In the heart of the Magnolia state rests Oxford, Mississippi. Upon my first visit to this town, I remembered the stories of seemingly legendary tailgates in the Grove and the notable love for the Manning family, but that was the extent of my knowledge. Basically all I knew was this place had a special way of capturing the hearts and turning them into Rebels. This quaint college town surprised me. It had the small town feel while being home to a SEC university. The Square of downtown Oxford captured so much history. From Square books (aka the cutest bookshop I may have ever seen) to Neilson’s Department Store (the South’s oldest store), the architecture of each building was so distinct and full of character. As the once Oxford local, William Faulkner, said “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” Since its charter in 1836, Oxford has seen its own sets of troubles from the conflicts of the Civil War to struggles of integration. These growing pains seem to have made this beautiful place even richer with culture and understanding. Looking at all of the antique buildings that were in pristine condition and driving around town to see all of the gorgeous dollhouse-looking homes lined up one after the other, it is easy to see the pride the community of Oxford for their home. Being “Homegrown Southern” is all about embracing what makes each hometown unique. Oxford, Mississippi is a one of a kind place. From the little hole-in-the-wall coffee shops (that are to die for) to the elaborate court house at the center of the Square, the people of Oxford know and appreciate what it means to be Homegrown Southern and are truly the heart of this hometown.