The Help Tour in Greenwood

We've been to the Delta - Greenwood, actually. We really packed a lot into this trip, including a tour of the places where they filmed the movie "The Help". We missed a few stops on the tour, but we had so much fun that we'll be back!


Given that the movie came out years ago, we almost blew it off from lack of interest. Really, we just took the tour as kind of an afterthought, but we're so glad we did! We relied on the color brochure, “The Help in Greenwood. A star-studded tour through the filming of 'The Help' during summer and fall 2010.” It's available all around town and includes a map and photos, and it's really easy to follow, so who could resist? And, by the way, although the featured houses are actual homes and are not open to the public, tours of the interiors can be prearranged.

Since we were setting out from The Alluvian hotel, which is downtown, we stopped by the County Courthouse first. We'd been admiring its clock tower from blocks away and had driven past often enough to see that it is a real beauty, so we would have stopped to take pictures anyway, but it turns out it was used for exterior shots for The Benefit. Remember The Benefit, where sweet, drunk Celia was abused by mean Hilly and mean Hilly got her comeuppance with the pie?

Sure you do!

While we were downtown, we worked in a quick photo op at the “Junior League of Jackson,” which is really the Mississippi Garden Club Headquarters (401 East Market Street). Yet another lovely old downtown house that someone had the foresight to save.

From there, we drove over to 613 River Road, where Skeeter's interior shots were filmed. What a gorgeous house! The pictures really don't do it justice since they can't capture the setting...a lovely old shady Southern street...a river view...trust us on this.

Next stop was Grand Boulevard, a lovely residential neighborhood and home to the infamous Hilly Holbrook. Okay, really 413 belongs to the Johnson family according to our “paperwork,” but that's beside the point; it is a gorgeous house! (And, by the way, they have carted off all those toilets.)

Hilly's friend Elizabeth, it turns out, lives right down the street. Well, the Leefolt home is at 1101 Poplar actually, but they're awfully close. I don't remember it looking so big in the movie, but it's really a huge house, much larger than it appears in the photo.


Our next stops were supposed to be Minny's and Abileen's houses, but for some reason the GPS – into which we had loaded all the addresses we wanted to see – sent us to Minny's and Abileen's church instead. At first, we were disappointed (and a bit confused), but we were soon distracted by the charm of the place. Not only is it the sort of old country church that warms your heart, but we are both suckers for old  church cemeteries. This particular one is not only charming in the way of rural church cemeteries but, according to the sign, it may be the final resting place of Robert Johnson. For anyone unfamiliar with The Blues, it was Robert who famously sold his soul to the devil – at the junction of Highway 61 and Highway 49, no less! – for the ability to play the guitar better than anyone ever had.

And those soybeans growing right in the front yard aren't something you see everyday!


The church is located on Money Road, and since we were all the way out there anyway, we decided we wouldn't go back into town, we would just swoop by the house used for the outside shots of Skeeter's home, including the shots of Skeeter's and Constantine's conversation in the yard. We were just hoping the house and yard would be visible from the road, so imagine our surprise when we spotted this sign on their fence. (You can't read the bottom part, but it invites you to tour the yard.)

Can you believe it? Only in Mississippi. Anyway, we are not ones to argue when things are going our way, so we turned right in. It's a loooong driveway – that wasn't a camera trick – and so we puttered along, admiring everything until we got to the front of the house, which we just had to stop and admire separately. It is truly lovely...the house, the setting, their Fourth of July decorations, just everything.


From there we moseyed down the road to Tallahatchie Flats, another plantation-cum-hotel similar to Clarksdale's Shack Up Inn. It's another brilliant example of "making do," something Mississippians are quite good at, thank you. Collect a few old sharecroppers' cabins, plumb them, wire them, add a window unit air conditioner and a good bed and rent it out..We didn't go inside any cabins here, but having stayed at the Shack Up Inn, I can assure you the cabins are as honest as they can be and still attract guests. Blues fans love the opportunity to "live the Blues," if only for a night or two. 

The Flats sit just off the highway, down a red dirt road. And for what it's worth, there is nothing - except perhaps the slam of a screen door - that tugs at the hearts of Mississippians like the sight of a red dirt road. There just isn't.

Tallahatchie Flats is surrounded by soybean fields. And, when we say surrounded, we actually mean surrounded. Soybeans are everywhere in the Delta. Well, everywhere cotton and corn aren't.

These are some of the cabins/hotel rooms, all lined up and complete with porch furniture. The outhouse is for effect (we hope).

The plantation's old commissary is now Tallahatchie Tavern, which we understand was very popular with The Help's cast and crew. So popular, in fact, that they chose it for their wrap party. There appeared to be a store on the grounds as well, but we were running short on time and couldn't nose around as much as we might have liked. And we really would have liked to snoop around the whole property. Although neither of us grew up in the Delta, there are things still there that are so familiar that we find ourselves instantly transported back to our childhoods, and sometimes that's just not a bad place to be.


  1. Thanks for sharing the tour. I think one of those shacks might have been my Grandma's old house in Texas. :)

    1. Really? I loved the looks of those old houses and commented on the non-standard air conditioners mounted in the windows. My great uncle lived in a house much like these houses and never ever had anything other than a window fan to cool him.

  2. I really enjoyed your blog, Marian and Susan. Brought back some MS memories. You are great writers!

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    1. Thank you, Camille...MS memories are the best. Susan is a very entertaining writer! We enjoy our travels.