Cotton Street Neighborhood

Sims and Cotton Streets
Marks, MS

This area is where Dr. King visited an impoverished family, getting to their home by boat since the road was under water. He was overcome with emotion and wept after seeing the conditions in which the family lived, and many say this began his transformation into a warrior on poverty after realizing that the father worked hard all day, and it still wasn’t enough to provide the basics for his family.

Eudora AME Zion Church

Photo of welcome sign at Eudora AME Zion Church, Marks, MS

301 Martin Luther King Drive
Marks, MS

Dr. King spoke at both of these churches in the spring of 1968 to rally support for the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC). The Eudora Church also provided meeting space and prepared hot meals for Freedom Riders and PPC organizers.

Valley Queen Missionary Baptist Church

Photo of Memorial Services for Armistead Phipps

404 Humphrey Avenue
Marks, MS

Dr. Martin Luther King is shown conducting a memorial services for Armistead Phipps at the Valley Queen Baptist Church in Marks on Sunday, June 12, 1966.

Phipps died while taking part in the James Meredith March that Dr. King was leading as it went through Senatobia. King apologized to those gathered for not wearing a tie while in the pulpit, but he had come to the area to lead marches and not funerals. (AP Photo)

Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church

Photo of Shady Grove MB Church, Marks, MS

1840 Riverside Road
Marks, MS

African American church history in Marks began just after the Civil War with Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church in 1865. Shady Grove served as an elementary school from grades one through eight for the children of sharecroppers and plantation workers.

Illinois Central Coaling Tower

Photo of Illinois Central Coaling Tower

640 Cutter Avenue
Lambert, MS

In the heyday of rail traffic, locomotives were steam powered and fueled by way of structures such as this coaling tower in Lambert.

The original one built in the 1800s was made of wood, but this concrete structure was built in the early 1900s and served its purpose until the mid-twentieth century when the fuel of choice became diesel. Because of the high cost of demolition, a few of these iconic towers remain in place and are often sought out by rail fans for photo opportunities.

Quitman County Courthouse

Photo of Quitman County Courthouse, Marks, MS

220 Chestnut Street
Marks, MS

The Quitman County Courthouse in Marks was constructed in 1910-11 and designed by the Chamberlin & Associates architecture firm in the Neoclassical style. It was designated a Mississippi Landmark in 1990.

Rosenwald School

Photo of Rosenwald School, Marks, MS

400 Humphrey Avenue
Marks, MS

Marks’ Old African American High School is one of the few remaining Rosenwald Schools in Mississippi. This school building is also one of the oldest historic properties left standing in the African American community.

The Julius Rosenwald Foundation constructed the building in 1922, and it has served the African American community for over 90 plus years providing educational and enrichment opportunities for ten of thousands of students and their families. It represents a symbol of inspiration, hope, and pride to the community at large.

The restoration of this building will help preserve a “gem” of Quitman County’s history that was designated as a Mississippi Landmark in July 2015. The preservation of this school will be a tribute to Julius Rosenwald for his investment to the betterment of mankind. He built over 5,000 schools for black students in the Jim Crow South era. Julius Rosenwald was a 20th-century Jewish philanthropist who made his fortune by co-founding the department store we refer to as Sears.

Savoy Hotel

Photo of Savoy Hotel, Main Street, Marks, MS

100 East Main Street
Marks, MS

The Savoy Hotel (later named the Marks Hotel) is a building that reflects the heyday of train traffic in Marks.