Above the Fold

A digital 'zine by Original Fuzz about creativity and making stuff.

★  Apr 20, 2024  ★

Where Robert Johnson Is Really Buried

The handwritten epitaph inscribed on Robert Johnson's grave

As with the life of Robert Johnson, there's a lot of myth and mystery surrounding his final resting place. There are actually three different locations around the Mississippi Delta that lay claim to his grave. But there's one spot where he's really buried, and here's how to find it.

If you're coming into Greenwood, MS from the west on Highway 82, keep following 82 until you go over the river. Just after the river take a right on W Park Ave. If you stay on 82 and find yourself taking a hard left turn you've gone too far. Follow Park Ave for a few blocks and take a left on Grand Blvd. Grand Blvd will cross over the river again and then turn into Money Road, which heads out of town towards Money, MS.

Once you're on Money Road, you're in real Delta country. You'll pass majestic old homes on the right and a road to your left called Emmett Till Memorial Highway. You'll pass a radio station on your right that looks like the place they filmed the O Brother, Where Art Thou? recording session scene. Now you're getting close.

As soon as Money Road starts to bend keep a look out on the left for a little white church in the wildwood called the Little Zion MB Church. That's the spot. Turn in and park. There's a graveyard to the left of the church. At 10 o'clock there's a tree towards the back of the graveyard with a marker for Robert Johnson that includes his handwritten epitaph:

Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jerusalem, I know that my Redeemer liveth and He will call me from the grave.

Apparently, the consensus is that he is buried somewhere in that churchyard, but they don't want to mark it specifically, or they haven't bothered finding him.

I visited the site last Sunday en route to BB King's last homecoming show in Indianola, MS, and I have to say that we felt an eerie fog come over us when we crossed over into the churchyard. There's something thick hanging in the air. The field next to church looks like a place Alan Lomax would have felt right at home.

When people say there's no place in the world like the Mississippi Delta, this is what they mean.

The trail marker and churchyard at Robert Johnson's grave in Greenwood, MS

Biographical information about Robert Johnson on the Mississippi Blues trail marker

Larger view of the grave marker for Robert Johnson