New tourism marker in place

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 5/10/2013 10:41 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - It's the sign of a new era in Tupelo where Elvis remains king but from now on, he will have to share center stage.

"It's a story that should have been told long ago," historian Dick Hill said.

A Civil War battle was fought in the area of Spring Street in downtown Tupelo.

Union troops were sent to destroy the railroad and other targets in preparation for the Battle of Vicksburg.

There were casualties on both sides.

Scores of Confederate soldiers were captured.

"History has happened and we haven't done a good job of kind of wrapping it together and putting it in a place that the visitor can go and do and experience, a trail system allows you to do that," Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Neal McCoy said.

The Elvis Presley Driving tour and other Elvis and music-related attractions have helped out businesses.

"Every little bit helps. It brings people. It brings people internationally-not just from Tupelo. They come from England, all over the world," Simply Sweet Bakery owner Marguerite Garner said.

This marker is one of a series that are being placed offer tourists a well-rounded history of Tupelo.

"The combination of the Native American sites, Civil Rights marker sites and Civil War sites, there's potential for a driving tour that would be of interest to many people," Hill added.

"We're not just the Elvis town anymore. We have many things to offer; the Civil War, the Tupelo Automobile Museum. There's a lot of things that bring people here and keep them here. They come to our restaurant and eat on multiple occasions," Cafe 212 owner Jason Hayden said.

Two tourists from Colorado were found visiting the Elvis Presley Birthplace.

They said they would have stayed longer had they known there was even more to see.

"We came over here. We're gonna go look at the auto museum, too. We would definitely spend more time here," Daniel Duffy said.

"It's a beautiful area and we would probably stay here a little bit more if we knew a little bit more about the area," Danie Detmer said.
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