The most legendary of all the bluesmen. The one most steeped in myth. Robert Johnson is so big, he is buried at three sites around Greenwood, Mississippi!

The follow three churches/cemeteries have markers for Robert Johnson: Payne Chapel, Mount Zion, and Little Zion

Payne Chapel

Back in the 1990 November-December issue of Living Blues Magazine, Payne Chapel Church, near Quito, was declared to be the resting place for Robert Johnson. One of Robert's ex-girlfriends said so, so it had to be true. Actual one story has it that Robert was moved to this cemetery from one of the other cemeteries (see below). As you'll see, it's all too confusing.

The marker for Robert Johnson at Payne Chapel. Donated by a Georgia rock band called, "The Tombstones."
(Of all the gravestones I've seen for Robert, I like this one the best. Simple and to the point).

Mount Zion

Mount Zion Church was considered to be Robert Johnson's final resting spot due to his death certificate stating he was buried at "Zion Church."
Off to the left and near the road in front is an obelisk placed here due to a combination of Sony/Columbia Records, and the Mount Zion Fund (who gets credit depends on which source you use). Anyways, this marker is the most impressive of all the tombstones erected for bluesmen (and women) in Mississippi.

Left: North side of the obelisk; Right: West side of the obelisk

Left: south side of the obelisk; Right: east side of the obelisk

The obelisk with tree and wooden cross behind it.

Little Zion Church

The most recent entry into the "Robert Johnson sweepstakes," Little Zion M.B. Church is located north of Greenwood (on whatever Grand St. becomes once you're north of town) and thusly is not shown on the map at the top of this page. You want to measure out 2.3 miles from the second bridge you go over along Fulton-Grand St. in Greenwood. Little Zion will be on your left.

When I was here in May, 2003 I was unaware of any gravestone for Robert Johnson here, so I just took a photo of a patch of the cemetery.
Fast forward 8 months later, while researching for this project on the web I discovered that there is now a gravestone for Robert Johnson here, and someone has taken photos of it (see link below). More recent scholars have theorized that since Robert Johnson died a poor man inside Greenwood, that it is more likely that Robert would be buried at the closest cemetery to town (and Little Zion is alot closer to Greenwood than Mount Zion or Payne Chapel, which are out between Morgan City and Itta Bena). Thus this location stands to reason as being a more likely choice. Now as to where his coffin is, contact an archaeologist and risk destroying the myth to find that answer.


Hazelhurst (Robert Johnson's birthplace & memorials)

Dead Blues Guys - Robert Johnson Graves (all 3 sites)

Photos taken in May, 2003

Page created on January 15, 2004/ last updated on July 17, 2006

Questions and comments can be sent to Sandor Gulyas

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