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Take a Stroll Through the Past

Everywhere you look in the charming city of Meridian, Mississippi, there is a little slice of history. Whether it’s a hospital used to care for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, the site of a boycott in support of African-American rights, or the birthplace of legendary musicians, the sights of this truly Southern city will captivate visitors.


Whatever brings you to our neck of the woods, this helpful guide will introduce you to Meridian’s many historical places, artistic offerings and outdoor activities.


Historical Streets and Trails

The town of Meridian is over 150 years old and filled with rich history from the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the beginnings of country music. There are nine historical preservation districts including downtown Meridian, and three themed historic trails that lead visitors on an interesting journey through the past.


Meridian’s position at the crossing of two railroads made the city vulnerable to attacks during the Civil War. The Civil War Trail leads visitors to the railroad junction where General William T. Sherman entered Meridian with the intent of destroying the Confederate’s valuable supply line. The trail’s highlights include the Merrehope mansion and Whitfield “Big Central” High School, the site of a Confederate hospital during the war.


Mississippi was at the center of many changes during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Meridian’s Civil Rights Trail acknowledges the struggles and achievements of the era. Historical markers include the sites of several boycotts and sit-ins, as well as many churches that housed powerful activists. The Musical Legacy Trail explores the heritage of several celebrated local musicians, and the rich tradition of rhythm and blues, soul, and country music in the city.


Highland Park

Even if you’re not a country music fan, you don’t want to miss out on the fascinating history surrounding the “Father of Country Music,” Jimmie Rodgers. The legendary musician was born and raised in Meridian. The Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Museum, located in the historic district of Highland Park, displays memorabilia of his life and career, including his original guitar.


After a day at the museum, catch a ride on the Highland Park Dentzel Carousel, a national historical landmark. This beautiful carousel has been operating since 1909, and is the only remaining two-row stationary Dentzel menagerie in the world. No matter what your age, you won’t want to miss out on this timeless attraction.


Artistic Endeavors

Around Town Carousels Abound

»Historical Preservation Districts
»Civil Rights Trail
»Musical Legacy Trail
»Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Museum
»Highland Park Dentzel Carousel
»Around Town Carousels Abound
»Hope Village for Children
»Meridian Museum of Art
»MSU Riley Center
»Seasonal Schedule / MSU Riley Center
»Bonita Lakes
»Okatibbee Lake
»Dunn's Falls
»Bonita Lakes Mall
»Meridian / Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau