interior of old oakland school building
Marking Our Histor y & Heritage lasting tributes to legends
ississippi historical and cultural markers serve visitors and residents alike in Itawamba County. For our visitors these markers could possibly be their only glimpse into Itawamba County’s rich history and musical heritage, and they are points of pride for the various communities. From the city of Fulton to the fertile valleys along the Tombigbee River and the beautiful hills of the eastern edge of the county, these monuments stand as a silent lasting tribute to the legacy left to the country by Itawambians.
Oakland Normal Institute The oldest state historical marker in the county today memorializes Oakland Normal Institute. Located on State Highway 23 north of Tremont at Oakland road, this marker was erected during 1955 and sponsored by the Oakland Reunion Committee. Oakland Normal Institute was a private academy located at Yale in the present-day Oakland community. Established in 1887 by brothers G.A. and J.T. Holley, this private academy provided students with a classical
education, teaching such courses as art and Latin as well as business and education. Many graduates of this school became successful business people all over the mid-South. According to a monument at the school site, “his academy brought the torch of light to thousands of youths who otherwise would have remained in darkness.” The academy closed in 1904 and the site became a county school, also known as Oakland. oakland normal institute mississippi historical landmark marker
Van Buren In the Van Buren community stands the Van Buren state historical marker. Sponsored by the Itawamba Historical Society, this marker was erected in 1987. Van Buren was a bustling river port on the Tombigbee with more than a dozen stores, a boat landing to haul the cotton from the fertile Itawamba County bottomlands, and a town cemetery where the pioneer citizens of the town were laid to rest. By 1840 it had become the largest village in Itawamba County. At one time more than 400 settlers of the Itawamba frontier called this river port home. The people had named their town in honor of the leader of the United States at the time — Martin Van Buren, the eighth president. By about 1850, the village turned into a ghost town almost overnight. Some people say the railroad built some miles west of the village caused the old river town to decay. People moved west to Verona in order to be near the new Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Others removed to the village of Richmond, several miles southwest. www.itawamba.com
Itawamba County, MS 2012 Guide