Holly Springs and Vicinity

-A A +A

Holly Springs grew along a stagecoach line and then was made the county seat when the state legislature created Marshall County in 1836. What had been a linear development became a courthouse-square plan when new blocks were laid out. Marshall County became north Mississippi’s most prosperous agricultural area during the antebellum period, and Holly Springs was its principal trading center. In 1858, the Mississippi Central Railroad arrived, and its depot anchored another locus of development almost a mile east of the courthouse square. During the Civil War, Union and Confederate forces fought repeatedly over the same local ground, with the most destructive event being Confederate general Earl Van Dorn’s much-celebrated cavalry raid of Union stores in 1862. The Jones-McIlwain Foundry, which stood some distance northeast of the square and produced a wide variety of cast-iron architectural items, became a Confederate arsenal and thus was destroyed by Union troops. The regional plantation economy never recovered after the war, and a yellow fever epidemic in 1878 further depleted the town’s population. Holly Springs’s pilgrimage of homes began in 1939, and beginning in 2013 “Behind the Big House” tours introduced visitors to the antebellum slave quarters and service buildings that survive in many rear and side yards.

Writing Credits

Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.