The above picture and following story courtesy of Ran Van Dusen, Monroe Journal

Last week's annual Mississippi Main Street Association Awards in Jackson yielded honors for several Main Street associations statewide, including Aberdeen.
Longtime Aberdeen Main Street member Sara Gardner was presented a Main Street Hero award for her dedication to the organization. "I never felt like a hero to anything. It felt like a flush of pride that I was called a hero of our town," she said of winning the award. "Being involved in activities here, it's my town and I feel it's important that we all do that. Don't just leave it for someone else to do." Aberdeen Main Street Director Ann Tackett nominated Gardner because of her dedication to the organization and to the town. "She a supporter, a business owner, a former board member, and she served as board president for six years," Tackett saId. "She has always been a team player.
Gardner owns the Cottage Tea Room. "We opened the Team Room in 1998 and have had people from all over North Mississippi, South Mississippi and out of state who come. We joined Main Street before we opened the door. I think it's important to join, whether you're a business or an individual; support the projects and support the leadership," she said.
According to Tackett, Gardner has been supportive of such Main Street events as the farmers market and dinner fundraisers in recent years. "She's always been a sharing, caring kind of person. Anything we've asked her to do, she has stepped up to the plate," Tackett said. Gardner reflected on how teamwork between Main Street and other entities helped make a fundraiser featuring chef Robert St. John and artist Wyatt Waters a huge success.
"There were several of us involved, and it took all of us to do it. Kathy (Lusby) was at the chamber, and she secured the place. It was called Georgia Gulf at the time, and they supplied funds, and the hospital helped with the cooking. When it came to serving, my children and grandchildren from Maryland came to help, and we had a lo;t of people who had worked in the restaurant area who helped," she said. Additionally, Gardner has helped in supplyilng items for Main Street's ongoing depot renovation. Years before  opening the Cottage Tea Room, she served as director of nursing at the Aberdeen -Monroe County Hospital and played a role in the formation of the hospital's ladies auxiliary group, which assists patients. "Mrs. (Hershey) Turnage and Marie Sparks were interested in forming a ladies auxiliary. They met with me and the administrator to see how we could do it. There were times when the hospital needed office help at a clinic or a nurses' desk answering the phone. They delivered juice and mail. It was an asset to see these ladies come to talk to patients and do errands for them," Gardner said.
In recent years, Aberdeen Main Street has been represented in the statewide awards ceremony through Sam Jaynes, R.G. Buxton and the late Lawson Grimes' contributions to the town and organization.


Aberdeen Main Street Executive Director Ann Tackett is shown with some of the
memorabilia that can seen in the association's office in the restored old Illinois Central Depot on East Commerce St.

Revitalization of Aberdeen is the mission of Aberdeen Main Street - To work toward having a vital and attractive town for the present and for the future, and when rebuilding and restoring, to always protect and respect the great legacy from our past. 
We increase the tax base of Aberdeen by taking unoccupied or underutilized buildings and converting them into revenue producing businesses. And in the process, Aberdeen Main Street has evolved into a repository for much of the town's memorabiliz, such as Aberdeen and Shivers High School class pictures, myriads of photos depicting much of the life and times of our city, which was chartered in 1837.
Ann Tackett, the executive director, is a native Aberdeenian and a fireball of energy and love for her hometown. Just take a drive through the business district and you'll see example after example of Aberdeen's main streeet, Commerce, as the hub of activity, with thriving businesses, the U.S. District Court House and Federal Building, several historic business and buildings, and much more.

As the historic character of Aberdeen is preserved in its buildings, tourism and visitor related dollars are increased. This promotes the image of Aberdeen as a single entity; a fun, attractive place that serves as a hub of community life. It restores pride in the community!

What is the Aberdeen Main Street Approach?
The Aberdeen Main Street approach is a comprehensive process that

 strengthens a town's TOTAL IMAGE, not just the physical image, although that is the most visible part. Aberdeen Main Street's four-point approach is comprised of committees in the following areas:

  • ORGANIZATION - Establish a cooperative partnership among groups and individuals.

