For my third photographic journey documenting the blues country of West Tennessee, I stayed mostly in Tipton and Haywood Counties, photographing the historic store in Gainsville, old churches out on the Mason-Charleston Road, and historic buildings in the Haywood County community of Stanton. Perhaps my best find though was a large private ball field out north of Mason, where a Black community baseball team called the Zodiacs once played. Such community ball parks used to be common in Black communities across the South, and were occasionally the sites of Fourth-of-July picnics where fife-and-drum bands or blues musicians played. One such ballfield used to be on Germantown Road near Ellis Road in the Oak Grove community outside of Bartlett when I was a teenager. It has now sadly been torn down.
The Zodiacs Park is in poor condition, and almost looks abandoned, but teenagers from Mason use its basketball courts on warm afternoons, and the fact that some new equipment can be seen on the premises, such as a gas barbecue grill, suggests that the complex is at least still occasionally used. Still, with the park completely empty on a late fall afternoon, it seemed a sad and lonely place indeed.
3 Replies to “The Tennessee Delta III”
Enjoyed looking at your blog.
Thanks. I used to put a lot of effort into it. Having started a new job that runs 10 and a half hours a day, I don’t have the time for it that I used to. Still, I’m not shutting it down.
The Old Trinity church was built by slaves of you do research on it. My son’s family is Taylor’s from Mason and from research it was built by Taylor slaves but I don’t know if it was family or not. I’m researching.. So anyone who knows anything about this church of you know please let me know.