Saturday, May 28, 2022

Hotty Toddy Hometown: Charleston, Mississippi

Photo: Citydata.com
Photo: Citydata.com

Charleston is a small town in Mississippi located in the heart of Tallahatchie county.

With a population of about 2,100 people, Charleston has birthed some pretty famous names through the years such as actor Morgan Freeman, singer Mose Allen, former Lt. Gov. Brad Dye and former NFL running back Eldra Buckley.

Founded in 1833, Charleston is named after Charleston, South Carolina, which was founded in  1670. The land where Charleston, Mississippi sits today is the former land of Greenwood LeFlore, a Choctaw chief. After the town was built, it became one of two seats of Tallahatchie county and a courthouse was built.

Today, Charleston is still a thriving town with local businesses surrounding its court square and beyond.

Charleston's Gateway to the Delta Festival. Photo: Kelly Paris
Charleston’s Gateway to the Delta Festival. Photo: Kelly Paris

For five consecutive years, the town has hosted the annual Gateway to the Delta Festival on the court square. The festival is like a big homecoming for many families and class reunions from the Charleston High School and other Tallahatchie schools. Dozens of tents are lined in the front of the Tallahatchie county courthouse, with several different types of clothing, art or food vendors circling the rest of the square. This years festival included a 5k run, silent auction and and a photography contest, according to the festival’s website.

The community of Charleston is also involved in the arts. The Charleston Arts and Revitalization Effort, Inc. (CARE) was founded in 2003 to help the economy of the town and to promote the heritage. Joe Wrenn, is local artist from Charleston, and has work featured in Oxford, Mississippi. He had his first art show with CARE. Wrenn was founded by Dr. Ed Meek (University of Mississippi’s namesake for the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and Charleston native).

Photo: Jordan McAlister
Photo: Jordan McAlister

With being only about 1.6 square miles, Charleston is one of those hometowns where anyone can feel at home. On any day of the week you can walk into the convenient store on the edge of town and see a group of retired gentlemen playing a game of dominoes (and discussing all news around town), walk the side walks and pass former mayor, Robert Rowe, getting his exercise, pass your “momma and them” while you drive to Super Value grocery store to get your “fixins” for the night or go the Crisswell store to visit with Mrs. Elva Jean.

I am a delta girl, raised in the flat lands of Mississippi, but Charleston is one of those places that I quickly warmed up to and now call my home. Come see us sometime!


10959529_10200333352094570_8452922065948804563_n Emily Newton is a staff reporter for hottytoddy.com and the editor of Experience Oxford magazine. She is a recent graduate of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media of Ole Miss. She can be reached at emily.newton@hottytoddy.com. 

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