3 on the Road: The Oaks WWI - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 on the Road: The Oaks WWI

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

This is a year for anniversaries. Not only is this the 200th anniversary of Mississippi becoming a state, it is the 100th anniversary of the United States entering the First World War.

Somehow the Oaks, the oldest house in Jackson, seems to be the appropriate place to have celebrations about things that happened a long time ago. Although the Oaks was the home of James Boyd, Mayor of Jackson during the Civil War, it has World War One connections, also.

“And then also one of the Boyd grandsons, the couple who built the house, their grandson served in World War One, in Belgium,” said Oaks House Museum Director Beth Batton.

The World War One commemoration at the Oaks was a chance to sing old songs that came out during the war and to show old family treasures that may have been stored away for decades. One participant had a real treasure, a wrist watch from the war.

“But this is when the wristwatch became popular, ‘Cause you couldn’t go to battle with your pocket watch.” added Batton.

There are other Mississippi associations with World War One. The figures on the front of the War memorial Building in downtown Jackson depict World War One. Actually, they are supposed to be the different phases of the life of the same person going from peace to war to peace.

And Camp Shelby, south of Hattiesburg, was a direct result of the U.S. entering World War One. It is a hundred years old this year, too, and has one of the finest museums of its kind in the nation, commemorating all of the wars Mississippians have been involved in, including the First World.

But it was at The Oaks in Jackson 100 years and a day after we entered the war that stories were told and songs were sung and mementos were shown of how the war shaped the generation who fought in it.

“But I’ll tell you one thing about my dad. He never liked to leave home. He got back to Lowndes County, he got back to Rock Hill, which was the name of the place that we were born and raised on and he would go to graduations, he would go to funerals, he would go to weddings, but when the day was done he liked to be back at home,” is the way one family's story goes.

It was the war to end all wars. Too bad it didn’t. But at least after a hundred years, it has mostly filtered down to cherished memories and peppy tunes.

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