After five years of hard work and timely partnerships, Aberdeen Main Street hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting at the restored Illinois Central Depot recently. The former railroad depot is located at the corner of Commerce and Chestnut streets in downtown Aberdeen. 


The original depot was built at the turn of the century. In 1937, it was partially destroyed by a cyclone and was partially rebuilt but not on a grand scale.


The depot is now home to Aberdeen Main Street and the weekly farmers market and also serves as a historical museum for the Aberdeen community. The space can also be rented for events.


Mississippi Main Street Association provided a technical service grant for part of the restoration, and Aberdeen Main Street also received assistance from Belinda Stewart Architects, the MSU Carl Small Town Center, MSU Extension Service, and financial assistance from the family of Mrs. Patsy Pace, the McFarland Fund, and South Monroe Create.


The depot has undergone significant renovations throughout the years, thanks in part to help from the Monroe County Work Center and retired civil engineer Sam Jaynes.


"The building was in bad shape," said Ann Tackett, director of Aberdeen Main Street. "It was in major need of a new roof, the walls had been eaten by termites, all electrical had been destroyed due to theft of copper, and the outside walls had been covered with roofing shingles."


"There was very little left to work wiith after years of neglect and abuse," she added. 


Aberdeen Main Street furnished all materials, but all labor came form inmates at the Monroe County Detention Center. 


"You will have to see this building to believe what can and was accomplished by a dedicated community," Tackett said.


A Livable Communities federal grant was awarded in 2013 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These agencies provided a workshop with the major goal of the project aimed at developing food systems managed by local residents. 


The workshop helped identify the goal to renovate the historic depot into a cannery, as well as a place to hold nutrition programs, educational cooking classes, and a weekly farmers market.


In addition to the education component of teaching people how to grow and can their own food at the facility, more food education geared towards students is part of the master plan.


Recently, the depot hosted its first canning class with 20 people in attendance. Staff from MSU Extension conducted the class.


"The community has donated jars, utensils, fruit, vegetables, and more to make this a reality," Tackett said. "MSU Extension has also included us in a grant that will provide the cannery and farmers market with a 6 x 6 walk-in cooler."


"Actually, everything in the depot has been donated," she said. "This building anchors our downtown and will be a wonderful place to host events and our farmers market."


"If anything is going on in Aberdeen, it is happening at the Main Street Depot," Tackett added. "You must come see us!"



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  •  319 E. Commerce St.  •  Aberdeen, MS 39730  •  662.369.4864