Turkey Creek Achieves Historic Designation

Residents of Turkey Creek filled Mt. Pleasant sanctuary for the long awaited celebration.

"And this community, we have done a lot of praying, a lot of fasting and a lot of hard work for this very occasion," said Kim Thompson, who introduced the program.

The occasion is national recognition of Turkey Creek and its addition to the National Register of Historic Places.

Modest homes now fill this community, which was organized by freed slaves just after the Civil War. Turkey Creek was nominated to the National Register two years ago.

"A community that will lead the way for us to see what can happen to your home, to your property, and to your community, if you care," said state representative Frances Fredericks.

Marlon Hines bought a historic home in Turkey Creek in the 1980s. He told the group that generations of ancestors are a part of the celebration.

"I'm sure there are some graves that are moving. And that movement is not due to that they are irritable, but they are trying to lift their hands and praise God from whom all blessings flow," he said.

Many are credited with helping Turkey Creek achieve national historic recognition. It had already made the Mississippi Heritage Trust's list of most endangered historic places.

"And we recognize that Turkey Creek was such a unique community and was such a wonderful community that needed to be on the list because we felt that if something wasn't done, it would be lost," said David Priziosi.

Rev. Calvin Jackson, the pastor of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, spoke about the progress that's been made over the years since the community was settled.

"And I never was shamed of my fore parents being slaves. I want to tell you that I felt good about it. Why? Because I measured from slavery up until now," he proclaimed.

That "now" is a proud moment for the pastor and his beloved community.

"This historic district has been entered on the National Register of Historic Places," said Hank Holmes, the director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

His reading of the formal proclamation was greeted with thunderous applause.

Federal grant money distributed through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History is helping restore the community. More than $400,000 has been awarded to help fund seven projects in Turkey Creek.