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Rolling Fork is the county seat of Sharkey County, in the mid-western part of the state, along Highway 61, the Blues Highway, in the Deep Delta of Mississippi. The community was founded as a plantation in 1826, at the junction of Deer Creek and Rolling Fork Creek, for which it was named, but the town wasn’t incorporated until 1880. Its incorporation lapsed, and it was reincorporated in 1919. During the American Civil War, Union General William T. Sherman was stopped on his infamous March to the Sea at Rolling Fork in March of 1863, when Admiral David Porter’s Mississippi River Squadron traveled along Steele’s Bayou to Deer Creek. The creek was made impassable as the ironclads were halted by trees and willow branches felled by local residents and Confederate troops, while their attempts to retreat were frustrated by Confederate soldiers and more trees. Eventually, Union forces were able to fight off the badly defeated Confederate troops, but they were forced to retreat back along Steele’s Bayou to the Mississippi River. McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield, the father of the Chicago Blues, was born in Rolling Fork. Also of interest, the Teddy Bear was inspired by a political cartoon depicting President Theodore Roosevelt’s refusal to shoot a black bear while on a hunt just outside Rolling Fork in 1902, an event that is commemorated each October. The town is served by US Highway 61. Nearby communities include Egremont, Lorenzen and Mount Helena. Anguilla, Mississippi is about six miles north of Rolling Fork.

 

 

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