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Often known simply as Houlka, the town of New Houlka is in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. The community was originally established at the crossroads of the Native American trails known as the Natchez Trace and the Gaines Trace in the late 1700s as a Chickasaw Agency House established for trading with the Chickasaws who inhabited the area at that time. The settlement that grew up around the trading post was first known as Holkey, and dates back to 1794, when the United States took control of the area from England. A post office was established in 1826, at which time cotton was the primary driver of the area’s economy, and African slaves were imported to serve as slave laborers. During the American Civil War, Confederate forces under the command of General Samuel J. Gholson clashed with Union troops at a swamp crossing near Houlka, but no major battles were fought within the town. Houlka was incorporated in 1884, and a high school was established for the education of white students only. The Gulf and Ship Island Railroad came through the region that same year, but bypassed Houlka by one mile, after which businesses and residents began moving a mile east in order to be nearer the railroad, establishing New Houlka. By 1906, there were three churches, a bank, an academy a saw mill, and a plow factory in New Houlka, and the new town was incorporated that year, named New Houlka, while the former town site became known as Old Houlka, although Old Houlka is within the town limits of New Houlka today. The railroad going through New Houlka was abandoned in 2004, and a multi-use path known as the Tanglefoot Trail was formed along the path of the former railroad. Old Houlka is situated just outside the western edge of the Tombigbee National Forest. Nearby communities include Houston, Thelma, Thorn, Troy, and Wallfield. Tupelo, Mississippi is about twenty-nine miles northeast of New Houlka.

 

 

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