Museum to embark on a year of celebrating ‘everything food’ in Union County




At the Union County Heritage Museum, we are about to start a yearlong celebration of everything food for our county and its people.

More than 25 years ago, a cookbook named “Worth Savoring” was published as a fundraiser during the early days of the historical society and museum. In order to honor the museum, the history of the cookbook and the people who contributed to it, we are going to be doing all sorts of food related things as one of our themes for 2024.

This cookbook tells stories. It tells about Voncile’s wonderful sugar cookies that were frequently requested and served on many occasions and are especially good with lemonade.  It tells about the Futorian Candy recipe from Joyce Fitzgerald, Lola Autry’s potato soup, Pug Graham’s collard recipe, Hilda Hill’s Tia Juana Train Wreck recipe – and her story about serving it to a Washington delegation – these recipes and stories and many more are part of this wonderful cookbook full of memories.

Because of our literary heritage as the birthplace of William Faulkner, the cookbook  contains recipes and ‘fond memories’ from other native writers as well  as interesting historical notes.

Now that 25 years have passed, we want to gather more of our community’s “seasoned memories”? There is something special and personal about a handwritten recipe.  Who among us doesn’t have a recipe written on the back of an envelope, or on a scrap of another document?  We have some in the Society’s collection that are on Frisco bills of lading, old time cards – interesting tidbits – or “bites” of history.

NEMiss.News The New Albany Jitney Jungle, 1941

A photo from the collection of the Historical Society shows a play where many bought food, the 1941 Jitney Jungle which was once located downtown New Albany.

The museum has a large local cookbook collection.  Churches, clubs and newspapers have given up some of the best.  We are hoping to gather more handwritten recipes and the stories that accompany them.  As you gather around your holiday table this season, what special recipes do you serve that were handed down in your families?

We are asking ALL of you to submit a recipe that was passed down to you along with a recipe or food related story about the person that passed it down. The person who passed it down doesn’t have to be from (or live in) Union County, because you are a part of Union County. Your story can be funny, sad, sweet or just factual.

If you have photos that go along with the story, please include either scanned photos, cell phone photos of the photo or you can even bring your photos to the museum and we can scan them for you. A photo/scan of a hand written recipe would add even more “flavor” to our collection.

Perhaps you have sentimental kitchen/food related items that would add even more visual excitement to our collection. You are welcome to bring those items to the museum for us to photograph, you are also welcome to donate those items to the museum if you would so desire.  Join us in gathering our seasoned memories of our Union County foodscape.  Let’s celebrate our cooks and cultural food stories. We will be interviewing people for our youtube channel, as well as collecting the visual parts of the story for the museum’s collection.

For anything you submit, donate or email to us, please make sure your name and contact number is attached. You may email any of the above to the following address (please put “food collection” in subject line): You may drop by the museum at 114 Cleveland Street, New Albany MS 38652. Call the museum for more information at 662-538-0014.

Jill Smith, Director

Union County Heritage Museum

114 Cleveland Street

New Albany,MS 38652

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