As you know, we at MissPres are fascinated by concrete block and all the forms it took before it became boring old cinder block. Lately, I was driving around McComb and noticed a number of very finely detailed concrete-block houses, and it was such a fine day that I stopped to take a few pictures.
When I got back to Jackson, I went digging for information to see if there was a concrete-block manufacturer in McComb that would explain this widespread use of the material, and I found a paragraph in a document at MDAH called “Historic Resource Survey Report, McComb, Pike County, Mississippi” by David Preziosi of the Mississippi Heritage Trust, dated 7/20/2011:
B.V. Slader came to McComb in 1904 and established a modest contracting and building business. McComb was not expanding as rapidly at that time as it did in later years, but Mr. Slader secured his fair share of work. In 1906 Mr. Slader added to his equipment molds for the manufacture of concrete building blocks, and the amount of that material employed in the constructiong of McComb residences and business buildings indicate that his business was more than ordinarily successful. General concrete construction, curbings, sidewalks, floors and other work, including foundations, were also done by Slader’s company. Mr. Slader’s plant developed as the needs of McComb and surrounding communities demanded his products. In addition to standard concrete work his company was also able to make artificial art and building stone, of every description, special detail stone of intricate design and pattern. Among the notable achievements of the plant are the great Corinthian columns of the First Baptist Church. [I don’t quite understand the use of the present tense here since the church was demolished long ago.] The plant also turned out a great variety of patterns of art stone, building stone, vases, columns, light posts, ornamental brick, window sills and caps, and numerous other products. Many of those materials were used on buildings in McComb.
Want to become a concrete block nerd? Read on!
- When Concrete Blocks Were the Latest Fad, Part 1
- When Concrete Blocks Were the Latest Fad, Part 2
- Concrete Block Structures of Biloxi, Part 1
- Concrete Block Structures of Biloxi, Part 2
- In Praise of Masonry Screens