Highway 433 was supposed to run from Lexington, Mississippi straight to Bentonia, but only a few miles out of Lexington I ran into a major problem. The road was closed due to a washed-out bridge, and the detour was going to send me along unpaved gravel and dirt roads, so I ended up having to backtrack to Lexington and go a different route. The alternate route I chose led me to a crossroads called Ebenezer, which didn’t have a historic marker but which did appear to be very old indeed. Even the general store at the highway intersection looked like a throwback to an earlier era, and there were interesting old houses, stores and a church nearby.
On the way to the Bentonia Blues Festival, I had to pass through Lexington, Mississippi, the county seat of Holmes County, and I stopped at the courthouse square there to shoot some photos. Frankly, I was surprised at how empty and silent the town square was on a Saturday. So devoid was the downtown area of people that it felt more like a Sunday afternoon. Lexington has had its share of civil rights controversies over the years, and its town square was several times the target of organized boycotts, so it could be that people got used to going to Jackson to shop, but despite the historic architecture, Lexington seems to be dead. On the outskirts of town was the abandoned campus of Saints College, the former denominational college of the Church of God In Christ. It was fenced in with “No Trespassing” signs everywhere, and added to the sense of abandonment in Lexington.