Homes of James Earl Jones, Otha Turner, and Dumas Malone by Will Jacks

The Mississippi Delta is known as the birthplace of the Blues, the Civil Rights Movement, and a plethora of famous people. Located 40 miles south of Memphis, Tate County features the birth homes of a Broadway-Hollywood actor, a Bluesman, and an American historian. Born in Arkabutla, award-winning African American actor James Earl Jones is perhaps most widely known as the voices of Star Wars film series' Darth Vader and Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King. Otha Turner was a living link to rural Blues and fife-and-drum pre-Blues that extended well into the 19th century. Turner's friends and family continue to host a festival in his honor each August at his Gravel Springs Road home located southeast of Senatobia in rural Tate County. Finally, Yale-educated Dumas Malone was born in Coldwater and is considered by many to have been the greatest expert ever on the life and work of Thomas Jefferson. 

World Famous Mississippi Delta Pottery by Will Jacks

World-Famous Pottery-Bolivar County is home to not one, but two world-famous pottery locations. McCartys Pottery and Gardens in Merigold, and also Peter’s Pottery in Mound Bayou, have been drawing both domestic and international visitors for many years. The unique styling of the Delta clay, along with the beautiful gardens of McCartys, welcome visitors all year long. 

Tutwiler Murals by Will Jacks

Front Street and Hancock Avenue

Tutwiler, MS

Located along Railroad Blues Park, the Tutwiler Murals depict scenes that have made the town known as the legendary home of the Blues. Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy, wrote in his autobiography that he first heard the Blues played in 1895 at Tutwiler's railroad station. A memorial tribute to Bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson is included in the murals, along with a map to his grave site. Scenes of Mississippi Delta landscapes also are included, making the murals a certain point of interest among music, Southern culture, and photography enthusiasts alike. 


Museum of the Mississippi Delta by Will Jacks

The Museum of the Mississippi Delta is at the crossroads of Delta history and art. The museum boasts a room dedicated to the agricultural history of our region with photographs and farming implements on display. A Civil War-era cannon and a model of the battle of nearby Fort Pemberton are featured in the Leflore County Military History exhibit, focusing on the effect of various wars on Greenwood and its citizens. Peek into the past to view life in the early Mississippi Delta, from colonial trade beads to the history of King Cotton and on to contemporary regional art.


Doe's Eat Place by Will Jacks

Doe's Eat Place was established in 1941 by Dominick "Doe" Signa and his wife Mamie. Doe's Father moved to Greenville in 1903 and opened a grocery store in the building that now serves as the restaurant. The family lived in a house behind the store. The grocery which the Signa Family called Papa's Store did well until the 1927 flood. After that, Big Doe Signa went into bootlegging to help the family get back on its feet. After several years he sold his 40 barrel still for $300.00 and a Model T Ford. Around 1941 Mamie received a partial recipe for hot tamales. She improved the recipe and began selling them. That was the beginning of Doe's.

At first Signa ran a honky tonk in the front part of the store. It was strictly for blacks. He had things like buffalo fish and chili. Ironically, the "carriage" trade arrived by the back door, like segregation in reverse. One of the local doctors began coming for a meal between calls. Big Doe would cook him up a steak and feed him in the back. Pretty soon the doctor brought another doctor then a lawyer and before he knew it Doe had a regular restaurant in the back. After calling in family and in-laws to help with his thriving restaurant, he eventually closed the honky tonk and focused on the eat place.

Big Doe Signa retired in 1974 and turned the business over to his sons Charles and Little Doe. Today they still carry on the family tradition of greeting customers in the front kitchen that was the original honky tonk. Though time has taken a toll on the building, it only adds to the atmosphere of dining at an old family restaurant where the true authenticity of the 1940's grocery and restaurant remains.


MDNHA Passport Program by Will Jacks

As a National Park Service partner, the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area participates in the Passport to Your National Parks program. MDNHA passport stations are located in each of the MDNHA's 18 counties and are available through cultural, tourism, and municipal organizations. Passport stamp collectors who successfully gather stamps from all 18 counties are eligible to receive the MDNHA’s NPS Centennial Passport t-shirt as a prize for traveling the entire MDNHA. For the complete list of passport station locations, visit

Train Coal Tower by Will Jacks

In the heyday of rail traffic, locomotives were steam powered and fueled by way of structures such as this in Lambert. The original one built in the 1800s was made of wood, but this concrete structure was built in the early 1900s and served its purpose until the mid-twentieth century when the fuel of choice became diesel. Because of the high cost of demolition, a few of these iconic towers remain in place and are often sought out by railfans for photo opportunities.