Tishomingo County Courthouse: The Marriage Capital

In 1870, Prentiss and Alcorn Counties were carved out what was the original Tishomingo County located in the extreme northeastern corner of our great state. Here, the 19th-century architectural charm and authentic southern hospitality were in full swing.

In Iuka, one building was crucial to the area’s rich history and still stands as a reminder of days gone by. The Tishomingo County Courthouse is a quaint 19th century building carefully restored and filled with extraordinary antique collections. It houses a large selection of vintage court documents and memorabilia along with county archives. Additionally, the courtroom and sheriff’s office accurately depict the building’s historical usage.

During its busiest days, the Tishomingo County Courthouse was the site where more than 55,000 couples were married. In fact, at one time, the courthouse was called the “Marriage Capital of the South,” because couples from Alabama and Tennessee would cross state lines to marry in Iuka since there was no three-day waiting period. Preachers and justices of the peace would race to the cars outside to be the first to marry the waiting lovebirds.

The courthouse also played host to the famous annual gospel singing convention, which was held here from 1917 until 1971. And it was the location of political speeches by former governors Theodore G. Bilbo and James K.Vardaman.

The historic courthouse was vacated in 1971, but today serves as the home of the Tishomingo County Historical and Genealogical Society and its historical museum. The second floor courtroom is available for weddings, civic and business meetings, bridal and baby showers and school or family reunions.

The building is open Tuesday-Friday from 10-4 year-round and Saturdays from 10-2 from May through September. For more information about the Tishomingo County Courthouse, click here.