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
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 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
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.
Johnson's birthplace & memorials)
Blues Guys - Robert Johnson Graves (all 3 sites)
Photos taken in May, 2003
Page created on January 15, 2004/ last updated on July 17,
Questions and comments can be sent to Sandor
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