Cultural Mecca of the South Small-Town Charm and Literary Destination
Oxford was founded in 1837, on land that had once belonged to the Chickasaw Indian Nation and named after Oxford, England. The Mississippi Legislature voted in 1841 to make Oxford the home of the state’s first University which opened its doors in 1848 to 80 students and has since become one of the nation’s finest public Universities.
From the Civil War to Cultural Mecca in 1864 Union troops set fire to the Courthouse, most of the Square and many homes. During the Civil Rights movement, James Meredith entered the University of Mississippi as the first African American student. The city is now known as the home of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner and has been featured as a literary destination in publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, Southern Living and Garden and Gun. Many writers have followed in Faulkner’s footsteps, making Oxford their home over the years adding to the literary reputation Oxford has become renowned for including: Larry Brown, Barry Hannah, Willie Morris, and John Grisham.
Geography the city is-located-in the North Central Hills region of Mississippi, known for its heavily forested hills and red clay. Downtown Oxford sits on one ridge and the University of Mississippi sits on another one, while the main commercial corridors on either side of the city sit in valleys.
The Square has remained the cultural and economic hub of the city and is home to a variety of shops, boutiques, the south’s oldest department store and a famous independent bookstore. Around the Historic Downtown Square there are restaurants ranging from down-home southern cooking to elegant haute cuisine.
The Circle Historic District is located at the center of the Ole Miss campus with eight academic buildings arranged on University Circle, including the Lyceum Building, Brevard Hall, the Croft Institute for International Studies, the Carrier, Shoemaker, Ventress, Bryant, and Peabody dormitory halls. The district also includes the flagpole, the Confederate Monument, and University Circle.
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