Schedule for Behind the Big House Now Posted

New This Year!!

Archaeological Digging
Dr. Carolyn Friewald, Professor of Anthropology & Archaeology at the Universality of Mississippi will conduct field studies of the domestic lives of slaves during the tour; particularly around the food preparation areas. The excavation will take place on the grounds of the Hugh Craft house to study the domestic lives and eating habits of the Craft family’s slaves and by association, the Crafts themselves.
Culinary Interpretations
Michael Twitty, culinary historian and interpreter studies antebellum cooking methods and ingredients in a given historical context to recreate the blending of African cooking traditions and what was native to the land. Twitty will discuss the cooks of antebellum kitchens; and enslaved people’s cabins for their unique role in giving the South her mother cuisine. Twitty will conduct food demonstrations throughout the tour.

The education tour is offered free to the public, thanks to grant assistance from the Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Development Authority/Tourism Division and Holly Springs Tourism; and donations from Friends of Behind the Big House Tour.

The Behind the Big House Education Project is sponsored by Preserve Marshall County and Holly Springs. To schedule a school or group, go to or call the Marshall County Historical Museum, 662-252-3669.

On Tour April 8-12
• The Magnolias – 1852, 305 Craft Street, Holly Springs, Slaves’ quarter and detached kitchen, heavily rebuilt in modern interior/exterior renovations
• Burton Place – 1848, 248 South Memphis Street, Holly Springs, Slaves’ quarters and detached kitchen built of brick masonry with three rooms en tandem; in a preserved state
• Hugh Craft House -1851, 184 South Memphis Street, Holly Springs,  Slaves’ quarters and detached kitchen (ca. 1843), originally built for an earlier home on this site and retained by the Crafts.

Wednesday, April 08th:

  • 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM – Craft House: Set up for Michael Twitty & excavation squares; All day: School groups at the Magnolias (orientation); Burton Place (Joseph McGill); Craft House (Michael Twitty)
  • 12:00 PM – Lunch break
  • 7:00 PM – Michael Twitty presents at Southern Foodways Alliance at Center for Southern Studies in Oxford.

Thursday, April 09th:

  • 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM – All day: School groups orientation at Magnolias: Burton Place (Joseph McGill); Craft House (Michael Twitty)
  • 12:00 PM – Lunch break

Friday, April 10th:

  • 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM– All day: School groups orientation at Magnolias orientation; Burton Place (Joseph Mc Gill); Craft House (Michael Twitty)
  • 12:00 PM – Lunch break

Saturday, April 11th:

  • 10:00 AM– 12:30 PM- Joseph McGill at Magnolias; Michael at Craft House
  • 12:00 PM – Lunch Break
  • 1:00 – 2:15 PM – Michael presents @ Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum
  • 1:00 – 2:15 PM – Joseph at Craft House
  • 2:30 – 4:00 PM – Joseph McGill at Magnolias & Michael Twitty at Hugh Craft House

Sunday, 12th April:

  • PMCHS Volunteers staff at the three tour sites of the program

Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs, Inc. (501c3) formed in 2005 with the hope of bringing historic preservation advocacy and educational outreach to the community. As one of our inaugural undertakings we acquired Chalmers Institute and are currently working to not only pay off the bank note on the property but to stabilize and eventually rehabilitate Chalmers Institute into regional resource once more. Constructed in 1837, Chalmers Institute, was Mississippi’s first legislatively recognized University. Within these walls countless leaders, writers, educators, and citizens received the educational foundations that would help to shape their lives, careers, and region’s history. Its enrollment actively continued until 1879 when it became another casualty of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878. This proud structure entered its second life as residence until the 1980s. It now awaits its third life as a contributing member of the community with your help.