Leland and Greenville

Leland and the Murals

This is Downtown Leland in May 2003. This sleepy little town once held the intersection of US 82 and 61 in here. Both highways were moved to expressways outside of the town boundaries in the last 10-15 years for better regional traffic flow.

Both photos are of the same thing. I noticed these "globes" above the entrance to the old Masonic hall on 4th St. (near the Leland Blues Museum).
Now I know almost nothing when it comes to the masons. Someone picked up on this and sent me an e-mail concerning the Masons (in part because she runs a website, Freemasonry for Women) and what the symbols on these "globes" mean:

1) A square and compass emblem in blue for a Masonic Craft Lodge, familiarly known as "Blue Lodge" Masonry, since all the regalia worn by members is blue.

2) A triangle emblem in red for a Masonic Royal Arch Lodge, familiarly known as RAM (Royal Arch Masonry) or "Red Lodge" Masonry, since all the regalia worn by members is red). RAM Masonry is generally worked in the same lodges as Craft Masonry,
but not all Craft lodge halls offer the additional RAM degrees.

3) A multicolored pentagram star emblem for an Order of the Eastern Star chapter, which is not Masonry proper,
but rather a lodge system that originated in the 19th century for female relatives of Masons.

It is customary in the Masonic lodge system for each lodge to carry both a name and a number.
You thought that the name of the two of the lodges -- "Cleveland" -- referred to "Two Masonic groups based out of Cleveland." This is probably not the case, unless there is a Cleveland, Mississippi nearby (actually there is).
The name may have been chosen to honor President Grover Cleveland. It would be easy enough to ask, since this sort of information is not a Masonic secret.

Thanks to Cat Yronwode (and her website, Freemasonry for Women) for e-mailing me that information

The Leland Murals
(Link takes you a local page about these works of art)

Biplanes, a river, and some farmland. Must be referring to the main "industry" in the Delta.

Delta Dancing. This doesn't look blues to me, but I suspect (thanks to the book Blues Traveling) that this is the usual get-up at Lillo's Italian Restaurant with Boogaloo Ames on piano (according to Blues Traveling, Ames is a local blues pianist).

Can you name all the musicians on this mural? They all play(ed) blues (of some form) and hail from Leland (or within 25 miles of there)

This last mural is dedicated to B.B. King (who calls nearby Indianola "home"). Somehow it was chosen for touch up work the day I came through town.

Now this scene isn't anywhere near the US 82 corridor towns mentioned above. This is all the way south in Vicksburg. Besides the casino in the foreground, this is the junction of the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers (on the northside of Vicksburg). The Yazoo River was the second most important river in the Delta, bringing cotton down from Greenwood. (Photo taken in June, 1999)

Other related pages on this site

Central Delta page
Charley Patton's Grave
Indianola, Ms


The Leland Blues Project

All photos were taken in May, 2003 unless noted otherwise.

Page created on January 14, 2004/last updated on August 16, 2005

Questions, comments, and submissions can be sent to Sandor Gulyas

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