Av and I have been to Grand Gulf, MS (Google Maps doesn’t recognize Grand Gulf. Grand Gulf is between Vicksburg and Port Gibson – there is a sign on the highway that will show you where to turn.) before, and decided to visit again last week since we were going close to it, from Vicksburg to Baton Rouge. I really wanted to see if the osage orange trees were okay, since the hurricane had brought down so many trees.
Isn’t this abandoned church so pretty?
Here’s one of the osage oranges. Some people call them hedgeapples, and others call them ‘brain fruit’ because of their texture (closer shot below):
…and they’re such an odd color! Up until earlier this year, when we first visited Grand Gulf, I had never seen one! I only figured out what they were called when I did a Google search.
There was a historic sign with the history of Grand Gulf:
The town of Grand Gulf began in the 18th century as a small British settlement. By 1828 it had grown to a village of three stores, one tavern, and several houses. There was a stage line to Port Gibson and steamboats stopped at its wharves. Incorporated in 1833, Grand Gulf received its name from a large whirlpool formed as the Mississippi River struck a great rock formation. By the late 1830s Grand Gulf had become an important port and trading center with seventy-six city blocks and about 1000 people. Grand Gulf’s decline began in 1843 with a yellow fever epidemic. In 1853 a tornado devastated a large portion of the town. Yellow fever and cholera epidemics resulted in further population losses. To make matters worse, the Mississippi River changed its course and began eating into the land on which the town was built. Between 1855 and 1860, fifty-five city blocks were destroyed by the river. By 1860 only one hundred fifty-eight lived there. During the Civil War, Federal troops and gunboats destroyed the remainder of the town. The town was never rebuilt after the war and today even the river has deserted what was once a bustling river port. All that remains are a few antebellum buildings scattered along what was once the outskirts of the town.