The Delta Blues Museum was established in 1979. This internationally-acclaimed museum showcases the history and significance of the Blues in this region. It features a wax figure of Blues great Muddy Waters and the famous Muddywood Guitar, videotape and slide-and-sound programs, photographs, recordings, books, memorabilia, archives, and much more. Stovall Plantation was the original home of the Muddy Waters Cabin, which is now located in its new home at the renovated Freight Depot on Blues Alley.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues Heritage Museum
This museum is packed full of music memorabilia and artifacts from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. Follow the evolution of America’s music from blues, R&B, and rockabilly to rock ‘n roll and soul and see how it influenced people all over the globe.
111 East Second Street,
114 Third Street,
A gallery featuring original art and pottery.
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Culture & History: BLUES ALLEY
The renovated passenger train depot, located on Blues Alley, now houses the Dutch Oven pastry, pie and cake bakery and sandwich/soup shop. The Dutch Oven specializes in quality baked items in the tradition of its Mennonite proprietors. The historic depot has been refurbished to its original condition both inside and out. Together, Clarksdale Station, the Delta Blues Museum, the former Greyhound Bus Station, and Ground Zero Blues Club make up Blues Alley.
Clarksdale is the childhood home of America’s most performed playwright, Tom “Tennessee” Williams. Young Tom’s grandfather served as rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church and lived in the parsonage. The church and parsonage are still active today.
Take a walking tour of the nearby historic neighborhood that greatly influenced the characters and events that are well known in Williams’ plays and screen adaptations such as Summer and Smoke,and The Glass Menagerie.
The Birthplace of the Blues
Many say Clarksdale, Mississippi is the very birthplace of the blues. It would be hard to argue against it. Site of countless blues festivals and home to famous blues musicians like Muddy Waters,John Lee Hooker,Big Jack Johnson, and Son House, the city will definitely teach you everything you need to know about the health of the blues in the Delta today.
Historic Blues District & Live Entertainment
The vibe of the blues starts in the Historic Blues District, otherwise known as Blues Alley. Within the city, you’ll find the Delta Blues Museum, a literal blues shrine of artifacts and memorabilia; actor Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club, where famous blues musicians sling lyrics on a juke joint stage almost every night of the week; and the iconic Crossroads of Hwy 61 & 49, the site where Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil.
One-of-a Kind Lodging
At the 'Squeeze Box' Delta Style rules the day. Designed and decorated by local artists. The Squeeze Box features works by local painters,sculptors, and photographers.
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When visitors travel to Mississippi to discover our state's blues musical heritage, they find the real, authentic experience here - especially in places like Clarksdale in the Mississippi Delta.
When you arrive in Clarksdale, Mississippi, start at the famed crossroads of Highways 49 and 61, said to be the site of where legendary blues man Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in order to master the guitar. A large sign with crossed guitars marks the spot of this diabolical deal in Delta lore. Highway 61 runs north to south and is often referred to as the 'Blues Highway.'
And now that the Mississippi Blues Trail includes dynamic, historical markers at locations throughout the state, you can visit two new Blues Trail Markers that are now in place in the Clarksdale area at the Riverside Hotel and at Muddy Waters' cabin site.
Speaking of Muddy Waters, Clarksdale, Mississippi, is the home of the Delta Blues Museum. Inside you'll find a wealth of information
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and exhibits about the unique American musical art form that is simply known as 'the blues.' Permanent exhibits such as Muddy Waters' childhood cabin make the Delta Blues Museum a must-see for everyone.
Clarksdale's rich blues history is evident all over town. On Sunflower Avenue you will find the Riverside Hotel made famous by Bessie Smith who drew her last breath there after a car accident. Issaquena Avenue is where beginner blues men of the past cut their teeth through street performances. Wade Walton's Barbershop was once the site of spontaneous blues jam sessions and tall tales by the owner who was friends with blues great Sonny Boy Williamson and W.C. Handy. Finally, while in Clarksdale, Mississippi, make it a point to tune into one of the country's oldest blues stations, WROX 1450-AM.
Another interesting site in the area is Hopson Plantation. The Hopson Planting Company was established in 1852 to grow cotton, the Delta's cash crop. The 4,000-acre property reached its
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heyday in the 1940s when the company was first to grow and harvest a cotton crop produced completely by mechanical methods. No longer a functioning farm, the Hopson Plantation and Commissary stands today in much the same condition as it was more than fifty years ago.
After you've worked up an appetite discovering all of the Mississippi blues history and heritage in Clarksdale, you'll have plenty of places to dine. Right beside the sign marking the historic crossroads is another famous Clarksdale landmark: Abe's Bar-B-Q. Since 1924, barbeque lovers have flocked to Abe's to enjoy tender pulled pork sandwiches and splendid sides. Come hungry and order the 'Big Abe.' Chamoun's Rest Haven Restaurant is indeed a haven of multi-cultural dining in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. An extensive menu features American and Italian fare as well as some of the area's best Lebanese cuisine. Don't leave without sampling the stuffed grape leaves, stuffed cabbage and stuffed kibbie.
A heavy dose of Clarksdale
Clarksdale, Mississippi, is a colorful mix of Delta characters and fascinating places. Discover the Riverside Hotel where blueswoman Bessie Smith died and John F. Kennedy, Jr. slept. Eat at the home of the World's Famous Hot Tamales at Hicks', or dine at Madiidi's, a restaurant owned and frequented by Morgan Freeman. Be sure to do some shopping before you leave town - and here's a unique place you'll want to check out: Taking its name from a type of biscuit of similar size, Cathead Delta Blues & Folk Art store features a full selection of Mississippi blues CDs, videos, DVDs, books and collectibles as well as Southern folk art. It's a great place to find some souvenirs for your friends or for yourself. Be sure to stop in and pick up a memory from your trip to the historic Delta.
We're the crossroads of culture and quirkiness with a heavy dose of the blues.