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Group seeks to work with others to further preserve area’s history of places, people

Vicksburg’s historical heritage is rich, and it’s of value to our community in many ways.

Tourists to our area seek to be a part of that history, and preserving it for visitors is important to our economy.

However, historic preservation is simply the right thing to do.

This spring a group of residents here came together and formed the Heritage Guild of Vicksburg, which seeks to work with the school district, city and county government and other groups here to preserve the history of Vicksburg and Warren County.

Carol McMillin, Dinah Lazor and Joyce Clingan told the story of the guild to Vicksburg Lions on Thursday.

The group, once formed, researched how similar groups in other cities continued historic preservation during economic downturns, when neighborhoods became run down and when home prices were depreciated. Specifically, the Vicksburg group studied Tupelo, Meridian, and Mobile, Ala.

From that research, the group sought to partner with the Vicksburg Warren School District to help beautify the area outside Bowmar Elementary and the Academy of Innovation. Those schools are located on historic streets in Vicksburg. The guild is seeking to team up the city’s master gardeners with Bowmar’s PTO to work on landscaping the area around the school.

The Heritage Guild also has identified the home of Vicksburg native, the late Jane Ellen McAllister, who was the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in education. Its goal is to stabilize that empty home and turn it into a museum and tutoring center with help from the Mississippi Department of Archives an History, Jackson State University alumni, as well as the city and AmeriCorps.

The guild also plans to place a marker at the location of the former Magnolia School on Speed Street.

The work of this group could be very important to our community. If you want to help, the Heritage Guild would love to have you.

Membership is $35 for an individual annually and the three told the Lions members are expected to contribute their time, labor, knowledge and resources.

The group is up to 80 members now and meets the second Monday of each month at the Nogales House, 1208 Adam St. For more information, email heritageguildvbg@aol.com.

Preserving our history isn’t easy. The more involved, the better for all of us.