For all that you may know about the Mississippi Hills, we can just about guarantee there are some things you don't know about the region. For instance:
The Tupelo Hardware Store, with its wide plank floors and high ceilings and penny nails for sale, is very much as it was the day Elvis and Gladys came in to buy Elvis' birthday present. He wanted a shotgun, but Gladys convinced him to get a guitar instead.
At the old Toccopola (Pontotoc) School grounds you'll find a marker for Betty Love Allen. Court action over property given to her by her father Thomas Love resulted in the establishment of a Mississippi law allowing women to own property outright. It was the first law in the nation granting women such a right. (The property in question, by the way, was a slave.)
Born Virginia Wynette Pugh in Tremont, the future Tammy Wynette attended beauty school in Tupelo when she was a struggling young mother trying to make ends meet. According to country music lore, Wynette renewed her cosmetology license every year until her death because she wanted to have something 'to fall back on.'
The explorer Hernando DeSoto came through this area on his way to the Mississippi in 1540, and some three hundred years later, residents chose to honor the explorer by naming both the new county DeSoto and the new county seat Hernando. In 1845, a young Nathan Bedford Forrest, who had come to Hernando to go into business with his uncle, was also elected Hernando's constable and coroner.
The largest importer and grower of fine bonsai in the United States, Brussel's Bonsai in Olive Branch, has been a destination for serious bonsai hobbyists for more than 30 years.
The mothers of both Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner attended 'The W' [the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus], as did Pulitzer Prize-winner Eudora Welty.