Stand by your bond: Tiny town aims to build Tammy Wynette museum

STAND BY YOUR BOND: Tammy Wynette, seen here performing in the 1960s, was born in Tremont, Miss. and the town is receiving $2.5 million from a state bond issue to a build a Tammy Wynette Museum.

By Steve Wilson | Mississippi Watchdog

If Mississippi’s Gov. Phil Bryant signs House Bill 787 into law, the tiny Itawamba County town of Tremont will receive $2.5 million from a state bond issue to build a Tammy Wynette museum.

The country singer, who was born near Tremont and is known as the “First Lady of Country Music,” is already honored across the state line in Red Bay, Ala., with a display at the Red Bay Museum.

Tremont, which is located a few miles off U.S. 78 31 miles east of Tupelo, has a population of 465 and is heavily dependent on sales tax revenue. Tremont mayor Pam Dines said the museum, which could include Wynette’s old house that would be moved to the site and a small area for live music, could be just the shot in the arm the town needs.

“We’re always in need of money since most of our revenues come from sales tax,” Dines said. “We’re excited to possibly have a great tourist attraction to help our various businesses. We’re the first exit when you cross the state line and we’ve got the welcome center here. There are a lot of visitors there and I hope we get some of them to head to Tremont.”

The project may be aided when U.S. 78 becomes Interstate 22 later this year. According to data provided by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, 12,000 vehicles pass by Tremont daily on U.S. 78.

Tremont tried and failed to get an appropriation to build a museum in last year’s budget.

Tremont’s museum wouldn’t be the only attraction helped by the two bond issues, HB787 and Senate Bill 2975, sitting on Bryant’s desk. Here are some other projects:

  • The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the new Museum of Mississippi History would receive $14 million.
  • The Hattiesburg Zoo would get $700,000.
  • The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (Jackson), William Faulkner Library (New Albany), the Marty Stuart Country Music Center (Philadelphia) and the Jackson Zoo would receive $500,000 each.
  • The yet-to-be built Pascagoula Maritime Museum would receive $250,000.
Contact Steve Wilson at swilson@watchdog.org
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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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