  • PROMOTION - Create a positive image of a town for residents, shoppers, visitors and investors.

  • DESIGN - Enhance the visual qualities of a town that make it a unique place to shop, work, or live

  • ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING - Develop a diversified economic base while retaining and strengthening existing businesses.

How do you benefit from membership in Aberdeen Main Street?

     Invitation to membership events.

     Professional assistance with:

  • Design

  • Cooperative Advertising

  • Merchandising

  • Business recruitment

  • Invitation to seminars offered by Mississippi Downtown Development Association

  • Access to state and national resource network

  • Member window decal

Mississippi Communities Receive 2018 National Main Street Accreditation
JACKSON, Miss. (May 2, 2018) -- The following Main Street communities in Mississippi have been designated as accredited Main Street America™ programs for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center and the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA):
Aberdeen, Amory, Baldwyn, Batesville, Belhaven, Biloxi, Booneville, Carthage/Leake County, Cleveland, Clinton, Columbus, Corinth, Crystal Springs, Greenville, Greenwood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Holly Springs, Houston, Indianola, Kosciusko, Laurel, Louisville/Noxapater, Meridian, New Albany, Ocean Springs, Okolona, Olive Branch, Pascagoula, Pass Christian, Philadelphia, Picayune, Pontotoc County, Port Gibson, Ripley, Saltillo, Senatobia, Starkville, Tunica, Tupelo, Vicksburg, Water Valley, West Point and Woodville.
Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.
"Receiving National Main Street accreditation is a prestigious designation and we congratulate each of these programs in Mississippi for this achievement," said Allison Beasley, MMSA Board President. "Main Street programs play a strategic role in making Mississippi more competitive by stimulating local, regional and statewide economic development."
“We are thrilled to honor this year’s 829 nationally accredited Main Street America programs for their commitment to preservation-based economic development and the revitalization of their commercial districts,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “The power of Main Street shines across the country through these vibrant communities, who have all worked to generate impressive economic returns, preserve community character, and celebrate local history.” 
In addition, several Mississippi communities were recognized among the 299 Main Street America affiliate programs in recognition of their commitment to achieving meaningful improvements in downtowns and commercial districts across the country using the Main Street Approach™, including Byhalia, Charleston, Forest, Long Beach and Moss Point.

In 2017 alone, Main Street America programs generated $4.48 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,211 net new businesses, generated 30,294 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,737 historic buildings, and clocked 2.7 million volunteer hours. 
MMSA staff evaluate each local Main Street organization’s performance annually and works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet the 10 performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

In 2017, Mississippi Main Street cities generated 325 net new businesses, 95 business expansions to existing businesses, 1,458 net new jobs, 109 facade rehabilitations and 86 downtown residential units. More than 50,337 volunteer hours were recorded. 
MMSA currently has 48 active Main Street programs throughout the state, five Downtown Network members, and numerous Association and Allied professional members. 

Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) has been improving the quality of life in Mississippi for more than 30 years by developing Mississippi's downtowns. Main Street is an economic development program based in historic preservation. The mission of the Mississippi Main Street Association is to provide visionary leadership, guidance and counsel to Mississippi Main Street communities through organization, promotion, design and economic development to make our cities and towns better places to work, live and play. Since 1993, MMSA has generated more than $5.2 billion in private and public investment (including nearly $1.3 billion in public investment), 36,996 net new jobs, 5,673 net new businesses, rehabilitated 3,298 buildings and added 2,921 downtown residential units. MMSA is a program of the National Main Street Center, with many public and private partners.

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $71.35 billion in new public and private investment, generated 583,869 net new jobs and 131,974 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 267,800 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  


Aberdeen, Mississippi

July 2, 2016
BSA Project No. 1601
Belinda Stewart Architects, P.A.
61 N. Dunn St.  /  P.O. Box 867
Eupora, Mississippi 39744
662.258.6405 /  662.258.6452 fax

                      Please click on thumbnails below to view them full size!




Aberdeen Main Street  •  124 W. Commerce St.  •  Aberdeen, MS 39730  •  662.369.4864