Quapaw Canoe Company

Quapaw Canoe Company

Quapaw Canoe Company provides high quality custom-guided adventures on the Lower Mississippi from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Remote wilderness locations accessed by canoe or kayak. We offer complete packaging: outfitting, guiding, cooking, shuttling and cleanup. All you have to do is arrive with your clothes and personal items and be prepared to paddle. No previous experience necessary. Swimming ability not required (but life jackets are and sometimes wetsuits). Choose your section of river, and we’ll take you there and get you safely back. If you don’t have a preference we’ll take you to our favorite passage: The Muddy Waters Wilderness.

Visit www.island63.com/clarksdale.cfm

Clarksdale is the home base of operations for Quapaw Canoe Company, and the ideal jump-place for your guided adventure through the watery wilderness of the Lower Mississippi River. Unique accommodations, great eating, down-home Delta blues in the juke joints, and the Delta Blues Museum make for a complete nature-cultural experience for you and your family! More blues musicians come from Clarksdale and surrounding Delta region than any other single place on earth. There is evidence that Hernando de Soto and his conquistadors passed through this area during their 1540-42 ravage of the Southeast (and became the first Europeans to view the Mighty Mississippi River, which they called “The Rio Grande”). Jolliette and Marquette (1673), LaSalle (1681) and John James Audubon (1820) traveled this section of river.

Clarksdale, Mississippi, has become the world wide center for custom-guided access to the Lower Mississippi River. All roads lead to the river. Clarksdale is the center of a giant wheel from which all spokes emanate outwards and intersect the big river. We package all of our guided expeditions from here, and then shuttle “upstream” for “downstream” adventures. We go with the flow. Many of our shuttles pass through Stovall Plantation where Muddy Waters lived for 25 years before migrating to Chicago. Other shuttles pass through the “Humber” site which was once the largest concentration of Native Americans outside of Cahokia (Charles Peabody, Harvard University, 1897). At journey’s end our shuttle drivers pick us up and bring us back to home base. Expeditions above Memphis are shuttled from Mud Island downtown Memphis, Dyersburg, Tennessee or New Madrid Missouri. Expeditions below Vicksburg are shuttled from Vicksburg, Port Gibson or Natchez.


In its 11 years of operation Quapaw Canoe Company has demonstrated the viability of safe canoeing on the Lower Mississippi River with countless expeditions involving churches, schools, boy scouts, girl scouts, families, couples and individuals. Quapaw has successfully and safely guided over 1,000s of people on the river. Quapaw Canoe Company is underwritten by Lloyd’s of London through Worldwide Outfitters and Guides Association. All expeditions are outfitted with first-aid kits, rescue ropes, life preservers, cellular communication, and VHF marine radio. Life Jackets are best quality US Coast Guard approved type III Life Jackets. Guides stringently practice safe canoeing and are knowledgeable in all aspects of wilderness survival and canoe rescue. Please remember that river travel is always somewhat dependent on river level and prevailing weather.

Founder/Owner John Ruskey has been paddling the river since 1982, and is probably its most knowledgeable guide. Quapaw Canoe Company provides custom-guided canoe and kayak expeditions, day floats and other paddling adventures along the Lower Mississippi River from Cairo Illinois to St. Francisville, Louisiana. Spectacular reaches include the Kentucky Bluffs, Bessie’s Bend (20 mile bend of the river to go one mile), the 4 Chickasaw Bluffs, Memphis to Vicksburg (300 miles of remote river, only 2 bridges, only one town), Confluence of the Arkansas River and surrounding wilderness areas (rich habitat for the Louisiana Black Bear), Vicksburg to Natchez-Under-the-Hill, Natchez to St. Francisville. Long stretches of river, almost no industry or point-source polluters, few towns, few bridges, big islands, big forests, most varied inland fishery in North America, 60% of America’s songbirds, 40% of its migrating waterfowl. Longest free-flowing River (1160 miles). No dams. No schedule: we go whenever our clients are ready. Apprenticeship program for Clarksdale youth, the Mighty Quapaws. Friends of the Sunflower River established 2005.

Rock & Roll Blues Museum

UPDATE 2019— We are sad to say that Theo will be closing the Museum in March 2019 unless a buyer takes the
entire collection and continues the project.    If no buyer is found, a SALE of the items will take place in March.


The Rock & Blues Museum will be open for the IBC and the Clarksdale Film Festival on the following days:
January 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28 and 29 from 10 am to 5 pm. (The museum will NOT be open on Sunday, January 20th and Sunday, January 27th.)

The Rock & Blues Museum will open again on March 22 and 23 (Friday and Saturday) for a final closing sale. The non-profit Rock N Roll Museum, Inc. will no longer operate the museum as of March 31, 2019, and the museum will close its doors at that time.

