Photo gallery: Margaret’s Grocery draws visitors during Mighty ‘Sip Fest

Published 4:00 am Monday, April 17, 2023

Margaret’s Grocery, the colorful monument built by Reverend H.D. Dennis as a symbol of his love for his wife Margaret, was open to the public on Saturday during Vicksburg’s Mighty ‘Sip Fest. Visitors were able to tour the site and even put in some volunteer work to help with the restoration of the iconic landmark on North Washington Street.

Margaret operated and lived on the store property since 1944, but married Dennis in 1984. According to Margaret’s retelling of the story in The Vicksburg Post in 2005, “He asked me to marry him by promising to turn my store into a castle.”

Between the 1980s and 1990s, the store and surrounding property became adorned with concrete blocks painted pink and yellow to symbolize that all people were welcome. Preacher added signs and paintings on the wall advertising the couple’s commitment to their Christian faith and even converted a school bus into a chapel where he could hold church services.

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The site began falling into disrepair in the mid-2000s, however. In recent years the Mississippi Folk Art Foundation has been fundraising to purchase the property and restore it.