The Best Ghost Towns to Visit in Mississippi

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If you want to explore a permanently-flooded ghost town, see the wreck of a city burned overnight by a Civil War general, or search for the buried treasure left behind by a “land pirate,” head to Mississippi.
From the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi is home to an array of ghost towns that reflect the state’s history of crime, war, and industrial change. Although many of these forgotten cities are no longer standing, searching for their remains will lead you through some of the South’s most picturesque rural settings. 
Before you head out to explore Mississippi’s greatest ghost towns, guard against the unexpected with a solid car insurance policy. Jerry is the insurance broker and super app you want on your side when you’re venturing into the unknown. To guide you into the past, Jerry has compiled an introduction to four of Mississippi’s most fascinating ghost towns. 

Rodney

Upward shot of abandoned brick building with green shutters
Rodney, Mississippi

What is the story of Rodney?

Rodney, Mississippi is a living ghost town. Although the governor of Mississippi declared that it was no longer a town back in 1930, Rodey is still home to a small handful of residents. Located in the Mississippi county with the nation’s highest Black population by percentage and fourth-highest poverty rate, Rodney is a monument to American bad luck.
In its early years, Rodney didn’t seem like a town doomed to die. In fact, it was nearly selected as Mississippi’s capital when the Magnolia State joined the Union in 1817. In the 1840s and 1850s, slavery swelled the ranks and coffers of the young city, located strategically on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. Rodney’s crowning moment came in 1863, when residents took back the town from Union forces stationed on the Rattler gunboat. 
But Rodney’s fortunes fell sharply after the war. In 1869, a fire destroyed much of the town. The next year, the course of the Mississippi River changed suddenly, directing trade away from the city. Over the following decades, regular flooding slowly drove out the remaining residents. Today, according to Professor Jeffrey Owens, a board member of the Rodney History and Preservation Society, “the town has flooded so many times that it just stays wet.”

What makes Rodney special?

Fire and water all but swallowed Rodney after the Civil War, but you can still explore the town for glimpses of a bygone era. 
  • The Rodney Presbyterian Church, an example of classic Federalist architecture still surrounded by Confederate earthworks, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  
  • You can see the ruins of a schoolhouse, a Masonic lodge, and several homes along the dirt roads of Rodney. 
  • The stunning silver-domed Mt. Zion Baptist Church stands on the remains of Commerce Street.
  • Thanks to the Rodney History and Preservation Society, the former city is the only ghost town with its own newspaper, The Rodney Telegraph.

How to visit Rodney

From US-61, take Mississippi Route 552 towards Alcorn. After about 3 miles, turn left onto Fellowship Road, then again onto Firetower Road. Turn right onto Rodney Road and follow it approximately 10 miles to the old city center. 
The road is paved up to the edge of Rodney—make sure your car’s prepared to drive on unpaved roads through the ghost town.  
Pro tip: Much of Rodney and the surrounding area are subject to frequent flooding. If there’s been heavy rainfall recently, be cautious when approaching town and avoid any flooded areas. 

Brewton

Long shot of deep woods, large tree on the left, sunset in distance
Mississippi Woods

What is the story of Brewton?

In 1857, James Copeland, the notorious “Land Pirate” who terrorized the Deep South in the years leading up to the Civil War, was hanged near the lost town of Augusta. Not long before he died, legend says, he burned down the courthouse in Brewton, Mississippi
Once known as Brewer’s Bluff, Brewton briefly served as the seat of Jackson County. Lumber mills kept the town alive for years after Copeland’s attack, but the town’s population dwindled once the timber was used up in the early 20th century. Today, nothing remains of Brewton but the basement of the old courthouse. 

What makes Brewton special?

Brewton’s connection to the history of outlaws in Mississippi makes it an exciting site for fans of historical true crime. 
  • Local legends say that Copeland buried gold somewhere in southern Mississippi. 
  • Brewton’s a ghost town so thoroughly lost to time that it’s hard to pinpoint on a map! All that’s left in the area is deep woodland. 

