Itawamba County Times
FULTON – This weekend has been one for the history books in Fulton.
On Saturday, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History unveiled six markers for historical sites in the city. Each marker details a little bit about the location, including its history and importance.
Sites that received historical markers included the campus of Itawamba Community College, which opened in 1948 and has since grown into one of the state’s most prominent community colleges; Fulton Grammar School, which served as the city’s elementary school for nearly 60 years; the site of Fulton’s first church, now home to Christ the King Catholic Church; two of the city’s oldest homes: Aeolian Grove and The Cedars; and a final marker on the county court square to denote the history of Fulton itself.
As part of the unveiling event, most of the sites were open for tours. Volunteers dressed as some of Fulton’s most prominent historical figures. Many downtown businesses also were decorated with old photographs of their buildings.
Unveiling events kicked off at 1 p.m. at Itawamba Community College and continued throughout the afternoon. Attendees were transported from site-to-site, and a short presentation was given at each.
More than 70 people attended the inaugural marker unveiling at the ICC campus, including members of the 1950 graduating class, the community college’s first. Throughout the day, attendees came and went, picking and choosing which unveiling ceremony to attend based on personal connection or general interest in the location.
“Each marker is very different and very significant, and the history of each location is so different,” said Judge Sharion Aycock during the opening presentation. Aycock headed the event’s planning committee and is largely responsible for getting the ball rolling on the project.
“It has been a long process, but seeing you all here today makes it worthwhile,” Aycock said.
Aileen de la Torre, representative with the MDAH, said Fulton was on the forefront of Mississippi communities making strides in historical preservation.
“The sun is shining on Fulton today, even if the sun isn’t shining on Fulton today,” de la Torre said, referencing the weather.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History founded the State Historical Marker program in 1949 as a way to identify and promote historically significant sites. Since then, about 900 markers have been erected.