MARKS, Miss.– Marks, Mississippi is set to make history as the future site of the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.

Discussions to build the facility there went on for two years. A location, support from city and county leaders, and a half-million dollar state grant will move the project from the drawing board to reality.

Marks’ City Board has donated five acres at its industrial park for the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame with the hopes the surrounding property will blossom with retail businesses.

Velma Wilson, Director of Quitman County Tourism and Development, has always wanted to share the County’s rich music roots and realized its connection to the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968 made Marks the right fit for the Hall of Fame.

“Especially since music and civil rights kind of influenced each other. The music influenced civil rights back in the day, back in the ’60s,” Wilson said.

Wilson said there’s a lot of work to be done regarding the County’s infrastructure and amenities for future tourists like a hotel.

“Currently in all of Quitman County, there is not a single hotel. So, a hotel chain is needed as we grow,” Wilson said.

Delta bluesman James “Super Chikan” Johnson and other legendary musicians from Quitman County, like the late Charlie Pride, will find their faces and bios in the Hall of Fame for visitors to see and learn from.

“This is the birthplace of the blues. There’s a lot of other places claiming to be the birthplace but the Delta’s really the birthplace of the blues,” Johnson said.

Johnson is certain Marks is the perfect place for the Hall of Fame.

“This is where the blues live. This is where it lies. This is where it comes from, so we got to pick a spot for it. So, that’s a good spot ’cause I was born in Quitman County too,” Johnson said.

The Hall of Fame promises to be a highly interactive, virtual reality experience with a message for ages.

The groundbreaking for the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame will be on September 30 at 10 a.m. on Rogers Road in Marks.

You can learn more about the Hall of Fame and stay updated with its development here.