Walt's Look Around: The Delta town of Rosedale - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: The Delta town of Rosedale

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ROSEDALE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Bolivar County is one of those counties with two courthouses. One in Cleveland and the other here in the west part of the county at Rosedale. And the restoration work being done on the Rosedale Courthouse may be an apt metaphor for the whole town; being dug out from under and re-enforced and a new foundation put under it to stop the settling. One of the busiest places in Rosedale is its port on the Mississippi River. It's built on an inlet tied to the river on its lower end so it rises and falls with the river but doesn't have the current.

Back in the early 1800's Rosedale's origin was a port along the Mississippi River. And the town that grew up near the port got its name from the port founder, who called the area "Rosedale" for his Virginia plantation.

And Rosedale is like a lot of other Delta towns that had its heyday as a supply center for plantations. Its politicians were among the most powerful in the state. And it was most prosperous back in the days before mechanization when there was such a demand for workers to bring in the cotton crop.

But now, when one person on a tractor or in an airplane can do the day's work of a hundred hand workers in about and hour, obviously agricultural needs in the Delta have changed as the role of Delta towns has changed with it.

But Barbara Pope, who runs the White Front Café and specializes in hot tamales, so much so that the Mississippi Blues Trail marker for tamales is right out in front of her café, says she is seeing subtle positive changes in the Delta and Rosedale as people are choosing to live there again.

Barbara Pope: They're coming back and I think they're going to bring some money back into the community and that's going to help a lot.

Walt: Riverside United Baptist Church is also a metaphor for the New Delta. This relatively newly formed thriving congregation is made up of members of three formerly dwindling churches, hence the "united" in the name. Gail Towers says they're surviving against all popular opinion.

Gail Towers: When this merger was done, many said it would never take place, it would not happen, that three separate churches would not unite. But we proved them wrong.

Walt: And maybe the whole Delta is poised to do the same thing, pull all of its diversity together into a strong unity and prove all the naysayers wrong. All you have to do is look to Rosedale to see it can be done.

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