Just North of Vicksburg, Mississippi off U.S. 61 (also known as the blues highway) lies a small homemade castle. The castle, which started as a grocery store, belonged to the Reverend Herman “Preacher” Dennis and his wife Margaret Dennis. Margaret had owned the store for than 40 years before she married Preacher Dennis in 1984. Preacher Dennis told his wife that he would build a monument in her honor to show their faith in God so he turned the store into a castle. People travel from around the country to see the Dennis creation.
Reverend Herman “Preacher” Dennis was born around 1916 in Rolling Fork, Mississippi and joined the Army as a young man. While serving he became an ordained minister. It was said that Preacher Dennis visited Margaret’s grocery store after her husband had passed away and asked for her hand in marriage. It was then that he vowed to turn her place into a “world-renowned spot.”
The couple used colored concrete blocks, scrap-iron columns, foam balls and cardboard tubes to make their castle. Inside, the walls and ceiling were covered in Mardi Gras beads, plastic trinkets and Christmas lights. The building has been compared to a real-life Candy Land. The castle was a roadside attraction for those traveling on U.S. Hwy 61. At the front door of the building there is a sign that reads, "All is Welcome, Jews and Gentiles."
Margaret Dennis passed away in 2009 at age 94. Over the past few years, the castle that Preacher Dennis had made for his wife has slowly deteriorated. And just last week, Herman D. “Preacher” Dennis passed away at age 96.
Last year, Governor Haley Barbour declared March 20-26 the "Reverend Herman D. Dennis and Margaret’s Grocery Awareness and Preservation Week.”