Private Project

The Oral History Of A Southern Vernacular Palace- Margaret's Grocery

The oral history of iconic folk art site Margaret's Grocery in Vicksburg Mississippi . The story of Rev. H. D. Dennis and Miss Margaret the creators of this road side attraction that drew visitors from around the world for over 50 years

It’s all about the promise Reverend H.D. Dennis made Margaret and their love. Preacher asked Margaret to marry him and promised her if she did, he would build her a castle. He kept his promise. I met the Rev Dennis and Miss Margaret in 2001 and fell in love with them and their castle. Over the next decade I visited them regularly and they shared their wisdom with me. Their simple messages of God has no white church, he ain't got no black church-He got one church- And ALL are Welcome, and Treat Everyone Equally and with Love, are still relevant today and need to be shared with the world. I promised Miss Margaret on her death bed I would look after Preacher, and I promised Rev HD Dennis before he passed away I would look after his palace and church bus. I am keeping my promise today I am the executive Director of the Mississippi Folk Art Foundation and we are dedicated to preserving this outdoor folk art environment.
Although the site is no longer open as a store and they have both since passed away, the Grocery still attracts visitors from around the world to experience Reverend Dennis' creation. The site, described as a "theological park" by vernacular art scholar Stephen Young, is crowded with signs, gates, towers, and other items created by Dennis. The Reverend was constantly making changes and modifications to the site, adding new signs, repainting items with new designs, and adding more details to existing structures. Since his passing the place is in decline and in dire need of restoration and preservation.
To Learn more about Margaret's Grocery contact The Mississippi Folk Art Foundation they are the non profit dedicated to saving this sacred space. contact or call 601-668-9611

  • Suzi Altman
  • Suzi Altman
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 20, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Screened at The Strand Theatre in Vicksburg MS
    United States
    March 7, 2020
    World Premier
Director - Suzi Altman