TimManBlog

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Archive for the tag “Delta Blues Walk of Fame”

Greenville, Mississippi, is Feeling the Blues

October 30, 2022
(Photos and memories of October, 2022)

Welcome to Greenville, Mississippi, the heart of the Mississippi Delta and home to the Delta Blues!

The Walnut Street Blues Bar. Greenville, Mississippi.
Lampposts on the streets of Greenville — “Greenville: Heart & Soul of the Delta.”
The view from atop the levee at Greenville, Mississippi.

Walnut Street in Greenville runs along the river levee. Plaques of famous bluesmen have been embedded into the sidewalk, forming a Delta Blues Walk of Fame. I don’t recognize any of their names, but they all seem like colorful characters.

Unfortunately, Walnut Street along the levee can boast only two blues nightspots. Civic leaders are trying to develop the Walnut Street area for more tourism, but they have a lot more work. You could say that Walnut Street is singing the blues…but not in a good way. The Mississippi Delta has strong ties to the Democratic Party, which may explain some of their difficulties.

Greenville office of Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat representing the Second Congressional District of Mississippi.

Greenville’s two main downtown streets, Main Street and Washington Street, end at Walnut Street and the river levee. In decades past, Washington Street was the town’s main commercial street, while Main Street held church and government buildings.

Washington Street was once a wide downtown street full of shops and shoppers, but that was 50 years ago. The two photos below, taken from nearly the same spot on the town levee, show how commerce has disappeared from Washington Street. The street is just as wide today, but the people have just…left.

Some typical storefronts along Washington Street:

Greenville’s World War II Memorial looks down an empty Washington Street.

The Greenville World War II Memorial, at the end of Washington Street at the levee.

While Washington Street was the commercial center of town, Greenville’s Main Street has most of the churches. These are large and impressive…and not vacant.

To be fair, the Methodists are here too, but their church is actually a block off Main Street.

First Methodist Church of Greenville.

It has always been my opinion that the South boasts the nation’s best cooks, its best warriors, and its best storytellers. The stellar list of Greenville’s writers includes Shelby Foote and Walker Percy, and the proliferation of writers here should surprise no one familiar with Southern culture.

Greenville’s writers.

Greenville is the seat of Washington County, Mississippi. The courthouse is along Washington Street, 5 or 6 blocks east of the downtown blocks. The building was constructed in the Richardson Romanesque style in 1891 of beige limestone blocks. This courthouse may not be as flamboyant as some other Romanesque courthouses, but it has a stately presence.

The Washington County Courthouse was constructed in 1891. Greenville, Mississippi.
Confederate soldiers’ memorial on the grounds of the Washington County Courthouse.
Washington County Courthouse. Greenville, Mississippi.
Map of Washington County within the state of Mississippi

A list of all photo posts from the American County Seats series in TimManBlog can be found here.

All photos were taken by the author on October 6, 2022

My lifetime hobby is traveling to all of America’s county courthouses, and each month I post about a visit to a scenic or interesting county seat. It’s a hobby, and donations are greatly appreciated to help cover my costs.
Thanks,
Tim

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