Mound Bayou Historic District

Mound Bayou Historic District

The Mound Bayou Historic District was founded by freed slaves after the Civil War with no assistance from other communities What was accomplished is very significant and was accomplished under extremely difficult conditions. The founders, including Isaiah T. Montgomery, the community founder and those that carne after them started with a wilderness and created over many years, a thriving self-sufficient community.

Although Mound Bayou and the surrounding farms continued to prosper throughout the first twenty years of the 20th century, a number of events occurred which would impede its growth and ultimately lead to the decline of the town.

Throughout the 1920s the economic hard times continued. With the loss of their farms, many Mound Bayou blacks moved to northern cities to find work.

The declining population had a negative effect of the business community. The local business community also suffered from a severe downtown fire in 1926 which destroyed many businesses. A second large fire in 1941 consumed what was left of the town's business district. Mound Bayou has never fully recovered from the combination of economic and natural disasters.

Despite these setbacks, Mound Bayou continued to exhibit some of the spirit that motivated the founders to establish a community for African Americans governed by African Americans. In 1953, Mound Bayou owned 37, 000 acres ofDelta farmland with an assessed valuation of $7,000 000.

Benjamin Green, Jr., was elected mayor in 1919 and would serve until1960. Green was the first baby born in Mound Bayou and graduated from Fisk University and Harvard Law School.

The Mound Bayou Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.