The Board of Directors would like to thank all of our supporters during the last 13 years in making the Rock & Blues Museum so successful it was vote #5 of the Best Mississippi Attractions by USA TODAY’s People’s Choice Awards in 2018!

The museum building and the memorabilia collection are for sale and hopefully a buyer can be found that will continue the operation of the museum.

Theo Dasbach

113 East 2nd Street


Delta Blues Museum

The Delta Blues Museum was established in 1979. This internationally-acclaimed museum showcases the history and significance of the Blues in this region. It features a wax figure of Blues great Muddy Waters and the famous Muddywood Guitar, videotape and slide-and-sound programs, photographs, recordings, books, memorabilia, archives, and much more. Stovall Plantation was the original home of the Muddy Waters Cabin, which is now located in its new home at the renovated Freight Depot on Blues Alley.

#1 Blues Alley
Tel: (662) 627-6820

Adult $7.00
Children $5.00 (ages 6-12)
Under 6 – Free

New Roxy

The New Roxy is a former movie theater located in the Historic New World District of Clarksdale Mississippi. Renovation began in 2008 after sitting vacant and deteriorating since the mid 1980’s. What remains physically is a shell of the former theater…. a sloping concrete floor, masonry stage, distressed yet beautiful brick walls, a gorgeous view of the night sky and a fabulous feeling that can only be understood when you stand inside.

Come join us as we try to recapture some of the rich history and culture of this once vibrant and important neighborhood in the heart of the Delta.

Source: http://www.newroxy.com/

Ground Zero Blues Club

Clarksdale, Mississippi has long been described as "Ground Zero" for blues aficionados from around the globe. It all started here. That's why Ground Zero Blues Club® was created — to celebrate the area's rich blues heritage and to provide a forum in which it can continue.

Located at Ø Blues Alley next door to the Delta Blues Museum in the heart of historic downtown Clarksdale, Ground Zero Blues Club® opened in May 2001. Owned by local attorney and businessman, Bill Luckett; Academy Award-winning actor and Mississippi Delta resident, Morgan Freeman; and Clarksdale native and Memphis entertainment executive, Howard Stovall; Ground Zero Blues Club® is the place for anyone looking for an authentic Delta Blues experience.

Our mission is to showcase the best of today's Delta Blues musicians. Although some national acts perform from time to time, visitors are more likely to find the "real deal" at Ground Zero Blues Club® — those musicians who live in the Mississippi Delta and continue in the tradition of their musical forefathers Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. Wednesday through Saturday there is always live music at Ground Zero Blues Club® (and even on a few Sundays when the occasion arises). We serve a "down home" menu ranging from  juicy hamburgers to crispy fried catfish and slow-cooked pork barbecue.

Ground Zero Blues Club® has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes, CNN, Turner South, The Food Network, The Travel Channel, and The Discovery Channel and was the site for filming of Last of The Mississippi Jukes and Blues Divas.

Named in 2005 as one of the "Top 100 Bars and Nightclubs in America” and voted #1 blues club in the nation by bestbluesclub.org. The club has been featured in publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Southern Living, USA Today, Esquire Japan, Food and Wine, The Washington Post and TV Guide — to name but a few.

Source: http://www.groundzerobluesclub.com/

Cathead Delta Blues & Folk Art, Inc.

Cat Head Story

Cat Head is named after three things (in reverse order): "cat head biscuits" (a Southern biscuit the size of a cat's head), animal-themed blues record labels (Alligator, Fat Possum, Rooster, etc.) and the "cat head" drawings of Leland, Mississippi, bluesman/folk artist Pat Thomas.

A deejay here once labeled me "Clarksdale's Blues Ambassador." Kinda nice. I'll take it.

Hi. I’m Roger Stolle. Cat Head is my place.

Cat Head is Mississippi's Blues Store, but honestly, I never set out to own a record store or art gallery or souvenir stand (or whatever the heck this thing is). I set out to fulfill a mission.

In 2002, I moved to what some called a “dying” town to organize and promote from within.

How did I end up in Clarksdale, and what am I “organizing and promoting,” exactly? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Much of what follows is excerpted from the Introduction to my book, Hidden History of Mississippi Blues (The History Press/Arcadia Publishing). You really should treat yourself to a copy. Just sayin'...

I grew up in a family that didn’t really listen to much music. My dad loved talk radio. My mom had a few dusty albums we rarely played. And my older sister mostly kept her pop records hidden from her less cool, younger brother.

This all changed on the morning of August 17th, 1977.


