Many travelers may think of Corinth, Mississippi, as a convenient place to stop for a quick break when traveling from North Alabama to Memphis, Tennessee, via Highway 72, but a longer visit reveals much more. Corinth is the site of some very significant events that occurred during the Civil War. Restaurants with historical roots lure diners for upscale meals, hot tamales or the unusual Slugburger which originated in Corinth. Attractive shops line the downtown square, and a few blocks away you’ll find a shop in a building that was formerly an Episcopal church. A collection of vintage motorcycles and a museum of Coca-Cola memorabilia are also noteworthy. Keep reading to learn about 5 surprising reasons to visit Corinth.
A prominent place in Civil War history
For Civil War history buffs, the first stop in Corinth should be the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center at 501 W. Linden Street. This 15,000 sq. ft. (1393.5 square meters) facility is one of the newest visitors centers in the National Park Service system. The emotional displays depict a 6-month period in 1862, when the focus of the Civil War was largely on Corinth because of the important intersection of two railways within its town boundaries. The walkway leading into the building is strewn with bronze replicas of objects the soldiers left behind in the aftermath of the Battle of Corinth. A large water feature at the rear of the building depicts a significant portion of American history.
The Crossroads Museum, at 221 North Fillmore Street, is housed within the historic depot where the Mobile & Ohio and Memphis & Charleston railroads intersected.
The Verandah Curlee House, at 705 Jackson Street, is the city’s only house museum. It is the site where Confederate generals met to plan their attack on Union soldiers who were marching toward Corinth.
The Corinth Contraband Camp, at 902 North Parkway, is another informative site. It was established to honor the newly-freed slaves who were sheltered in Corinth in 1862.
Just a short drive from Corinth, you’ll find the Shiloh National Military Park where you can explore the grounds where the Battle of Shiloh took place, a battle that was at the time the bloodiest battle ever fought in United States history. Within the grounds is the Shiloh National Cemetery where over 3500 Civil War soldiers are buried. Maps for driving tours through the extensive grounds are available.
Anyone interested in these critical years of American history will find much to learn and explore in Corinth.
Unique regional cuisine
Slugburgers and tamales may be two of the most unusual foods to sample in Corinth. Don’t worry. No slugs are involved in the making of slugburgers. Instead, the name for this hamburger look-alike is derived from its original cost which was only a nickel (0.05 USD), and the nickname for a nickel was a “slug.” Borroum’s Drug Store on the square in downtown Corinth is where these burgers originated. Plan to enjoy one of Borroum’s old-fashioned sodas or milkshakes to go with your slugburger.
Dilworth’s Tamales has been serving hungry folks via its drive-through window since 1962. Their tamales are available in hot or mild versions, and you can buy a dozen for only 4 USD.
Smith Restaurant (often written with a lowercase “s” and followed by a period), Pizza Grocery and Vicari are other great restaurants in downtown Corinth. All are in repurposed buildings that have been converted into stunning eateries.
Large collection of vintage motorcycles
Lake Hill Motors, visible on a hill while traveling through Corinth on Highway 72, is worth a stop, even if you’re not in the market for an all-terrain vehicle or a motorcycle. Owner Dwayne McLemore has amassed an astounding number of vintage motorcycles since he started collecting them thirty years ago, and he can tell fascinating stories about all of them. Even more amazing is the fact that everyone of the motorcycles is operational. McLemore calls it the Bike Museum, and it’s one of Corinth’s many surprises.
Coca-Cola and Corinth have had a close association for over 100 years. The formula or recipe for Coca-Cola didn’t originate in Corinth, but the products have been bottled there for generations. During those years, hundreds of memorabilia, advertising pieces and drink machines have been collected and are now on display in the Coca-Cola Museum across the street from the bottling plant.
Admission is free, but it is a good idea to contact the website to let them know when you plan to visit. By the way, the Coke floats they serve are so refreshing. The recipe for those is simple – vanilla ice cream and Coke.
Quaint local shops
Within the main streets of the downtown area, visitors will find a number of specialty shops. Some favorites include Rowan House, Lipchic, Taylor Wick & Co., t.feazell and Shirley Dawgs.
A few blocks away are two more that are worth the drive. Sanctuary is a home decor and gift shop housed in a former Episcopal church. Although it has been extensively remodeled, the building still contains many noticeable liturgical touches. Next door is Kate & Co. at the Cottage, a beautiful gift shop and florist full of seasonal, party and game-themed decor.
Corinth is ready to surprise its visitors
Many people just travel the main highway on the outskirts of Corinth without digging deeper into what the town has to offer. They’re missing a treat. The area is filled with historical importance, but the quirky museums, the attractive shops and the great food deserve to be browsed and sampled.
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