uncovered abundant shark teeth, some dinosaur teeth and other fossils of Cretaceous Age. A time when dinosaurs roamed the continent and large reptiles swam the ocean. These fossils are evidence that this area was covered by the sea 75 million years ago.”

No permits are required. It’s important to wear or bring water shoes, and you’ll want to have a shovel and a sifter handy.

 

The Apron Museum

In Tishomingo County, a stop in the small town of Iuka reveals The Apron Museum, the only museum in the United States dedicated to aprons and their stories. The museum was started by Iuka native Carolyn Terry in 2006. A frequent participant at estate sales and auctions in order to purchase books, Terry became interested in the fabric of aprons, so interested that she began to research aprons, their history and their significance. The museum has on display hundreds of aprons, some dating back to the Civil War.



Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum

The Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum in Holly Springs is located in the Spires Bolling House where Wells-Barnett was born. Her father, born into slavery, was an apprentice carpenter who helped build the Spires Bolling House. Her mother later worked in the home as a cook when her daughter was born. Born in 1862, Wells-Barnett was orphaned when her parents died in the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878. She received her college degree at Shaw University, now Rust College, and became a teacher, journalist and public speaker who raised awareness of the oppression of African Americans and women. She was one of the founders of the NAACP and became known all over the world as a crusader for justice. The museum displays African American culture and heritage, as well as paying homage to Wells-Barnett.

 

Lake Life

For fishing, boating, swimming and more, north Mississippi boasts several lakes that are open for recreational activities. Among them are:

ELVIS PRESLEY LAKE | Lee County

BAY SPRINGS LAKE | Tishomingo County

SARDIS LAKE | Lafayette, Panola and Marshall counties

GRENADA LAKE | Grenada and Yalobusha counties

ENID LAKE | Yalobusha, Panola and Lafayette counties

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