CDF History & Overview

The '70's

Tupelo's Centennial Anniversary

The year 1970 marked the centennial anniversary of Tupelo. While past accomplishments were applauded, community leaders were focused on even greater plans for the Tupelo/Lee County region.

In 1971, Lee County and CDF developed 500 acres north to Tupelo that became Turner Industrial Park. The park was formed to balance area growth and further regionalize the community. FMC Corporation became the first industry to locate in Turner Industrial Park, expanding the work center of Tupelo to the northern part of Lee County.

The CREATE Foundation was chartered by George and Anna Kiersey McLean in 1972 as a regional community planning organization whose mission was to improve the quality of life for the people of Northeast Mississippi by building permanent community endowment assets, strengthening regional community development capacity, providing leadership on key community issues, managing charitable funds contributed by individuals, families, organizations, and corporations, and addressing community opportunities through targeted grant-making.

In 1976, CDF organized the very first Industry-Education Day. This event brought economic teachers into a day-long session at the Ramada Inn with Dr. Eugene Stanaland, Department of Economics, Auburn University.  Volunteers from business and industry visited classrooms throughout Tupelo/Lee County and discussed the free market system with students. The purpose of I-E Day has remained the same, to bring together educators and industrialists in an effort to promote the American Free Enterprise System, to demonstrate the need for cooperation and coordination between educators and the job provider system, and to improve the economic development of our region and enhance job opportunities.

1977 brought the commencement of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, which would later prove to be a major resource to the water supply needs of Tupelo/Lee County.

During the 1970’s a myriad of industries came to call Tupelo/Lee County home including Action Industries, Hickory Springs, E.R. Carpenter, Sheller-Globe, Tecumseh, Wondura, and Metalloy Foundry.