History of Grenada, Mississippi

If you’re interested in a town rich in history, Grenada is the place to explore. Between the Mississippi Blues Trail, the Freedom Trail, Grenada’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, cotton farming, and so much more, we’ll keep you busy during your stay. 

First, you’ll want to visit the Belle Flower Missionary Baptist Church, where Civil Rights activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Joan Baez, Andrew Young, Ralph Abernathy, and other members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference gathered for the Grenada County Freedom Movement. Founded in 1966, this was the primary civil rights organization that led the fight for desegregation and equality in Grenada, MS. 

While you’re in the Downtown Square, learn about how Grenada came to be. Here’s a hint: it involves a mock marriage between a man and woman from two different towns!

Grenada’s Civil War forts are a must-see for the Civil War history buff. Built in anticipation of a battle being fought on the Yalobusha River when General Grant was advancing down the Mississippi Central Railroad, they hold a rich history that forms an important part of Grenada’s makeup. 

For the architecturally inclined, Grenada’s Old Post Office is the perfect stop. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and featured on an episode of HGTV’s ReZoned, the Old Post Office was Grenada’s first postal-owned building that is an example of the Georgian Revival style of architecture. Stop to see several remaining antebellum homes, or take a walk through Grenada’s Downtown Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

If you’re a blues enthusiast, you’re in luck! Grenada County has very strong roots in the genre and sports four markers on The Mississippi Blues Trail. Spend a day or two on the trail immersing yourself in the lives and stories of bluesmen and women, learning about the places they lived and the times that influenced their music. Hear about Grenada musicians such as St. Louis bluesman Walter Davis, a major blues recording artist of the 1930s, and Big George Brock, a world-renowned singer-harmonica player. Don’t forget Chicago blues guitar masters Magic Sam (Maghett) and Magic Slim (Holt), as well as Eddie Willis, a premier session musician whose guitar playing infused the Motown sound of Detroit with a taste of Mississippi blues. Fun fact: In 1927, two of the first blues artists to record were Grenada County natives who moved to Memphis.  Many other types of roots music are found around every corner.

While you’re in Grenada, we hope you soak up all the history our town offers. If not, you’ll just have to come back another time–or, choose to make Grenada your new home!

Plan 1

  • Explore the Blues Trail
    Lunch in the Square
    Civil Rights History at the Church
    Local Music in the Square
    Barbecue Dinner

Plan 2

  • Learn about Cotton Farming
    Take a Walking Tour around Downtown
    Listen to Music with New Friends
    Visit the Post Office
    Picnic at the Lake

Civil Rights History

Don’t leave Grenada without visiting some of the most important sites of the early Civil Rights Movement. You’ll want to see the Belle Flower Missionary Baptist Church, where Civil Rights activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Joan Baez, Andrew Young, Ralph Abernathy, and other members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference gathered for the Grenada County Freedom Movement. Founded in 1966, this was the primary civil rights organization that led the fight for desegregation and equality in Grenada, MS. Belle Flower Baptist is the third oldest black Baptist Church in the state, and retains both a rich heritage and a vibrant present-day congregation.

Musical History

If you’re a blues enthusiast, you’re in luck! Grenada County has very strong roots in the genre and sports four markers on The Mississippi Blues Trail. Spend a day or two on the trail immersing yourself in the lives and stories of bluesmen and women, learning about the places they lived and the times that influenced their music. Hear about Grenada musicians such as St. Louis bluesman Walter Davis, a major blues recording artist of the 1930s, and Big George Brock, a world-renowned singer-harmonica player. Don’t forget Chicago blues guitar masters Magic Sam (Maghett) and Magic Slim (Holt), as well as Eddie Willis, a premier session musician whose guitar playing infused the Motown sound of Detroit with a taste of Mississippi blues. Fun fact: In 1927, two of the first blues artists to record were Grenada County natives who moved to Memphis. Many other types of roots music are found around every corner.

The Founding of Grenada

Every Grenada local knows the famous story of how the town came to be. Grenada is the result of a union between two rival towns: Pittsburgh, Mississippi, and Tulahoma, Mississippi. The feud came to a rest in 1836 when residents came together in an attempt to solve the towns’ problems. Against all likelihood, the meeting resulted instead in the “marriage” of the two towns in an unforgettable 4th of July celebration. The “wedding” was performed by Rev. Abraham Lucas, and the resulting union formed the vibrant, hospitable town of Grenada that we still know and love today.

Civil War History

Grenada is rich in Civil War history and historical sites–from trenches and forts to well-preserved buildings of the period. The town’s Civil War forts are a must-see for the dedicated history buff. Built in anticipation of a battle being fought on the Yalobusha River when General Grant was advancing down the Mississippi Central Railroad, they hold a rich history that forms an important part of Grenada’s makeup. Grenada’s location, railway depot, and post office also made the town a Confederate enlistment site, which brought the enlistment of four companies between 1861 and 1862.

In the heart of North Mississippi, just off I55 and centrally located between Jackson and Memphis, you will find the town of Grenada. Whether you’re looking for a new home, a home-away-from-home, or place to launch or relocate your business, we welcome you to join our growing community.

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