Tunica County was formed from the Chickasaw Cession on February 9,1836 and was named after the Tunica Native Americans. It was truly a frontier as people moved in and cleared the virgin forests and dealt with the constant flooding. Building a levee to hold back the mighty Mississippi, they slowly built a home in this harsh new land. When the railroad came through in the late 19th century, the county changed once again. The county seat was moved to Tunica. Casinos came in during the late 20th century and Tunica County Museum was established to convey the history of this place to the world.
When you walk through the doors and start the tour, you are carried back into the past of Tunica county. The importance of farming is evident when you travel Highway 61 and Tunica Museum discusses this in detail.
Country stores were everywhere through Tunica County and you can experience what one of these stores was like when you look through the windows of one of these commissaries. They were centers of their communities and you could buy anything there. On Saturday nights they became clubs where blues lifted up over the night mist. You could also pick your mail up there, sit awhile , and play checkers.
One of my favorite exhibits at the museum deals with the barbershop. As a child, I was carried there to get a hair cut in downtown Tunica. Men got shaves and they could even get their shoes shined. I sat many mornings in that chair in the exhibit watching what was going on in Lane’s Barber Shop. Miss those days.
This was only a small segment of what you can see when you visit Tunica County Museum. Its definitely worth the visit. Leave a few dollars donation because its free. Museum hours are Tuesday thru Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. They also offer programs for schools and groups. Give them a call or stop by and the museum staff will give you a great Tunica welcome.