A 501c3, the Mississippi Folk Art Foundation, has been set up to save the art environment known as Margaret’s Grocery just outside Vicksburg, Mississippi. From the gofundme, the mission was put:
The funds we raise will help in a multitude of ways. From purchasing paint and brushes to moving the bus to its new location. (the wheels on this bus do not go round and round anymore). The bus also needs to be repaired, replace the tires, to repainting. The masonic art works need to be expertly moved and then repainted, (requires a crane) religious signs need to be repainted also. In addition to rebuilding the signs, relocation of all the art and brick work to a new location and purchasing the land for its new location to reinstalling this iconic folk art creation. All of this requires experts to help with this process and funds to pay to move the masonic art and reinstall in its new location.
I’m among the donors from a couple of years ago — and gofundme gifts are going on currently — and much work has been done already and is continuous. I’ve been visiting Margaret’s Grocery since the early 2000s when it appeared more like this:
Underneath all this: a trailer and a little store. Margaret ran this with her previous husband until he was murdered in a robbery. Later, she met Rev Dennis who asked Margaret to marry him and promised he would turn her little store into a palace. And he did.
Some very early pics of Margaret’s Grocery here.
I try to visit at least once a year, and it’s always something of a surprise to see how much worse it looks since each previous visit. These pics were taken in December 2016:
Some of my pics of Margaret’s through the years here. All the following pics are mine, different dates:
Since I took these pics, the school bus was removed to undergo restoration at anther location.
Here, Eric Feldman’s visit where he visits with Margaret and shows the interior.
Here, pics by the UCM Museum in 2001.
On March 7, 2020, the MS Folk Art Foundation’s documentary, “The Oral History of a Southern Vernacular Palace,” will be shown shown 6p at the Strand Theatre in Vicksburg. A panel discussion will follow, and the event is free. The gofundme campaign is going on currently.