Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Mississippi Delta 11: Duncan

Duncan is another small agricultural town in Bolivar County, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Like the towns featured in previous entries, the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley railroad tracks once ran through the commercial center of town, but a resident told me they were removed in the early 1980s.

To reach the center of town, you turn off U.S. 61 and drive west on East Main Street (also called Hwy 444). This former country store is on the south side of East Main. I wonder if it was once a gasoline station with room for a customer to pull in under the overhang? Many early 20th century filling stations looked like this.

Further west on East Main, I came across this curious store with a 45 degree front, about 1920 vintage. Another former filling station? Just next door was this contemporary blue food mart. Many of the convenience stores and gasoline stations in the Delta are run by Pakistanis and Indians.

Turning left on West Part Street, I came across the efficient-sized Town Hall (or at least, that was clearly this building's original purpose), c. 1910.

East and West Park Streets once paralleled the railroad tracks. These small commercial buildings were on East Park, facing the tracks.

This building on West Park was a former service station, according to a gent I met. Notice the patterned stucco/cement siding, made to look like limestone blocks. Many late-1800s houses in Vicksburg have similar patterned stucco.

Finally, this little steel building was once a seed store. Duncan is a cute little town, very quiet at dusk.

All photographs taken with a Panasonic G1 digital camera with 14-45mm Lumix lens, tripod-mounted.

Update February 3, 2015: MississippiPreservation wrote an interesting article on the February 25, 1929 tornado, that killed 21 people and destroyed 100 homes.


  1. Surely the tracks were removed in the early 1900s, as the completion date for installing the tracks for the Yahoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad was September 10, 1884? Great photographs. It looks like quite the adventure.

    1. Yes, you are right!! Mr. Fumblefingers here meant 1980s, not 1800s. I have corrected the text. Thanks for pointing out the error.