Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Mississippi Delta 37: Tchula

Tchula is a tiny town in Holmes County, Mississippi, on US 49E a few miles south of Itta Bena. I wrote about Itta Bena in The Mississippi Delta 27 but had never driven 49E further south to see that stretch of the Delta. I drove there on a blazing hot 2020 summer day.

Former road bridge, Front Street, Tchula (Tri-X 400 film, Fuji GW690II camera, green filter)
Entering town from the south, I turned onto Front Street. A bridge formerly connected to Cooper Road, which follows the Tchula lakeshore. 
Front yard, Front Street, Tchula

Tchula is pretty rough. I found a long article in The Guardian. "Poorest town in poorest state: segregation is gone but so are the jobs. In his second dispatch from the US’s most deprived communities, Chris McGreal visits Tchula in Mississippi, where crime is high and opportunities are few". 

Mississippi Today featured a 2019 article on flooding and neglect of the inhabitants, "Living Day to Day: Surrounded by water and ignored by powerful officials, Tchula and its people fight for survival"

No more lunches at Speedy's, Tchula
Main Street view west, Tchula

Main Streeet view west, Tchula (Fuji X-E1 digital file)

I stopped on Main Street and went into the food store. Everyone was very friendly, and everyone was wearing a mask, even kids on bicycles. The local folks were more rigorous in wearing masks than Vicksburgers (or MAGA rally attendees at the White House). Trains occasionally thunder through town at high speed.

Former gas station, Main Street
Back lot of former commercial building, Jefferson Street, Tchula
Many of the former commercial buildings are no longer used. The vines shows abandonment.
Juke joint, US 49E, Tchula (Tri-X 400 film)
US 49E, view north, Tchula, Mississippi (Tri-X 400 film, Fuji GW690II, yellow filter)
This has been our short visit to Tchula. It is another example of a Mississippi Delta town. 

All photographs with one digital exception were from Kodak Tri-X film via my Fuji GW690II camera (the "Texas Leica") with a 90mm ƒ/3.5 EBC-Fujinon lens. Praus Productions in Rochester, New York, developed the film in Xtol developer.

2 comments:

Mike said...

Wonderful names for a lot of these forlorn Delta towns.

hexhead said...

Very nice work, well done!

My mother is from Ripley, MS, so I had to take a look. We are in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Take it easy. -Bill