The Guns of Vicksburg|[07/23/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 11, 2008


Restoration work began this week on four aging cisterns located on the site of the Old Court House Museum, and executive director Bubba Bolm said the $70,000 project wouldn’t be possible without the success of The Guns of Vicksburg, an annual fundraising event.

“Each year the support has been outstanding, and it’s grown to be our biggest fundraiser,” said Bolm. “There’s a large group of sport shooters in the community, and they love this event. It’s a few weeks before the opening of the fall dove hunt, and I think a lot of people use it to get in some practice, too.”

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The Guns of Vicksburg Old Court House Benefit Shoot, in its fourth year, will take place Aug. 9. A few weeks following, the four cisterns at the Old Court House Museum should be completely cleaned and renovated, with new plaster on the walls, new copper roofs and new bathroom fixtures. Two of the cisterns in front of the museum serve as the building’s restrooms, while one in the rear has been preserved for display and another is used for storage.

“There’s mold and mildew on the walls, chipped paint, exposed brick. The fixtures leak, and each has a different type of roof,” said Bolm. “We need a cleaner place for our tourists.”

It’s not clear when the large cisterns were built. Bolm said they were definitely on the property when the court house was completed in 1860, but it is possible they were also a part of Warren County’s first courthouse – a wood structure built on the same site in 1828 that burned down in 1857.

“The buildings are historic in their own right,” said Bolm. “They originally collected rain that fell off the courthouse roof, and it was one of the main water sources for the community.”

Along with the current cistern project, which Bolm said should be complete in about six weeks, The Guns of Vicksburg has also helped restore the courtroom in the Old Court House Museum. Nearly the entire proceeds from the first year of the event – about $14,000 – were used to replaster, repaint and fix a leaky roof in the courtroom, said former museum executive director Gordon Cotton.

The event couldn’t be a success each year without the many corporate sponsors and volunteers, said Bolm.

“There’s all kinds of work that has to go into the shoot to make it successful,” he said. “We had about 50 sponsors and 60 volunteers last year for the 180 shooters who participated. We’re still seeking volunteers for this year’s event.”

The Guns of Vicksburg skeet shoot will be at Loosa Yokena Plantation, off U.S. 61 South at Yokena. Shooting will take place from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., with trophies and prizes awarded in a variety of categories by age, gender and skill. The cost is $500 per five-member team. Lunch will be provided by Goldie’s Trail Bar-B-Q.

If you goThe Fourth Annual Guns of Vicksburg Old Court House Shoot, set for Aug. 9 at Loosa Yokena Plantation is looking for participants and volunteers. Registration forms are available at, and those looking to volunteer can call 601-636-0741. The cost to compete is $500 per five-member team. Lunch will be provided by Goldie’s Trail Bar-B-Q.