Source: https://www.cathead.biz/

The Shack Up Inn

"The Ritz We Ain't"

Blues lovers making the pilgrimage to the cradle of the blues, the Mississippi Delta, should not miss the unique opportunity to experience Hopson Plantation, located only three miles from the legendary Crossroads, Highways 49 and 61, in Clarksdale. Immerse yourself in the living history you will find at Hopson. Virtually unchanged from when it was a working plantation, you will find authentic sharecropper shacks, the original cotton gin and seed houses and other outbuildings. You will glimpse plantation life, as it existed only a few short years ago. In addition, you will find one of the first mechanized cotton pickers, manufactured by International Harvester, as you stroll around the compound. Spend an evening enjoying live music at Ground Zero Blues Club or Red's Lounge, on the corner of Sunflower and MLK Street and then pass out in one of the renovated shotgun shacks or one of the newly renovated bins in the Cotton Gin. Their corrugated tin roofs and Mississippi cypress walls will conjure visions of a bygone era. Restored only enough to accommodate 21st century expectations (indoor bathrooms, heat, air conditioning, coffee maker with condiments, refrigerators and microwave in all the units), the shacks provide comfort as well as authenticity.


Source: https://www.shackupinn.com/


Red's Lounge? It's the definition of a real-deal Mississippi juke joint. Don't expect to be spoiled with amenities. All you need is a been-there-done-that owner, some beers as big as your head and some "live" blues you'll never forget. (Oh, and MAYBE something out front on the grill.) This is how blues became blues... how the music grew up out of the cotton fields and onto a round piece of vinyl. Speaking of which, the building itself was called "Levine's Music Center" back in the day, and it's where Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm bought the instruments that played the first rock 'n roll song. Yeah, Red's is the real thing for sure...

Source: http://www.jukejointfestival.com/venues.php

Blues Alley

This renovated passenger train depot, located on Blues Alley, now houses the Dutch Oven pastry, pie and cake bakery and sandwich/soup shop. The Dutch Oven specializes in quality baked items in the tradition of its Mennonite proprietors. The historic depot has been refurbished to its original condition both inside and out. There is a performance hall and restaurant space available for lease by private entrepreneurs seeking space in the Blues Alley area. There are also four other retail spaces available for private lease such as an art studio, souvenir shop, bookstore, music store and other such tourist-related ventures. Together, Clarksdale Station, the Delta Blues Museum, the former Greyhound Bus Station, and Ground Zero Blues Club make up Blues Alley.

Hopson Plantation Commissary

The Hopson Plantation Commissary stands today in much the same condition as in its glory days over fifty years ago. The building is full of antique and historical items which create a nostalgic atmosphere reminiscent of the deep south Delta

Cotton had always required a large amount of hand labor, at one time over a million families to raise 22 million acres of cotton.

In 1935 the Hopson Plantation began a monumental changeover to become one of the first completely mechanized cotton operations in the world. In the fall of 1944, International Harvester introduced the first cotton picker on the Hopson farm making it the first in the world to grow and harvest a commercial acreage of cotton produced completely by mechanical methods.

From planting, to cultivating, to irrigating, to harvesting, to ginning, the Hopson enterprise became the showplace of Delta farming.


Isle of Capri

777 Isle of Capri Parkway, Lula

Coahoma County is home to Isle of Capri Entertainment Resort, which offers an astounding array of games, dining, and live entertainment. The complex features 2 hotels and 3 restaurants—Farradays’, Calypso’s, and Tradewinds Buffet, allowing a variety of dining options. Take a trip and enjoy the view of the mighty Mississippi and try your luck.

RV Sites & Expo Center

Our Expo Center and livestock facility host many events year around. There are events held and planned for the facility such as festivals, concerts, racing events, conventions, and flea markets. There are over 400 RV pads with water and electricity and some with sewer hook-ups. The facility is also available for use by the community for parties or family reunions as well as banquets. We look forward to holding livestock events also. Call 662.627.1105 for reservations.

The Blues

This iconic sign welcomes visitors to the spot some residents claim is THE crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. It is the crossroads of two important highways in blues songs and history.

This iconic sign welcomes visitors to the spot some residents claim is THE crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. It is the crossroads of two important highways in blues songs and history.

The city of Clarksdale, situated on the Sunflower River in Coahoma County, Mississippi, is on the northern side of what was the most densely populated area of the Mississippi Delta. At the time of The Great Migration, Clarksdale was the first to welcome Delta farmhands, as well as their musicians and entertainers, on their plight out of the oppressive sharecropping system of the rural plantations and farmlands. Some went no further North, preferring to stay closer to home, seeking refuge and less agrarian employment in Clarksdale.

During the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s Clarksdale was home to Charlie Patton, Bukka White, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Ike Turner, to name just a handful of great bluesmen who staked their claim in Clarksdale.

