Clarksdale Sites

Lot where the WC Handy house once stood

W.C. Handy House Lot

324 Issaquena Ave, Clarksdale, Mississippi
The W.C. Handy house once stood at this site on Issaquena Street. W.C. Handy lived in Clarksdale from 1903 to 1905, and it was during these formative years that he collected many blues songs.
 
Exterior of the old Delta Blues Museum, before they moved to their current location
Exterior of the old Delta Blues Museum, before they moved to their current location

Delta Blues Museum

Blues Alley Lane, Clarksdale Mississippi

Founded in 1979, the Delta Blues Museum of Clarksdale houses a wide collection of artifacts from influentual blues artists, including B.B. King, Sonny Boy Williamson, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, and others. Located in the historic Clarksdale freight depot on Blues Alley, the museum's mission is to create a welcoming space for visitors to explore the history and heritage of the Blues, and often features Blues workshops by local artists.

The Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and general admission is $10.
 
Exterior of the Riverside Hotel

Riverside Hotel

615 Sunflower Avenue, Clarksdale Mississippi

At 615 Sunflower Avenue stands the Riverside Hotel, once the G.T. Thomas Hospital. Its most famous patient, Bessie Smith, died here in 1937 after an auto accident on Highway 61 outside of town. The Riverside Hotel has hosted famous bluesmen Sonny Boy Williamson, Ike Turner, and Robert Nighthawk, who left a suitcase here before he died.
 
Busy intersection of Highways 49 and 61

Devil's Crossroads

Intersection of Highways 61 and 49, Clarksdale, Mississippi


Crossroads are important landmarks in the flat, homogeneous Delta landscape, and the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale is one such landmark. Tommy Johnson claimed to have met a diabolical figure at midnight on a crossroads in the Delta. This large black man tuned Johnson's guitar so that Johnson could play any song he wanted. Another Delta bluesman, Robert Johnson, wrote "Crossroads Blues," wherein he sang "Sun goin' down boy, dark gon' catch me here." It typified the fear of such a place after dark.

 

Last updated: November 10, 2017