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muriel j smith 120 2018For a city less than 200 years old, Holly Springs, MS is teeming with history from a war, an epidemic, the end of slavery, and change. It’s got a college, a shrine to Elvis, several very elegant antebellum homes,  an extraordinary Audubon center,  museums and an art gallery, and several historic churches.

It’s got a terrific little town square, four streets surrounding the Marshall County offices and jail, an exciting and intriguing little antique shop named The Trashy Sisters, a wonderful decades old hardware store with a story about the murder upstairs many years ago, a wonderful luncheon buffet overflowing with Southern cookery at a ridiculously low price,  even a drugstore with a soda fountain and ice cream!

It’s got that spirit of Beulah Cawthon who lives at Linden Hill which first drew me to Holly Springs.

holly springs bb front

It also has the most beautiful, unusual and inexpensive B&B ready to accept guests for a day, weekend or week of learning and enjoying Holly Springs, MS, about 25 miles from Memphis, TN.

Holly Springs MS is a hidden treasure begging to be visited for fun and education.  It’s also a place where, as a Northerner,  you will catch on quickly that to the natives, the Civil War isn’t really quite over. The museums give scant attention to the impact of the slaves in Marshall County or the freed slaves after the War. With 80 per cent of the city today now home to African Americans, you’ll find the descendants of slaves and plantation owners get along well, respect each other, and do business together. But both will tell you, “look how far we’ve come, don’t make any waves.”

Whether that is the right way to handle history is irrelevant, what is more important is to visit Holly Springs and see firsthand what an unforgettable city it is, half an hour away from the state line and the hustle and bustle of Memphis.

holly springs liddys bbLisa and Tom Leddy know all the stories. They know the charm of Holly Springs and the need to give tourists a comfortable and beautiful place to stay. Perhaps it’s because he’s originally from New Jersey and she is a Southern lady with all the gentility and gentleness of the South. Or maybe it’s because Tom is a pharmacist and saw a historic apothecary  right on that square at a successful reminder of times past. Whatever it is, visitors and residents alike have fallen in love with Court Square Inn and The Apothecary. Tom is also the borough’s deputy Mayor and an avid supporter of everything that will keep the city both historic and inviting.

The Apothecary, a catering hall open for everything from weddings and receptions to meetings and banquets, covers the down stairs of the corner building across from the center of the square.  Large, clean, inviting, and with antique apothecary bottles, jars and jugs of herbs, and old-time medicines behind antique glassed in wall cabinets, it was also the first stop on a recent tour of fascinating spots in Holly Springs. It’s been a popular staple on the Square for three years.

This year, The Leddys opened The Court Square Inn, and its rooms are frequently reserved on Ole Miss college reunions, football games, and parents’ weekends as well as business trips and quick visits. It’s also a busy place when the charming head of tourism for the city or historian Phillip Knecht have events that draw in visitors from all over.

holly springs bb mans room

It’s so charming and restful it makes visitors want to come back again and again.

There are only three suites at the Court Square Inn, each with a singular distinction of its own. Each opens to a wonderfully long porch with tables and chairs, inviting guests to sit outside and enjoy the scenery, sunshine, and chatter with other guests.  The largest and front suite has spacious accommodations, luxurious furnishings, a huge bath, and impeccable décor. The second suite has an additional bedroom for guests to stay together while retaining their own privacy, and the third suite is undecidedly designed for the businessman, with its hunting décor, taupe and brown colors, and décor that gives it the title of “Gentleman’s Suite.”  One of the suites features a pineapple bed, a wedding gift to a family member in 1876 and presented to the Leddy’s by a great grandson of the early bridal couple; all offer modern amenities as well as history, including laundry rooms, wireless internet and bikes available for touring.

holly springs antique bed

There are two more very special draws to the Court Square Inn as well.  Guests are limited to children 12 years of age and older, ensuring quiet nights and care of precious antique furniture. The other is the Leddy’s treatment for breakfast in the B&B. Rather than breakfast served downstairs during specific hours, each suite has a large and complete kitchen which Lisa stocks every day for continental breakfasts including fresh fruit and yogurt, cereals,  teas and coffees, English muffins and pastries. The joy is with its own kitchen, each suite enables its guests to dine at their own time, and even heat up or cook take-ins for a later meal or midnight snack.

There is one more very exciting draw to the Court Square Inn…the price. Suites rang from $100 a night  to $225 for a two-bedroom suite on a holiday or activity weekend. It doesn’t get much better than this for an outstanding bargain for an elegant stay.

It all makes you want to go back.