Maps & Directions
The Delta Cultural Center is located along the Mississippi River in southeastern Arkansas. The museum is approximately 75 miles from Memphis and 120 miles from Little Rock. For more information on the Delta Cultural Center, please download a Delta Cultural Center brochure.
Directions to the Delta Cultural Center
From Little Rock, follow Interstate 40 east to the Brinkley exit. Follow Highway 49 south into West Helena. At the first stoplight, take a right, continuing on 49 south through three stoplights. At the four-way stop sign, go straight and take the second right (Phillips Street). Follow Phillips Street to its end; take a right on Cherry Street. The Delta Cultural Center's Visitors Center is immediately on your right, the Cherry Street Pavilion is on your left and the Delta Cultural Center's Depot is one block south on the left.
From Clarksdale or Memphis, follow Highway 49 north from Highway 61. After crossing the Mississippi River bridge, take a right on to Highway 49B. At the four-way stop sign, go straight and take the second right (Phillips Street). Follow Phillips Street to its end; take a right on Cherry Street. The Delta Cultural Center's Visitors Center is immediately on your right, the Cherry Street Pavilion is on your left and the Delta Cultural Center's Depot is one block south on the left.
Helena-West Helena, AR Map
Please use this Helena-West Helena, AR Map for your upcoming visit to the Delta Cultural Center.
History of Helena, Arkansas
"Helena occupies one of the prettiest situations on the river," wrote Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi. The river town is rich in history and culture. Although Helena, Arkansas was incorporated in 1833, the town's history goes back centuries. Hernando DeSoto crossed the Mississippi near Helena in 1541, finding a thriving native culture. When Sylvanus Phillips settled in the area in 1797, all indications of the flourishing Native American civilization were gone.
Helena, Arkansas is one of the oldest towns in Arkansas. It was an important river town during the Civil War, and the deadly "Battle of Helena" was fought on July 4, 1863, when Confederate forces attempted to take the town from Federal occupation. Their efforts failed miserably.
Following the Civil War, agriculture and the river continued to define Helena's economy and culture for another century. Immigrants from throughout the world came to Helena in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of a new life.
Helena lies at the southern tip of Crowley's Ridge, a natural region that contrasts greatly with the flat table land around it and with the black alluvial soil that makes up the Delta. It varies from half a mile to 12 miles wide and reaches an altitude of 550 feet near its northern extremity.
Helena also lies at the intersection of two National Scenic Byways - Crowley's Ridge and the Great River Road. Helena is home to over 30 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city is home to three separate historic districts - Cherry Street, Beech Street and Perry Street. Centennial Baptist Church was recently designated as a National Historic Landmark; the designation is the highest such recognition accorded to historic properties. Centennial is the only known example of an African-American church designed by an African-American architect in Arkansas.
Efforts to preserve the history of this historic river town continue today. Main Street Helena was founded in 1984 as one of the original Main Street Arkansas projects. Main Street Helena continues to make great strides in restoring, preserving and restructuring historic downtown Helena.
Some documents on this page are in PDF format. You will need the free Acrobat Reader to view them.