Abandoned ghost town of Rodney nearly became capital of Mississippi
Join me on a visit to the amazing ghost town of Rodney, Mississippi. I had never hear of Rodney ghost town before, but went looking for it on a whim after receiving a tip from some locals I met at the Windsor Ruins. Wow — what a treat!
There’s not much left of Rodney now, but in the 1800s it was a big deal. A story in the New York Times says this about Rodney, “It was chartered in 1828 and at its most populous, in the 1850’s, had 53 stores, 2 banks, 2 newspapers, a riverboat landing with taverns of a seedy and dangerous nature . . . “
The prosperous town was killed by yellow fever epidemics, several fires, and ultimately the very thing that made it successful to begin with — a sandbar caused a change of course of the Mississippi River two miles away from Rodney.
In the video above, we journey through the small ghost town at Rodney, examining and photographing the buildings. Black and white photographs begin at 9:50.
Photographs of Rodney by Marion Post Wolcott, taken in 1940 for the Farm Security Administration
Farm Security Administration photographer Marion Post Wolcott visited Rodney in 1940, where she made the photographs seen below. The first image shows the Alston store, which is the first wooden structure seen in my video as we drive into town. The gas pump can be seen in the shade of the awning. The structures facing us across the road are no longer standing. See all of Wolcott’s Rodney photographs here.
The 1850 Baptist church (above) and 1831 Presbyterian church (below) can both be seen in my video tour. Both churches received renovations in the 1990s. In 1940 the Baptist church was bare wood, while today it’s painted white. I noticed also that it had wooden steps below the front door in 1940, where there are now stone blocks with a hint of remaining green paint.
You’ll see in the video that the Baptist church shows high-water marks to its window sills. While the Baptist church and other buildings today show signs damage from a recent flood, the Presbyterian church, sitting on higher ground, appears to have avoided flood waters.
Black and white fine art photographs of Rodney ghost town in Mississippi
Below are some of the black and white photographs I captured on this visit to the ghost town at Rodney, Mississippi.
Be sure to visit this article with amazing photographs of the Town of Rodney by a photographer named Ashleigh Coleman. She has visited Rodney many times during all kinds of light and weather conditions, including floods.
New York Times, “Ghosts and Ruins Along the Mississippi,” Michael Frank, Sept. 20, 1998