...to the Historic Village! From the Council House Cafe to the Carriage House, each building showcases a piece of history right alongside the Natchez Trace.
Enjoy a self-guided tour around the boardwalk that winds through the historic buildings and out-cabins and meet local volunteers at the Alumni Museum who will tell you fascinating tales of the good ol' days in French Camp. You'll also find fascinating antiques in the Col. James Drane Home and watch creative art in the Children of God Pottery Studio.
Old-fashioned horse and buggy tours are available by reservation. Call 662-547-6657 or click here to reserve your tour.
So stop by and join us for a day at the Historic Village - we'd love to have you!
This “must see” building in the Historic District is circa 1885. Built approximately three miles north of Kilmichael, Mississippi, on Reed Creek in Montgomery County by Francis Asbury Allen, this dogtrot cabin was occupied by members of the Allen family until the late 1920s. The cabin was donated to FCA by Mr. and Mrs. Homer Sledge of Cleveland, Mississippi, whose mother and aunt had grown up in the house. Today, it contains a unique collection of primitive antiques, farm tools, charming ladies’ dresses, old photographs and memorabilia gathered during the 125-year history of French Camp Academy. It was opened and dedicated May 26, 2001.
Would you like to volunteer at the Alumni Museum?
We have been blessed by many faithful volunteers since the Alumni Museum opened. If you would like to be a volunteer greeter, please contact Lance Ragsdale in the Welcome Center at (662) 547-9464.
The Blacksmith Shop
As you continue, you’ll pass the Blacksmith Shop. A blacksmith’s skills were vital in frontier areas. He forged tools, hinges, nails, wagon wheels and shoes for horses and made repairs. Here, the smith still uses coal and the legendary tools of the trade: bellows, anvil, vise, hammer and tongs.
Restored French Camp Post Office
In the early 1990s, the town of French Camp, Mississippi, decided it was time to replace the old post office that had served the community for more than 70 years. The old Post Office was relocated to the Historic District, and after repainting and restoration, the building has a new home and a new purpose. Today it serves as the Children of God Pottery Studio. Stop by for an educational visit with the potter. Children of God Pottery can be purchased in the Log Cabin Gift Shop.
The Drane House
This antebellum home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Construction of the home, one of the first frame houses built in Choctaw County, began in 1845 about seven miles from French Camp, using a water-powered saw. The 60-foot foundation beams are heart pine secured by wooden pegs, and the frame of the house was secured by square iron nails. The Drane home contains four rooms on the first floor and three rooms on the second, with the floors being connected by both inside and outside stairways. It was the residence of one of the county’s earliest politicians, Colonel James Drane. He served in the Mississippi State Legislature as a state representative, as a senator and as president of the Mississippi State Senate from 1851 to 1865. In 1981, the home was dismantled board by board by FCA staff and students, who carefully cataloged and numbered the pieces, even saving the chimney bricks and nails. Under the direction of Jack Johnson, a team consisting of Don Ainsworth, Robert Pickett, Charles Rich, Kevin Cannon and many others carefully reassembled the pieces at the current site. In the restoration, colors prevalent in the Civil War era were used. The home has been furnished with antiques donated by friends of the academy. Today you can see handmade quilts being stitched together piece by piece in this historic house. (Facts and text taken from A Treasure on the Trace – The French Camp Story, 1996, Franklin Press, Inc., Baton Rouge, Louisiana.)
Enclosed in a glass room on the front of this B & B cabin is an 1800s carriage once owned by Greenwood LeFlore, son of Louis LeFleur, and on loan to French Camp Academy. Imagine a long journey in this carriage from French Camp to Washington, DC, with Choctaw Chief Greenwood LeFlore. The purpose of his journey was to finalize terms of The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 during the presidency of Andrew Jackson. That treaty was the last major land secession treaty the Choctaws signed. After the treaty was ratified by the U.S. Congress in 1831, it allowed the Mississippi Choctaws to become the first major non-European ethnic group to to officially gain U.S. citizenship. The Choctaws wanted to have a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, but that never became a reality. Despite that, Greenwood LeFlore did serve in the State of Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate.
If you are feeling hungry, press on toward the end of the District and enjoy a hearty meal at the Council House Café.