Vicksburg, Mississippi

Day 273

Do you know what this is?

day-273-vicksburg-ms-9902_fotor day-274-vicksburg-battle-ms-0024_fotor

     We are now in Vicksburg, Mississippi. In 1814 Newit Vick, a Virginia born methodist minister, erected a log cabin for worship here which he called “Open Woods”. Vick was the first methodist minister in this part of the country, and before his death in 1819 of yellow fever he purchased 612 acres of land, which he laid out as a town. To honor his death this town was named Vicksburg. It was incorporated on January 29, 1825.

     While John C. Pemberton invented Coca Cola in 1886 (see day 259), it was a candy merchant in Vicksburg, Mississippi who came up with the idea to bottle the soda fountain drink and ship it outside Vicksburg. Joseph A. Biedenharn, born December 13, 1866, was a confectioner who in the summer of 1894 came up with the idea of bottling the soda fountain drink Coca-Cola at his wholesale candy company building in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The bottles at the top where the originals. When the stopper was pulled, it gave a popping sound, hence the name soda pop. 

     An interesting note: In 1925 Joseph and his son, Malcolm Biedenharn,  purchased a crop-dusting business. They added eighteen planes, making it the largest privately owned fleet in the world. That company eventually developed as Delta Air Lines.


Edwards, Mississippi

Day 272

     We stayed at the Bridgeport Plantation, now an RV Park. Located near the Big Black River, the plantation was established by Duklet Askew in 1859. He and his brother traveled from North Carolina to Mississippi searching for land to build a cotton plantation. Duklet bought 2,000 acres northeast of Edwards Mississippi, along the old Bridgeport Road. He began by clearing more than 500 acres, farmed cotton, and built and operated a ferry across the Big Black River. Some time later, he built a cotton gin and operated a general store close to the ferry on the Big Black River. The park is now operated by Dan Askew. 

     John Clifford Pemberton, born August 10, 1814, was a career United States Army officer who fought in the Seminole Wars and the Mexican–American War. He served as a Confederate general during the Civil War and was noted for his defeat and surrender in the critical Siege of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863. On May 17, 1863, Pemberton’s 4th brigade, commanded by Col. Reynolds, and portions of Grant’s 15th Corps, commanded by Gen. William T. Sherman, fought here, at our campsite, as Confederate forces retreated from their Champion Hill defeat. Subsequent skirmishing took place near here on June 13, 1863 when a Confederate cavalry force challenged the union picket guarding Grant’s eastern line. 

     I think I just put my lawn chair where General Sherman had his latrine. 


Technical Stuff:

Tupelo, MS to Edwards, MS: 249.1 miles

5 hours 19 minutes

10.2 MPG

Diesel: $2.21


Tupelo, Mississippi

Day 269


     Tupelo, Mississippi, is best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley. Of course we visited his home. He was born here January 8, 1935 at 4:35 AM. 


     We also visited the Tupelo Automobile Museum.  This museum had cars that I had not seen before, such as:

     Toyopet Crown Deluxe (1958). First Toyota offered for sale in the US:


     Benz (not yet Mercedes-Benz) (1886)


     Olds (1902)


     Carter Car (1912) a friction drive automobile – no clutch, no transmission, no driveshaft, no gears.



Quiz:       (what, you didn’t study?):

     Can you name these hood ornaments?



1. Plymouth (1959) 2. Lincoln Mark IV (1976) 3. Packard (1929) 4. Pierce Arrow (1929)    5. Cadillac (1939) 6. Triumph (1949)  7. Stutz (1927)  8. Lincoln (1931)

Of course, you remember this grill: day-269-tupelo-ms-9838_fotor

Engines were so much simpler in the 50’s


Technical Stuff:

Huntsville, AL to Tupelo, MS 179.5 miles

3 hours 57 minutes

9.8 MPG

Diesel: $2.26

Ditto’s Landing, Alabama

Day 266

day-266-ditto-landing-al-9732_fotor day-266-ditto-landing-al-9731_fotor

     We are staying at the campground located at Ditto’s Landing, on the Tennessee River, about 12 miles from Redstone Arsenal. In 1807 Pioneer James Ditto began operating a ferry service from here across the Tennessee River. This landing became a major crossing to Madison County, Alabama, and became a thriving port, with the town of Whitesburg being incorporated here on December 23, 1824. Throughout the 19th century this port was a major cotton shipping center. However, with the advent of railroads, water transportation declined and the town disappeared. The Post Office closed in 1905.


Burritt Mansion, Huntsville, Alabama

Day 267


     William Henry Burritt, was born February 17, 1869, Madison County, AL, in what is now Huntsville, AL. We visited Burritt Mansion built in 1938, after his first house burned down the day he moved in, June 6, 1936. Dr. Burritt was a medical doctor but in 1903 shifted his attention from medicine to the manufacture of rubber products. He developed and had a patent on a wheel and pneumatic tire system.

     The mansion was built in the shape of a maltase cross, and  located on 167 acres on Round Top Mountain. He was attracted to the healthful spring waters and mountain air that had won the neighboring mountain the name “Monte Sano,” or Mountain of Health.



      He had neat fireplaces. 


    The mansion contained an exhibit of the Life and Works of Maria Howard Weeden. Born July 7, 1846, she became famous for her drawings and literary works on the freed slaves following the Civil War.

     We visited neighboring Monte Sano. I feel much healthier.


Redstone Arsenal, Alabama

Day 265

     The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center is located at Redstone Arsenal, an active military base. It was here that von Braun and his team developed and tested the rockets that led up to the Saturn V that took Apollo 11 to the moon.

     For the last 17 years, the Flight Center is the Payload Operation Center for the International Space Station. While the Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston, Texas control the operation of the Space Station, The Marshal Center controls all the experiments that are done by the US on the Station. There are 6 people on the space station. 3 Russians and 3 Americans. Sometimes the Americans give up one of their spots to a member of one of the other countries that have contributed to the Space Station.

     The number of people on the Station is limited to 6 people, as the only way to get to the Station from Earth is through the Russian Soyuz vehicles, which hold only 3 people. The average stay is 6 months, with 3 people leaving and being replaced every 3 months. 

     We were able to view the Operation Center.


     There were live feeds from the Space Station. Here you can see the Russian ships at their dock. 


     In case of emergency the astronauts can leave the station on these two vehicles. 

     Here is a live view of the Earth from the Station.


     The Marshall Space Flight Center is also developing the next rockets


     As well as the vehicle and propulsion system that will take man to Mars in 2030.