Walt's Look Around: Town of Greensboro - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Town of Greensboro

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CHOCTAW COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

You have to look closely because it's so overgrown, but this sunken place out behind the Old Greensboro Cemetery was once one of the most important roads in north Mississippi, intersecting with roads that went from Winona to Starkville and elsewhere. There is still a Greensboro street in Starkville. That's the other end of the same road.

The old roadbed is right behind the old Greensboro Cemetery. This was THE cemetery until General Brantley was assassinated in 1870 and was buried elsewhere. After that, people pretty much wanted to be buried near the General, so they started another cemetery.

Greensboro had a rough reputation. Lots of feuds and drunks shooting people off their horses just to hear the thud when they hit the ground. After that they outlawed liquor in Greensboro. The village of Bucksnort immediately formed just outside town who's only trade was alcohol and gamboling.

But it's peaceful in Greensboro, now. That happens after a town is deserted and becomes extinct. And THAT happened because Choctaw County was divided again and Greensborough, the old county seat, ended up in present-day Webster County with no status. Then the railroad went south of Greensboro through Tomnolen and Eupora. And people moved away.

As we were leaving the old Greensboro Cemetery, I saw these. These are a particular kind of grave marker that I had seen in only one other cemetery before in my life, Oak Grove Cemetery way up in Itawamba County where many of my ancestors on mama's side of the family are buried.

They've always been a curiosity to me. Some kind of pottery with a salt glaze and cobalt blue lettering. And the markings on them have held up remarkably well considering many of the stone markers of their era are hardly legible anymore.

Seeing the ones here in Greensboro prompted me to give a whack looking them up on the Internet. Didn't find much. They may have been originally made by some potters in Tremont, east of Fulton, which would explain their presence in Itawamba County.

Although you can still read them, otherwise they didn't hold up all that well, especially the bases. But usually all the pieces are still near the graves they were to mark. And in at least one case, the broken base back at Oak Grove was a shelter for a bird's nest. Giving a whole new meaning to life after death.

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