Welcome to the official City of Oxford, Mississippi website!
Oxford, Mississippi, was first incorporated as a town in 1837, and was given its name after the town of Oxford, England in the hopes of securing Mississippi's first university. The University of Mississippi was chartered in 1844 and opened its doors to students in 1848. Oxford's growth in the next century made it an attractive place to settle. Among those who made their home here was the family of William Faulkner in 1902.
The once small town is now a dynamic community, where students and active retirees alike may avail themselves of any number of services and amenities each and every day. The city, whose hub is the historic town square, consisting of a beautiful old courthouse surrounded by shops and restaurants, is well known for its culture, thriving commerce, and small town character.
Oxford has activities and events - year-round - to attract anyone.
There are different Ole Miss sporting events to enjoy any time of the year. April hosts the Double Decker Festival. June sees the LOU Summer Sunset Series, the Oxford Film Festival and the Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers' Workshop. The Mid-town Farmers' Market runs May through September and features Mississippi grown produce. Visitors and residents alike can take advantage of events at any time, such as the Artist Series, Thacker Mountain Radio, Brown Bag Luncheons and Lecture Series. No matter the time, no matter the occasion, there is something for everyone in Oxford.
Oxford lies amidst a gentle, green countryside, 25 miles east of the famous Mississippi Delta and 50 miles west of the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway. The surrounding area has abundant natural resources that include Holly Springs National Forest and Sardis Lake, the second largest earthen dam reservoir in the world. With a crime rate that is half the national average, outstanding public schools, and a regional health care facility, Oxford’s exceptional quality of life is widely recognized.
This recognition has created a 36% rate of growth since 2000 in Oxford, which includes an annexation in 2004. It is estimated that the current (2008) population is 19,000 after Oxford annexed 4.3 square miles this year to bring the total size to 16.5 square miles. Unanticipated building and development accompanied growth, leading to sprawl, traffic congestion, infrastructure stress, and a rapid escalation of land value and housing costs – challenges that the mayor and board of aldermen have met with progressive planning, transportation, and infrastructure improvements.
Citizens old and new are united in the effort to preserve Oxford’s character while encouraging smart growth. Historic preservation, a new public transit program and the city’s pathway project, which earned the city designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists – the only city in Mississippi to receive this acclaim -- are accomplishments that suggest a bright future for Oxford. The good, hard-working, people of the city will continue to collaborate to keep their community great – just as they always have.