Grand Gulf, Mississippi

Grand Gulf is a ghost town in Claiborne County, Mississippi, United States.[1]

Grand Gulf, Mississippi
Ghost town
1840 map of Mississippi River showing Grand Gulf, Bruinsburg, and Rodney
1840 map of Mississippi River showing Grand Gulf, Bruinsburg, and Rodney
Grand Gulf is located in Mississippi
Grand Gulf
Grand Gulf
Location of Grand Gulf
Grand Gulf is located in the United States
Grand Gulf
Grand Gulf
Grand Gulf (the United States)
Coordinates: 32°02′00″N 91°03′09″W / 32.03333°N 91.05250°W / 32.03333; -91.05250Coordinates: 32°02′00″N 91°03′09″W / 32.03333°N 91.05250°W / 32.03333; -91.05250
CountryUnited States
95 ft (29 m)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
GNIS feature ID670578[1]


Grand Gulf was named for the large whirlpool, (or gulf), formed by the Mississippi River flowing against a large rocky bluff.[2] La Salle and Zadok Cramer commented on the dangers caused by the eddies at Grand Gulf. The British and Spanish created settlements in the area and it continued to grow after the land became part of the United States.[3] The community of Grand Gulf was incorporated in 1833.[2] Cotton from Copiah, Hinds, and Claiborne County was shipped from Grand Gulf, and it served as the shipping point for Port Gibson.[2] By 1835, Grand Gulf handled more cotton than any other city in Mississippi except Natchez and Vicksburg. A railroad was built to connect Grand Gulf to Port Gibson.[4] By 1854, Grand Gulf was home to almost 1,000 citizens, had two churches, a town hall, a hospital, theater, cotton press, saw mill, and grist mill.[5]

Grand Gulf was devastated by multiple yellow fever epidemics, and was even reported on as far away as Pittsfield, Massachusetts.[6]

A newspaper, The Grand Gulf Advertiser, was published in Grand Gulf.[2]

A post office operated under the name Grand Gulf from 1829 to 1932.[7]

Civil WarEdit

Lithograph of Union forces in pursuit of Confederate forces at Grand Gulf on May 26, 1862

During the American Civil War, Grand Gulf was the site of multiple encounters. In 1862, Admiral David Farragut attempted to take a fleet of Union gunboats past Grand Gulf to attack Vicksburg. He was harassed by guerillas shooting from Grand Gulf, which caused General Thomas Williams to attempt to burn the town. The local citizens convinced him that the gunfire did not come from citizens of the town and it was spared.[8] Even so, the town was burned by Union forces a few weeks later. During Ulysses S. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign, Confederate forces during the Battle of Grand Gulf repelled his invasion fleet and did not let his forces pass north on the Mississippi River. Grant then took his forces south to Bruinsburg, fought the Battle of Port Gibson, and marched to Vicksburg.[3]


After the Civil War, Grand Gulf's population continued to decline. The Mississippi River slowly shifted westward and the town soon became landlocked.[3] By 1900, Grand Gulf only had a population of 150.[2]


The Grand Gulf Military State Park contains a museum with artifacts from the battle and multiple interpretive exhibits, along with the earth works from Forts Wade and Cobun.[9]

Grand Gulf is the location of the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station, which after an upgrade in 2012, is the largest single-unit nuclear power plant in the country and fifth largest in the world.[10]

The Grand Gulf Mound, an Early Marksville culture archaeological site, is also located near Grand Gulf.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Grand Gulf, Mississippi". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b c d e Rowland, Dunbar (1907). Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. 1. Southern Historical Publishing Association. p. 794.
  3. ^ a b c Bragg, Marion (1977). Historic names and places on the lower Mississippi River. Vicksburg, MS: Mississippi River Commission. p. 174.
  4. ^ Mississippi: The WPA Guide to the Magnolia State. Univ. Press of Mississippi. 12 November 2010. p. 326. ISBN 978-1-60473-289-4.
  5. ^ George Conclin (1854). Conclins' New River Guide, Or, A Gazetteer of All the Towns on the Western Waters: Containing Sketches of the Cities, Towns, and Countries Bordering on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and Their Principal Tributaries : Together with Their Population, Products, Commerce, &c., &c., &c. : and Many Interesting Events of History Connected with Them. J.A. & U.P. James. p. 102.
  6. ^ Weiser, Kathy. "Grand Gulf, Mississippi – A Bustling Port Along the River". Legends of America. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Claiborne County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  8. ^ Ballard, Michael (2000). Civil War Mississippi. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-87805-870-2.
  9. ^ "Grand Gulf Military Monument Park". American Battlefield Trust. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Grand Gulf Nuclear Station". Entergy Corporation. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  11. ^ Brookes, Samuel O. (1976). The Grand Gulf Mound: Salvage Excavation of an Early Marksville Burial Mound in Claiborne County, Mississippi. Mississippi Archaeological Survey Report. Jackson, Mississippi: Mississippi Department of Archives and History.