freshwater clam

Beulah, Mississippi

Beulah is a town in Bolivar County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 473 at the 2000 census.


Beulah is located at (33.790487, -90.980502).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²).0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 473 people, 139 households, and 108 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,027.5 people per square mile (397.0/km²). There were 151 housing units at an average density of 328.0/sq mi (126.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 2.54% White, 95.98% African American, 0.85% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, and 0.42% from two or more races.

There were 139 households out of which 46.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.1% were married couples living together, 38.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.40 and the average family size was 3.83.

In the town the population was spread out with 38.9% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 12.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 87.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $24,861, and the median income for a family was $25,341. Males had a median income of $22,500 versus $19,205 for females. The per capita income for the town was $8,631. About 31.8% of families and 33.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.3% of those under age 18 and 44.0% of those age 65 or over.


The Town of Beulah is served by the West Bolivar School District.


In decades past, Beulah experienced a resurgence in the pearl button industry as a result of Mississippi River freshwater clam harvesting -- "Clammin'" as it is known to the residents who still make their living in this way. While pearl button production levels in Beulah would never have been competitive with the self-proclaimed "Pearl Button Capital of the World" (Muscatine, Iowa) at the height of the pearl button industry in that city in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Beulah shares in the rich heritage and history of this industry.

Freshwater clam harvesting in Beulah declined significantly during the 19th century as a direct result of the natural evolution of the Mississippi River itself. Most freshwater clam species tend to concentrate in the bends of the river. Since the 1800s, this part of the Mississippi has abandoned its bends to oxbow lakes and straightened its course.

Many families still participate in clam harvesting further along the length of the river, although pearl button production has not been a part of this industry for a number of years.


In August 1974 a small, commercial airplane crashed when it failed takeoff at a now-defunct airport that once served the community and surrounding rural residents. The plane was intending to spray pesticides for a local farmer when the pilot miscalculated and collided with tall grass at the end of the runway. The pilot was uninjured however his dog died sometime later from injuries sustained in the accident.


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