The Sam Olden Yazoo Historical Society Museum, located in the Triangle Cultural Center in Yazoo City, brings together the County’s diverse past – from fossils dating back some 45,000 years to Native American relics, Civil War History, and African-American History, to the legendary trainman Casey Jones, and so much more.
Yazoo’s history began with Native Americans, both regional and small local tribes. The small tribe of Yazoos, who gave the region its name, was ‘along with the much larger Choctaw Nation which dominated the area’ the first of these people to be encountered by French explorers led by Cavalier De La Salle in 1682. It was the French who, on the maps, first name the river, which flows through the middle of the county “The River of The Yazous.” The county and city were later namesakes of the river. No one is quite sure what the word Yazoo meant in their tongue, for the tribe quickly died out after the Europeans came.
Take a stroll through a few thousand years of Yazoo history and legend.
The Sam Olden Historical Museum features exhibits from Civil War days, to the great Yazoo City fire of 1904, as well as those depicting World War I, the history of the old Main Street School (now the Triangle Cultural Center), the 1927 flood, political history, items from the daily lives of Yazoo’s early citizens and apparel from the early days of the County.
Also chronicled in the museum are the many famous sons and daughters from Yazoo County, including: acclaimed author of My Dog Skip, Good Old Boy, and other stories, Willie Morris; comedian and storyteller, Jerry Clower; NFL Hall of Famer Willie Brown; actress Stella Stevens; former Mississippi Congressman, Mike Espy; famed motivational speaker Zig Ziglar; Col. John George Quekemeyer, distinguished World War I soldier and aide-de-camp to General John J. Pershing; and the former Governor of Mississippi and former chairman of the National Republican Party, Haley Barbour.
At the Sam Olden Historical Museum you can take a glimpse into Yazoo County’s rich heritage and culture. It’s a great prelude to visiting sites of interest around Yazoo City and Yazoo County.