The Mississippi Delta lost one of its treasured landmarks Friday night.
The recent high winds and storms that rolled through the Delta took their toll on the 93-year-old Red Barn at Rolling Fork, Mississippi, causing its buckling walls and already weakened roof to finally give way.
The old barn collapsed in on itself, creating a pile of rubble resting against the twin silos which are still standing proud above the flat Delta fields.
Here are a couple of pictures of the barn which I took a couple of years ago ...
I hated to hear about the loss of the old barn, and felt compelled to go see it for one last time. My husband and I drove up to Rolling Fork yesterday, and I would like to share some of the pictures I captured of what, I am sure, is the final chapter in the barn's history. I don't see how it could possibly be restored.
The shattered rafters and beams reminded me of an abstract sculpture ...
The Red Barn, built in 1918, was part of a 33-acre land purchase by the U.S. Department of Defense a year ago, and was overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District. The Department of Defense had planned to build a 3,800-square-foot interpretive center on the land, but the federal government’s $40 million cut in non-defense discretionary programs over a week ago suspended the project indefinitely. The project was to include a $6 million interpretive and educational center focusing on wildlife and the environment.
According to a Corps spokesman, "the Army Corps of Engineers does not have any congressional authority to do anything with the building, including repairs and maintenance."
The Delta isn't going to be the same without that awesome old landmark ... but, thanks to photographers like Marty Kittrell and Robert Walker of Vicksburg, its beauty and glory will be forever captured and memorialized in photographs. To see Marty's and Robert's pictures of the barn (including inside shots, too), you can visit their websites at Marty Kittrell Photography, and Grits Photography.