Meridian Star

March 24, 2013

Stepping back in time

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     The fresh smell of spring, the rustle of a long cotton dress, the sharp click of boots on the wooden porch and the vision of a Confederate soldier standing watch were all on display Saturday in Enterprise during the Spring Pilgrimage that showcased the history of the small Clarke County town.

    Sponsored by the Enterprise Women's Club, the home tours highlighted some of the oldest residences, churches and businesses in eastern Mississippi. The event brought history to life with intimate tours led by ladies dressed in period clothing. The rich history of Enterprise leading up to the Civil War and beyond lay out for all to see and touch in the form of antiques, Civil War artifacts, and the architecture of the homes themselves.

    "This one room was the original log cabin," said Martha Buckley, as she gestured toward a comfortable bedroom at the Twin Gables home where she and her husband Lawrence Buckley live. "This was a working plantation until the end of the war."

    Established in 1834, Enterprise was once the most prominent community in Clarke County, serving as the county seat and enjoying fame as a progressive place in the antebellum period. One of the town's biggest building activities occurred just prior to the breakout of the war.

    Many of the resources dating from Enterprise's boom years have been lost due to the ravages of war and time. These losses over the years is one reason why the club wants to preserve and promote the last remaining treasures it has.

    "These tours were designed to promote Enterprise and to show our place in history," said Martha Buckley. "We are proud of our town and we wanted to show others what and who we are."

    The Frank-Kilgore House, circa 1850, is a cottage-style antebellum home located on River Road, while the Acquinisaw home is a little older, circa 1820-1830, that boasts a Greek Revival architecture along with a Queen Anne flavor. It is located on Bridge Street (Highway 513). The Twin Gables home, located at 220 South Stonewall Street, is also another fine example of the Greek Revival style of home building from the 1840s.

    St. Mary's Episcopal Church is a Gothic Revival style dating back to 1874. It is located at 106 St. John Street.

    The Twin Gables property was used during the Civil War as a headquarters for the prisoner exchange program. It is also a home where the original carriage house and chicken house still stand. The Acquinisaw home was used by Confederate officers as a headquarters.

    Money raised during the event were to go to the Enterprise Women's Club to help purchase flagpoles for the Confederate Cemetery, which was one of the tour stops. Buckley said the club also intends to use funds raised from the tour to progress their charity work within the community.