In the western portion of Mississippi's Pines Region near the center of the Natchez Trace is Kosciusko, Mississippi, the birthplace of Oprah Winfrey. In a region characterized by antebellum mansions, magnolias, riverboat calliope, collard greens, cornbread and stock car races, Kosciusko celebrates its Indian heritage, culture and its most famous native daughter. Kosciusko is a recommended top on Mississippi's Natchez Trace tour.
Kosciusko was once known as Red Bud Springs, a campsite on the Natchez Trail. Eventually, the settlement was named Kosciusko, after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a Revolutionary War veteran of Polish descent. Today, a statue of Tadeusz Kosciuszko stands in Red Bud Springs Park, which also features a dirt mound with dirt from Krakow, Poland. Kosciusko Museum and Visitors Center includes a Natchez Trace Parkway exhibit. The annual Natchez Trace Festival celebrates the major trade route used by Native Americans during frontier days.
Mary Ricks Thornton Cultural Center is housed in what was once a Presbyterian Church. The building dates back to about 1899, and is a Romanesque Revival style structure with stained glass windows. The building's Delta Gamma room features portraits that celebrate the founders of the center.
Kosciusko's Historic District features 25 historic structures. L. V. Hull's Ethnic Yard Art is a drive by display of a yard of flowers with artistically arranged painted objects. Percy Lewis Stables, a Tennessee walking horse equestrian training center allows visitors to watch horses being trained for competition.
Oprah Winfrey is celebrated by the designation of Oprah Winfrey Road, which runs past her birth site, the cemetary where her relatives are buried and the church she attended as a child. Known for her philanthropic endeavors, Oprah has not overlooked Kosciusko. In September 2006, The Oprah Winfrey Boys and Girls Club of Kosciusko was opened. This 52,000 square foot facility includes a computer lab, gymnasium, and an after school program.