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Catfish Row Museum Sneak Peek



The trumpet played by the Red Tops(photo by David Day, The Vicksburg Daily News).

Linda Fondren’s passion project, the Catfish Row Museum, opened its doors tonight to give Vicksburg a sneak peak.


The museum will showcase a part of Vicksburg’s history that is not often told. Housed in the old Monte Carlo building, historic in itself, the rest of the story of Vicksburg will be given a chance to be heard.

The drum set from the Red Tops (photo by David Day, The Vicksburg Daily News).

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. spoke at the sneak peek saying, “The museum will be a multifaceted interpretive center dedicated to showcasing Vicksburg’s music, history, storytelling, vibrant food heritage, worship and visual arts. Staying true to David Cohn’s declaration that the Mississippi Delta ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg, the museum will bring the Catfish Row of historic Vicksburg back to life through a broad cultural exploration of the events, places, stories and vices that helped shape its culture.”


Museum creator Linda Fondren is surrounded by friends and supporters(photo by David Day, The Vicksburg Daily News).

Also at tonight’s sneak peek was retired Gen. Robert Crear, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who spoke about his upbringing and lifetime association with Vicksburg as he moved from high profile project to high profile project with the Corps. He was involved in the leadership and management of projects such as 9/11 in New York City, and the clean up and rebuilding of New Orleans’ levees and pumps after Hurricane Katrina.

General Robert Crear tells a part of his story that will be housed in the Catfish Row Museum(photo by David Day, the Vicksburg Daily News).

Crear grew up just down the hill from the Rosa A. Temple High School and went to the fields to pick cotton as a young man. He related his experiences as a young man in Mississippi, saying, “I was reminded everywhere I went that I was a second class citizen.”

The Catfish Row Museum will host some of his memorabilia from the segregated fields of Mississippi’s cotton to leading the U.S Army Corp of Engineers in Vicksburg.

In addition to the Mayor and Gen. Crear, a virtual “who’s who” of Vicksburg showed up to offer support and love for Fondren and her project.

The room as it began to fill up with friends and supporters of Linda Fondren and the Catfish Row Museum(photo by David Day, The Vicksburg Daily News).

The museum, located at 913 Washington St., is expected to open in 2021.

“This is one more way we’re boosting the livability of our community,” the mayor said, “showcasing our past and paving the way for a brighter future.”

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