Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Mississippi Delta 38b: Hwy 49W and the Belzoni area (XPan 12)

Dear Readers, let's take another look at the Mississippi Delta with the panoramic Hasselblad XPan camera. Please type XPan in the search box to see older articles from Vicksburg, the Delta, Jackson, and Louisiana.

After my drive north on Highway US 49E to the little town of Sidon, I headed west through flat and lonely farm fields on MS 511 (Phillipston Road) and MS 7, finally reaching Morgan City on US49W. Long-term readers may remember that I looked at Morgan City in the Mississippi Delta 23. I also explored junk in the woods in 2015. 

1st Avenue, Morgan City (30mm ƒ/5.6 lens)

This former commercial block has only one building with an intact roof. The dudes were hanging out in the shade and drinking.

Fixer-upper barn, Swiftown (45mm, yellow filter)
Gin, Swiftown (90mm ƒ/4 lens)

Swiftown is not really a town, just an unincorporated community in Leflore County about 7 miles south of Morgan City. The barn next to a trailer was interesting. The cotton gin looks unused.

Head south about 10 miles and you reach Belzoni. 

Junction of MLK Jr. Drive and Church Street, Belzoni

My friend, who grew up in Belzoni, told me that these Quanset huts were restaurants owned by a local Italian family, the Mechattos. They were immigrants from Sicily. My friend's grandmother called them "The Hut." They made wonderful homemade salad dressing. One waitress was called Tootsie. My friend did not know when the family left or stopped operating the restaurant. 

China Street, Belzoni

Much of Belzoni is pretty rough today. And it may no longer be the Catfish Capital of the World. Please click the link for some 2021 photographs of Belzoni.

Thank you all for riding along in the Mississippi Delta.


W. White said...

That building in Swiftown doesn't look like a barn. The windows along the side are the giveaway. It looks more like a church, possibly a school; though if it is a church of sufficient age, it could have been used as both church and school. said...

Thanks, W. I did not think of the building being an old church or school at the time. I am sure you are right.

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