R.E. Hunt Museum & Cultural Center

The R. E. Hunt Museum & Cultural Center is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2011 and supported by alumni, volunteers and friends. R. E. Hunt opened its doors during the late 1950s–educating thousands of African American students during a time when segregation and racism plagued our society. Following school integration in 1971, R. … Continued

Robert Walker Home Site

Robert Walker, born before the Civil War, was a slave who was a house servant for the Walker family. Here, he was trained as a butler and caterer. In 1908, he opened the Queen City Hotel, the first African-American owned and operated hotel in Columbus.

Catfish Alley

Located between Main Street and College Street, Catfish Alley was a central meeting and business district for the Columbus African-American Community in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Boats would come off the river and bring various items into the city. The alley was known for the smell of delicious catfish sandwiches and the … Continued

Concord CME Church (c. 1867)

One of the oldest churches in Columbus, Concord was an African-American church established in Lowndes County in 1867. Prior to the construction of a wooden structure, the congregation met in what was called a “brush arbor,” a collection of limbs and bushes gathered under a large tree in an open grove. The first wooden structure … Continued

Dr. Theodoric V. James Home

Dr. James (believed to have been Columbus’ first African-American doctor) built this home between 1906 and 1912. It is a nice example of the Queen Anne Free Classic style in domestic architecture and is still owned by his descendants.

Horace King Bridge Site

Born as a slave of African, European, and Native American (Catawba) ancestry in Chesterfield District, South Carolina, Horace King was the most respected bridge builder in west Georgia, Alabama, and northeast Mississippi from the 1830s until the 1880s. King moved with his master, John Godwin (1798-1859), a contractor, to Girard, Alabama, a suburb of Columbus, … Continued

Missionary Union Baptist Church (c. 1833)

The Missionary Union Baptist Church, organized in 1833, is the oldest African-American church in Northeast Mississippi. Organized during the days of slavery, services were held in the afternoons on Sundays and Wednesdays in the basement of the First Baptist Church. Some of the first deacons and pastors of this church after it was organized and … Continued

W.I. Mitchell Home Site

In 1877, W.I. Mitchell became the first black principal of Union Academy, the first African-American school. Prior to becoming principal, he was also a teacher. From 1907 to 1913, he served as president of The Penny-Savings Bank, the first African-American bank in Columbus.

Penny-Savings Bank

The Penny-Savings Bank, founded in the early 1900s, was Columbus’ first African-American bank. W.I. Mitchell served as the president of the bank from 1907 to 1913. In addition to the Penny-Savings Bank, there are several other significant historical facts about this location.nnAccording to an 1873 Business Directory of downtown, the site was the location of … Continued

Queen City Hotel Site

Queen City Hotel was the center of the African-American business district in the mid-twentieth century. It was also the focus of lodging and entertainment for the African-American community. It was constructed, owned and operated in 1909 by Robert Walker, who was once a slave. The hotel played host to such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Pearl … Continued

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