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Southern Shorts

Told You So

Stone County's “Told-You-So-Tours” (www.stonecounty.com/PDFs/SCED-009_Rack_Card.pdf) of Wiggins, MS, fields country-focused touring options including: The Pecan House, Bodine’s Pottery, Serendipity (an antique store and deli featuring story tellers), the G&M Goat Farm and, just added this year, a dairy farm called Country Girl Creamery.

Preserving the Past

Photo of the Old Live Oak City Hall in Live Oak, FL.

America has preserved many of its historic courthouses and city halls. Among them is this beautiful Old Suwannee County Courthouse in Live Oak, FL.

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Americana & Nostalgia
Southern Chautauqua: DeFuniak Springs, FL

When the railroad steamed into NW Florida in the 1880s, DeFuniak Springs -- sporting a large, perfectly round lake fed by natural springs -- became a popular winter home for those seeking a warm getaway. The new community embraced the Chatauqua movement and celebrated learning, art, culture, politics and recreation. Today, more than 150 homes and buildings are on the National Historic Register and the Chatauqua spirit remains.
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Victorian Rugby: Americana with a British Flair

Seeking a slice of Americana with a decidedly British aura? Then head for tiny Rugby, a restored Victorian town in east Tennessee's Cumberland Mountains. Boasting 20 structures from the 1880s including gingerbread homes, a picturesque church (see the photo at left), an old school and historic library, the village is a Victorian treasure trove. Join Knoxville-based freelance writer Katy Koontz for a snapshot of this enchanting village.
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Snapshots in Time: The Murals of Dothan, AL

Nestled in southeastern Alabama is Dothan, land of peanuts and cotton. This city is home to the National Peanut Festival and a collection of original murals painted on downtown buildings. View our photos showcasing these lovely murals. From the Spanish explorer DeSoto to the women of the South, from the Tuskegee Airmen to a native American Indian chief, the murals are street art on a grand scale. HIGHLY GRAPHIC INTENSIVE: Be patient on the load!
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PHOTOLOGUE: Biedenharn Coca Cola Museum, Vicksburg

If you love the taste of Coca Cola, you'll be interested to know that the refreshing beverage was first bottled in Vicksburg, MS, in what is the old Biedenharn Candy Company building. Located in the city's historic area, it's a unique building with a slew of Coca Cola collectibles. If you have a half hour, stop in. It's a small but rewarding museum!
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Rock City: 75 Years of Old-Fashioned Fun

My parents raved about Rock City for decades. I just couldn't quite "get" the stories of rocks, rope bridges and fairytale characters. So when I visited Chattanooga one day on a business trip, I thought I'd take a look.

The thing about Rock City is that it grows on you. The more you stay, admiring the views from the Rock, enjoying the crevices and paths through the rocks, and touring caverns with fairytale vignettes, the more you appreciate it. .

This year Rock City turns 75. We take a look at the tried-and-true attraction, where it's been, where it's going... and at the kids of all ages who have had fun along the way...
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Exploring Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's Cross Creek

"Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain, to the sun and the seasons, to the cosmic secrecy of seed, and beyond all, to time," Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote in the last line of "The Yearling." Today's visitors who explore the area and Rawlings' farmhouse in the north FL countryside will still find those natural elements in abundance. You may also tour her 1930s farm, stroll within the orange groves she so loved, and peruse the typewriter (shown at left) she used to poignantly write about life in rural FL.
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Coal Baron Mansions & Oktoberfest in Bramwell, WV

From the 1880s through the 1920s, Bramwell, WV, was a booming coal town with at least 13 millionnaire residents. Coal was the nation's prime energy source. Business was booming.

More than a century later, Bramwell is no longer the center of the corporate universe. But it's a fun, low-key town. The locals eagerly welcome visitors and enjoy telling them about the town's heyday.

Fortunately, many mansions built by the coal barons during the country's "Gilded Age" have survived, many in excellent condition. Twice yearly, the community offers elegant home tours.

Visitors also might peruse an interpretive center housed in a re-creation of the town's former train depot. Popular annual events include a summer theater festival and Oktoberfest.

Let's step back into the past for a snapshot of Bramwell, an American original and a town listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Photologue: West Virginia's Covered Bridges

Covered bridges stir up emotions and imagery of the past. They're reminiscent of a simpler time in America when roadways were uncrowded and a Model T or horse-and-buggy rig was the only way to get around.

In West Virginia, many of these historic bridges remain. Click "read more" to peruse a photographic sample of the state's most picturesque covered bridges, courtesy of the West Virginia Division of Tourism.
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It's Showtime at the South's Grand Dame Theaters

In the latter part of the 20th century, historic theaters in many downtown areas of the U.S. South had fallen into disrepair as Americans flocked to modern shopping malls and movie complexes. Many majestic theaters were destroyed.

Thankfully, though, some grand dame theaters were saved, lovingly restored and, in some cases, reconstructed. Freelance writer Kathy Witt of Taylor Mill, KY, takes us on a tour of several in different states around the South.

So dim the house lights. Let the show begin.
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Pomp & Precision: The Citadel's Dress Parade

The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, has a long, storied history. Its cadets were first to fire on an 1860s-era steamer trying to supply Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. That became the first overt action of the War Between the States (Civil War to you northerners!). Today, The Citadel fields colorful pomp, pride and precision in its Dress Parade. Join us for the free, educational and entertaining show!
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Fayetteville, NC: All American City
No southern city is more proud to be an American city than Fayetteville, NC. Home to Fort Bragg, the world's biggest military airborne base, as well as Pope Air Force Base, the city is home to thousands of patriots. It's been that way since the city's founding. Even Lafayette was here! Fayetteville is the only city named for the Marquis de LaFayette that the French hero actually visited. With superb military history attractions, Fayetteville also fields a botanical garden, historic downtown, colorful festivals and a strong arts focus. Let's explore Americana in action!
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