By the 1950’s Clarksdale was also host to a now-legendary down-home radio station, WROX, which, like other stations in the region, hosted a number of popular bluesmen. Sonny Boy Williamson, most well-known for his King Biscuit Flour program on Helena, Arkansas’ KFFA, often broadcast on Clarksdale radio, as did Dr. Isiaih Ross and so many others.

Consequently, Clarksdale became the first urban center of the blues and it makes the most of that fact even today. The Mississippi Delta’s first blues museum, The Delta Blues Museum, and one of its first yearly blues festivals, The Sunflower River Blues Festival, are both located there, as is the Delta’s first motel made from discarded farm laborers’ shacks, The Shack Up Inn. If you believe in the Crossroads myth, between the town of Clarksdale itself and the site of The Shack Up Inn, there is a rather grandiose marker at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 where the dubious deal was deemed to have been devined.

A great deal of blues activity has occurred in Clarksdale in the last few years. In addition to all the above, there is a grand juke joint in Morgan Freeman’s & Bill Luckett’s Ground Zero Blues Club. It features blues and other forms of music many nights a week and plays host to some of the South’s great entertainers.

Tennessee Williams

Clarksdale is the childhood home of one of America’s most performed playwrights, Tom “Tennessee” Williams.

Young Tom’s grandfather Rev. Walter E. Dakin served as rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church from 1917-1932. Williams lived with his grandparents in Clarksdale for several years, and then visited regularly as he grew up. The church is still active today, and the former rectory is now the church office and home of the Tennessee Williams Rectory Museum.

If you visit in the fall, please join us for the 3-day Mississippi DeltaTennessee Williams Festival, held each October since 1992, which includes a kickoff party at the Cutrer Mansion; site-specific performances by local and visiting actors; talks by noted Williams scholars; Clarksdale and Delta history; student monologue and scene competition; and Porch Plays: works by Williams performed on porches in Clarksdale’s historic district. For the next festival dates & schedule please visit www.DeltaWilliamsFestival.com.


Williams drew on his Clarksdale neighbors for famous character names such as Blanche, Stella, Brick, Baby Doll, Cutrer, and Wingfield. Their stories are told in the new Tennessee Williams Rectory Museum. The museum is currently open by appointment and during festivals. (Call 646 465 1578) or email RectoryMuseum@gmail.com to schedule, please allow at least 24 hours.)

Tennessee Williams’ plays have won two Pulitzer prizes. More of his plays have been made into Hollywood movies than any other playwright except Shakespeare. THE GLASS MENAGERIE, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF are consistently named on lists of the greatest plays of all time.

Clarksdale & Coahoma County

Coahoma County was chartered February 9, 1836 following the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, and constitutes one of numerous counties formed from the Choctaw Cession of 1830. The County derives its name from the Choctaw word “Co-i-humma” meaning red panther. This name was indicative of the large number of panthers then infesting the upper regions of the Delta. Hernando DeSoto, was on a personal quest for gold in the New World when he discovered the Mississippi River in 1541. That DeSoto first looked out over the “great river” at Sunflower Landing in what would become, three centuries later, Coahoma County was the oldest theory uncovered by the United States DeSoto Commission report of January, 1939.

Clarksdale, founded by John Clark in 1848, was incorporated in 1882, and is now the major city of the County. Located at the head of navigation on the Sunflower River, many of Clarksdale’s businesses are built fronting this stream. The original site of Clarksdale was also the former intersection of two important Indian routes: The Chakchiuma Trade Trial which ran northeastward to old Pontotoc, and the Lower Creek Trade Paths which extended westward from Augusta, Georgia to New Mexico.

In 1892 Clarksdale became one of the seats of Coahoma County when a controversy of more than ten years was compromised by the passage of an act of the Legislature. This act divided the County into judicial districts with two seats of the justice: one at Friars Point, the other at Clarksdale. In 1930, the two judicial districts were abolished and Clarksdale became the county seat. Frequent floods, a fire in 1889, and very poor roads retarded the early growth of Clarksdale, but since 1900 Clarksdale’s growth has been consistent, and it is now one of the largest cities in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta.

The first cotton crop commercially produced entirely by machinery, from planting to baling, was grown during the year 1944 on 28 acres owned by the Hopson Planting Company of Clarksdale, Mississippi. The soil was prepared, crop seeded and cultivated by machines, weeds eradicated by flame, and the crop harvested with a mechanical picker. Also, Clarksdale has the distinction of being the home of the first franchised Holiday Inn in the world (Source: Linton Weeks, Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, MS, 1982).

Clarksdale has also served as home at one time or another to: Muddy Waters, W.C. Handy, John Lee Hooker, Sam Cook, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, playwright Tennessee Williams, Ike Turner, the Staple Singers, the Five Blind Boys, and many others. Coahoma County (Friars Point) was the birthplace of late great Country & Western singer Conway Twitty.