Saturday, August 18, 2012

More History in Corinth, Mississippi

This morning Dortha and Mark checked out of the Allegro Campground after getting their work completed yesterday.  It was great to see them for a few days, and after hugs and handshakes we wished them safe travels and promised to see them “down the road”.  Sylvia and Glenn decided they would visit their son near Huntsville this weekend, so we were left on our own today.  We thought about visiting our friend Carol who lives near Birmingham, but decided we’d save that visit until another day.

Instead, we made a 50 mile drive over to Corinth, Mississippi to do some more historical exploring.  Today’s visit covered the Civil War battlefield at Corinth, as well as some of the town’s historical sites.

Corinth, founded in 1853, was first named Cross City because of the confluence of two main rail lines, the Mobile & Ohio, and the Memphis & Charleston.  During the Civil War, Corinth became a very important strategic location for both sides of the conflict.  In the spring of 1862, the Confederate Army prepared for their surprise attack on Shiloh while camped at Corinth.  Following the battle of Shiloh, the Union Army occupied Corinth.  At that time, Corinth was also a major location for the many wounded and ill soldiers on both sides.

We toured the museum housed in the old railroad station.  In the museum are collections relating to the history of Corinth as well as the Civil War.  One of the rooms in the museum is dedicated to Coca-Cola.  In 1906 a franchise bottling plant was opened in Corinth.

We picked up a CD at the museum that guided us around town to several important homes that were used as headquarters for Civil War Generals. 

We took a break from exploring to have a lunch at the oldest family-owned drugstore and soda fountain in Mississippi.  It was originally started by a returning Civil War veteran, Dr. Borroum, and is still run by his descendants.

After lunch we continued our tour around town, ending up at the Corinth Battlefield and Civil War Interpretative Center.  There are a couple of very notable things about this center, first, as we walked up the sidewalk to the door of the center, we noticed these bronzed artifacts embedded in the sidewalk and surrounding grass. 

 Then, in the courtyard is this water feature:

Each of the granite blocks along the waterway is  engraved with the name of a battle location or significant event in the war. 

  At each end of the pool are these engraved obelisks:

We looked at the exhibits and watched the videos about both the Battles of Shiloh and Corinth, which, according to some scholars, indicated a turning point in the conflict, although the war lasted 2 and a half more years afterward.  Even though we didn’t get to complete our planned journey to Gettysburg and Bull Run this summer, I’ve gained a much deeper and broader understanding of this pivotal conflict in our history.  Growing up in the West as I did, the history of the Civil War was not something that struck a chord with me like it did so many of my friends who grew up in the South.  I feel like I’m just now catching up with so much understanding and knowledge.

After our visit to the Interpretative Center, we dropped our tour CD back off at the museum and headed back to the campground for a quiet evening. 

I feel the need to respond to one more comment about waiting for service here at the Tiffin Facility, so bear with me.  I don’t plan to elaborate past this, I really think in previous posts I’ve expressed our thoughts and opinions pretty thoroughly and you’re all probably tired of reading about it – you can skip the rest of this post and I promise you won’t hurt my feelings!   Chuck and Anneke commented that “there must be a better way “ to provide service.  To me, “better” is a relative term.  I’ll be the first to say that the Tiffin experience is not for everyone.  We do know people who have been generally fed up with the way Tiffin handles this service facility and unhappy with the quality of the service and/or product.  But again, let me emphasize that the way Jim and I do things here is our choice.  Tiffin is a family run organization in a small town in Northern Alabama, not a big manufacturing conglomerate with a board of directors. I don’t have exact statistics about how many rigs come and go every week, but at any given time, there are always close to 100 rigs in the campground, plus 50 -60 rigs that owners bring and leave for service.  Tiffin makes a few appointments for each day; the rest of us are walk-ins.  There are 3 levels of service here.  First is the 2-hour on site service, which is new since our last visit.  If you opt for that, a crew comes to your rig at the campground and makes the fixes you need, as long as they aren’t major.  The next level is the 3-hour express bay.  Many items can be handled at that level, and people are typically here for a few days and, providing no other issues are found, those folks are on their way.  Finally, for more extensive needs, there are the regular bays.  When we check in to the campground, we’re asked if we have a service appointment.  Since we are walk-ins, we fill out paperwork that includes a list of repairs we think we need.  There is a man who comes to our rig to discuss the list and we determine together the level of service needed.  Norris always asks us what our timeline is.  If there are pressing reasons to be out of here within a certain timeframe,  they do make an attempt to fit people in.  Usually, like now, we’re not pressed for time so can wait our turn.   We’ve come here about once a year since we bought this coach in 2008.  Nearly every issue we’ve had has been related to some kind of manufacturing issue.  At the time our coach was built, Tiffin was building 13 rigs a day, probably too many for this facility.  Some of the materials they used have proven to be less than acceptable, so Tiffin is covering the repairs, even though we’re long out of warranty.  We choose to come here, like many other people, because we’re treated the way customers ought to be treated everywhere, but usually aren’t.  I talk to people here every day that tell me the same thing.  Yes, it’s kind of a pain to wait a couple of weeks to get service, but once we get into a bay, we feel we’re treated fairly, every issue we bring up is looked at, and fixed.  We’re not rushed in and rushed out; we’re treated with respect.  Yes indeed, we can and do call Bob Tiffin on occasion, and he listens to us and responds to our issues.  We’ve expressed our opinions and concerns, and we’ve also thanked him for providing the level of customer service that he does.   The last time Jim talked to him, he mentioned some friends of ours who had a Fleetwood motorhome, and waited for a long time for “Mr. Fleetwood” to call them back.  Bob got a good chuckle at that.  Even though we make comments about having to wait around here, we really don’t mind all that much.  It’s absolutely worth it to us, but remember, that’s just us.


Janna and Mike said...

Thanks for the interesting history lesson! One of the places we used to swim in the river as children is an old civil war battle site--people still find artifacts there, and it has been made into a state park.

You just keep on going to Camp Red Bay--everyone has their own way of coping with the trials of owning a home on wheels and the resultant problems--Red Bay fits your needs and makes you comfortable!

Wish you guys were here in our driveway with Mike and Pat.

Travels with Emma said...

The important thing is that you are comfortable with the service!

Rod Ivers said...

And you didn't even bring up their expertise with their products... They built it, they know what has gone wrong with it because they have fixed dozens just like yours...

They know what the factory will warranty instantly... Try getting that kind of service at the dealer level..

And Norris is genuinely interested in your problems and getting you thru the place as quickly as is possible...

So for us, we save up problems and try to get thru there once a year or so also...

Joe and Carolyn said...

Ditto on your comments. They treated us well and repaired things I didn't know were wrong. 3 year old coach and most on warranty.
Will be up soon, but have other pressing problems at this time. Camp Red Bay is a real learning experience if you look at it that way.
Hope to see yall down the road soon.