20 Dodds House Hazlehurst, Mississippi

Dodds House Hazlehurst, Mississippi

Moved three times and now in serious need of stabilizing and restoration, this is the house in which Robert Johnson was born to Julia Major Dodds. Julia’s husband Charles, a well-established carpenter and furniture builder, built this house for their large family. An altercation with local whites caused Charles to flee Hazlehurst under cover of night. He left Julia behind with their ten children, hoping she could hold onto the house.

Charles settled in Memphis under the alias C.D. Spencer and took a mistress. Over time, Julia secreted the older children up to live with them. For company and protection, she took up with a local sharecropper, Noah Johnson, who became Robert’s father. Shortly after his birth, she lost the house and slipped with Robert and her younger children into the migrant labor camps of the Delta.

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