Rolling Fork’s Amazing Red Barn Collapses

Sometime late Friday night or early Saturday, the beautiful, amazing structure on Highway 61 on the south side of Rolling Fork, known affectionately as “The Red Barn,”
collapsed. The cause is not known, but the U.S. Corps of Engineers, owners of the property, had not made any repairs to the roof since they acquired the building last year. It is possible that the building was weakened structurally during one of the terrible wind storms that have swept through the state in the last few weeks.

The building was constructed in the 1920s as part of the Mound Plantation and was used primarily as a horse barn. The word “devastating” was used more than once in the several e-mail strings I received about this loss this weekend. As you may recall from recent News Roundups, the site was supposed to become the South Delta Interpretive Center, but there was always a question whether the Corps planned to incorporate the existing agricultural buildings into their plan (why use agricultural buildings to interpret the South Delta? There’s not much agriculture around there, right?). The funding for that center has now been revoked according to recent reports, so it had become a moot question anyway.

photo by Lisa Newman Holland, April 30, 2011

photo by Lisa Newman Holland, April 30, 2011

Big Red Barn, Rolling Fork (photo Jan 2008, Jennifer Baughn, MDAH)

Photo by Jennifer Baughn, MDAH (Jan 2008)

Beautiful attic framing. Photo by Jennifer Baughn, MDAH (January 2008)

Photo by Jennifer Baughn, MDAH (January 2008)

Red Barn, 1920s-2011. RIP.

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Categories: Cool Old Places, Delta, Demolition/Abandonment

13 replies

  1. now , the corps will get bids on the removal of all those gorgeous timbers. wonder who I should contact for the salvage?


  2. Hearing this news is not how I wanted to start my Monday.


  3. It is tragic that the corps did not take care of the building. This was a tragedy which could well have been averted with proper basic maintenance.


  4. Sad to see this.


  5. I read in the Vicksburg Post that a Corps spokeman said the Corps did not have Congressional authority to “do anything with that building,” which included repairs and maintenance. If true, then perhaps the Corps should not own any historic buildings or other sensitive cultural resources that they cannot be responsible for.


  6. These photos make me even sadder after seeing the beautiful interior structure & beams…..What a shame that this picturesque scene is gone forever.


  7. This breaks my heart! Growing up in Rolling Fork, I could see the Red Barn from my house. It was always in my sight, every day. When I was a little girl and couldnt sleep, I would crawl up into my window seat and stare at the Barn all night. It was gorgeous ! I can still remember the bright moon hanging right above it, lighting it up. As kids we would ride our bikes to it and camp out inside and play. This is my childhood. I always knew I was home driving north on hwy 61 when I saw the Barn take a left! Its devastating…


  8. I’m glad I got to see it when I drove through my old home town this past winter. I didn’t know then it would be for the last time. I sure hope we use that timber to build another structure in town. You don’t know what you’ve got ’till its gone.


  9. It’s a shame the corp didn’t keep it up. I’m sure they’ll put up some sort of modern building there. But it will never replace history lost by neglect. What a shame!!! New is not always better.


  10. Sad to see that this beautiful place was left to go into disrepair . If the Corps had no money to restore this place why wasn’t it sold to someone who could have repaired it and turned it into a money maker and tourist attraction ? As usual the Federal Government has found another way to waste money and not do any thing with the place until it falls into disrepair where it can’t be salvaged by any one no matter what amount of money they have to put into it . Thank you Corps of Engineers for another mess on your face by now it should be covered with egg.


  11. Most of you folks assume the Corps of Engineers has infinite funds to restore buildings and such. Far from the truth! Often Congress authorizes projects but only partially appropriates funds. That is why some projects languish for decades; no funding, no construction, digging or restoring. Another possibility: The red barn may have been situated on land intended for the interpretative center, but was not intended to be part of the center. A third possibility: whoever sold the land to the Federal Government may have realized that drastic maintenance would be needed soon and decided to rid himself of the potential liability. You would be surprised how often this happens (let Uncle Sam take on the headache).



  1. MissPres News Roundup 5-7-2012 « Preservation in Mississippi

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