West End District of Hernando
Founded in 1900 by the North Mississippi Baptist Educational Convention, the college was the first school in DeSoto County to offer instruction through grade twelve to African Americans and one of the earliest private schools for African Americans in north Mississippi. The school closed in 1960.
400 West Park St
Open year round
This Blues Marker honors Hernando musicians Gus Cannon, Jim Jackson and Robert Wilkins, who helped establish Memphis as a major blues center in the 1920s.
Gus Cannon was born in nearby Red Banks in 1883 or 1884 and buried in 1979 in Hernando. Gus was a banjo player who also “played the jug.” He wrote and first recorded the song, “Walk Right In,” which became a number one hit in 1963 for the Greenwich Village folk group, the Rooftop Singers.
Jim Jackson was born in Hernando in 1878, placing him among the earliest-born artists to record blues. His most famous song, “Jim Jackson’s Kansas City Blues,” was widely covered by other artists. Jackson died in Memphis in 1933.
Robert Wilkins first met Gus Cannon and Jim Jackson in 1912 while they were performing together at Mary Cotton’s Place in the West End of Hernando. Wilkins recorded eight singles including “Rolling Stone.” In the late 1930s, Wilkins became a Church of God in Christ minister and in the 1960s, he began performing his blues-inflected gospel music on the blues revival circuit. He remade his blues recording “That’s No Way to Get Along” into the gospel song “Prodigal Son,” which was subsequently covered by the Rolling Stones on their Beggars Banquet album.
Located in the Old Hernando Memorial Cemetery
2846 Magnolia Drive
Open year round from dawn to dusk
Hernando Memorial Cemetery has one of the state’s oldest monuments dedicated to the Confederate dead, erected shortly after the War Between the States in 1875. Hernando Memorial Cemetery has the largest number of Confederate graves in DeSoto County with 100 marked graves and a mass grave for 60 soldiers.
2535 Hwy 51 South
Open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm
The DeSoto County Courthouse is the anchor of Hernando square, designated as a Mississippi Landmark, was built in 1942 after the previous French Castle courthouse burned in 1940. Learn the history of famed Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto, who explored this area in 1541 – 1542, through the restored paintings that depict Hernando DeSoto’s voyage to discover the Mississippi river.
DeSoto County Genealogical Society Library
3260 Hwy 51 South
Email: msgwsc [at] gmail [dot] com
111 East Commerce Street
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am - 5pm
Explore the history of DeSoto County from the early Native Americans who once lived in the area through Civil War battles that affected DeSoto County. The museum provides education programs, as well as modern day information on all the cities in DeSoto County, including celebrities from the area such as John Grisham and Jerry Lee Lewis. Browse the 1840's restored log cabin. Free Admission.
3685 I-55 South
Open seven days a week, 8am-5pm
DeSoto County Welcome Center architecture reflects the antebellum South, including details such as moldings, trim and brickwork common to the antebellum period. A great place to find out about current events, activities, news and also pick up brochures and guides about all of the interesting and exciting destinations in DeSoto County and Mississippi.
The Welcome Center staff stands ready to answer any questions you have and can even help you make lodging reservations. They also offer wireless internet connections. For more information, call 662-429-9969.
Oak Grove M.B. Church Cemetery
2451 Hwy 51 South
Open year round
Born in 1874, Gus Cannon was an American blues musician who played the banjo and “played the jug” and who helped to popularize jug bands (such as his own Cannon's Jug Stompers) in the 1920s and 1930s. He wrote and first recorded the song, “Walk Right In,” which became a number one hit for the Greenwich Village folk group, the Rooftop Singers in 1963.
NW corner Oak Grove Road and Robinson Gin Road
Open year round
DeSoto County's oldest cemetery, established in 1836. By the time of the last major yellow fever outbreak in 1878, there were hundreds of graves, many or most unmarked today. Only six monuments date after 1900. A historical reenactment of people buried in the cemetery takes place each year, close to Halloween.
For additional information about the history of Springhill Cemetery, visit www.springhillfriends.org/HISTORY.htm
Sunday, April 27th
Confederate Memorial Service and Picnic
Wednesday, May 7th
11:00am - 1:00pm
DeSoto County Welcome Center Tourism Appreciation Day
Tuesday, June 10th
Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall