Overnight we travelled further south down the Mississippi and this morning we reached the town of Greenville in Mississippi.
Greenville is a port on the Mississippi – Yazoo River plain. There were two previous versions of this town further down the river. These were destroyed in the Civil War. The town was named after the American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene. The present city was established on the Blantonia Plantation during the Reconstruction period after the civil war.
This is one of the American towns that is changing significantly. Down by the river the town is as dead a a Dodo. Most of the shops are shut because the centre of town has moved about 3 miles away to where the big stores such as Walmart and Walgreens are located on the highway. The population has fallen over the years and some of this fall is a consequence of President Carter’s imposition of an embargo on grain exports to Russia. Many people left and haven’t returned.
Our purpose in visiting here is that this area is noted for its blues musicians. There are some run-down looking music venues in the town along with a casino that may be keeping the town alive. The annual Mississippi Delta Blues Festival is held in Greenville in September, and a Hot Tamale Festival will take place tomorrow with the locals expecting over 20,000 people to attend. Not far away. Is the BB King Soul Music Museum.
We walked about a two kilometres around the town and some of the locals were happy to talk to us. Outside the Federal Court building we had a chat to two US Federal Marshals who came out to talk to us and see where we had come from. They told us some fo the history of the town. In another street, we had a talk with a couple of local business people who were setting things uo for tomorrow’s festival.
I took enough photos to make a photo essay of the town’s sad condition.