How to visit Brewton

To locate the courthouse basement, head north from Vancleave on Old River Road. Turn right onto Brewton Camp Road and explore the surrounding area for the remains of the town. 
Pro tip: Brewton Camp Road is unpaved, and you may not be able to take your car on it. Be prepared for a hike. 
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Plymouth

Hiking trail, small waterfall
Hiking in Mississippi

What is the story of Plymouth?

Plymouth is one of Mississippi’s oldest ghost towns. Developed near the home of Scottish-American Choctaw interpreter John Pitchlynn in 1819, the town was soon abandoned due to frequent floods. By the 1840s, most Plymouth residents had moved across the Tombigbee River to Columbus, which is still the county seat of Lowndes County and home to nearly 25,000 people. 

What makes Plymouth special?

This site of Mississippi’s Indigenous past offers a lot to history buffs and nature lovers alike. 
  • The village of Plymouth, including the cemetery, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. 
  • Just south of the ghost town, the Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center offers nature trails and environmental training programs for children and families. 
  • John Pitchlynn, whose home was the center of Plymouth in its heyday, was the son of Scottish immigrants, but he was raised in the Choctaw Nation after his parents died. 

How to visit Plymouth

The former town of Plymouth is located at 33°31′23″N 88°30′06″W. To get to the area, take US-45/US-82 out of Columbus and across the Tombigbee River. Take the US-45 S exit towards Macon/Meridian and continue onto Plymouth Bluff Access Road. Turn left onto Old West Point Road. 
About a mile past the Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center, take a right onto West Bank Access Road. From here, turn right onto West Plymouth Road, which will take you to Plymouth Cemetery. Explore the surrounding area on foot, being mindful of any barriers. 

Bankston

Sunrise over foggy rolling hills
Sunrise over Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi

What is the story of Bankston?

Located in the remote woods of Choctaw County on a tributary of the Big Black River, Bankston was once home to Mississippi’s first textile mill. The town’s relative isolation kept it safe during the early years of the Civil War. And by 1864 it was the only remaining mill supplying shoes and cloth to the Confederate Army. 
Five days after Christmas 1864, Union soldiers crept into Bankston just before midnight. While the locals slept, General Benjamin Grierson’s men set fire to mills and factories that were the Confederacy’s last hope. The Union army allowed the townspeople to escape with flour, shoes, and other necessities, but the town of Bankston died that night. By the dawn of the 20th century, few residents remained, and the cemetery is all that’s left of the town today.

What makes Bankston special?

Although little remains of Bankston itself, the surrounding area is rich with history and natural beauty. 

How to visit Bankston

To get to the Bankston Cemetery, start in French Camp. Take Natchez Trace Parkway north for 6 miles, then turn left onto Stewart Weir Road. From here, take a right onto Watson Bankston Road and a left onto Mitchell Road to reach the cemetery. 

Why you need good car insurance

You might be safe from collisions in a ghost town, but bad weather and unpredictable wildlife can still land you in trouble. Whether you’re venturing into Mississippi’s backwoods searching for lost pirate gold or taking the highway between the Magnolia State’s less remote historic towns, you’ll need good car insurance on your side. 
Set yourself up for success by downloading the Jerry app. As a licensed insurance broker, Jerry will compare quotes from over 50 top companies and help you review coverage options to find the lowest price on the coverage you need. Once you’ve chosen your new policy, Jerry will handle all the paperwork and even cancel your old policy! 
Many of Mississippi’s ghost towns are hard to find. With Jerry, car insurance savings aren’t—users save an average of $879 a year on their insurance!  
“I’m young and just got my first car, so choosing an insurance company for the first time was scary. My friend recommended this app to me and Jerry made everything simple! I put in my info and got something more affordable than what I expected for my age!” —Leslie T
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