Want to see our first visit to this Mississippi city?Yes
A while back, we happened upon an article in Mississippi Magazine...or maybe it was Southern Living...about “the bathtubs of Batesville,” and it really piqued our curiosity. Seriously...a collection of bathtubs just sitting beside Highway 6, watching traffic go by? How interesting!
Well, not really. We set off with high hopes, only to find that somehow we had managed to miss the fact that there was also a bathtub restoration business on Highway 6 and, well, you can guess the rest. While there are few things we love more than investigating our state's quirky offerings, we don't go in for making up our own. So, let us start over.
There is a place on Highway 6 near Batesville that refurbishes sinks and bathtubs. Antique lovers that we are, we found it interesting that there are so many cast iron tubs without owners, and we learned that, no matter how bad they look, they can be beautifully restored. And beautiful is the operative word here. They can actually look new.
Upon first glance, old cast iron sinks and tubs are a nasty business...they tend to see pretty hard lives before they get dumped...and then the drain gets stopped up and they collect rainwater...then they rust and their legs fall off...and, generally speaking, they just get uglier with each passing day. But that is at first glance. Look a little closer and it's easy to see that these things have soul. It's no wonder they have made a comeback.
As long as we were so near Batesville, we decided to drop in and check things out. We visited a couple years ago and remembered that the town has a railroad running right through it – and by “right through,” we mean that it actually bisects downtown Batesville.
The first thing we happened upon was a really great gift-shop – what a stroke of luck. We loved the store and we loved Diane, the delightful owner. We had a great time looking at all the cute things though, and – while we know this is hard to believe – the Dos Equis man actually lives there. In the store. Really. We have proof.
But alas, it appears that the Dos Equis man lived there, past tense. For all we know, he may be homeless now, because we recently heard that the store has closed. That is sad news indeed.
Shopping (and pretty much everything else) makes us hungry, so our new friend (Dos Equis's significant other, Diane) suggested we have lunch at Court Street Catering. It's only about a block and a half from downtown, and it's locally owned and operated; that's all we needed to hear. When we got there, we saw that the special was barbequed chicken, potato salad, beans, and slaw. We weren't in the mood for that, but it seems that everything we were in the mood for wasn't available due to it being a holiday (MLK Day). So, we thought it over and became in the mood for barbequed chicken. And were we ever glad! It was great – really great! The restaurant itself (a converted house) was charming, and it has a killer bathroom.
Batesville has many downtown buildings that have been beautifully redone, including an old theater, The Eureka. And they outdid themselves with their murals – there's a great one on the side of the theater and a beautiful series on the side of a block of offices. They really add a lot to the town's vibe.
On our way out of town, we happened upon Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, which was hosting a large MLK Day celebration. We pulled up in front to read this sign and were pleased we had timed our visit so well.
So, while we still feel, deep in our hearts, that one of our beloved and trusted magazines lured us to Batesville under false pretenses (or that we should read these articles more carefully...whatever), we are awfully glad we went because we had such a good time.