What a wonderful way to end my week–with another successful location of a New Deal building, this time, another project of the National Youth Administration! Because many of these schools were built in rural areas (and parts or all of them are no longer extant), locating an exact address generally is not possible. All I could determine from the MDAH Historic Resources Inventory database was “N side CR 886.” But where exactly along 886? Seeing nothing but houses, I followed my instincts and turned at the sign for the Longview Baptist Church, assuming that at one point, it had been near “town.” I passed this building, and immediately surmised it was the old school, due to the windows, and the rock structure. Rural schools during the New Deal era tended to resemble this building, and were often built of rock (or in this case, rock veneer) due to cost. But, could I verify that?
Why, fortunately, yes I could. The MDAH digital archives has a collection of photographs of NYA projects in Mississippi. I had discovered it earlier, and perused it seeking support for confirming another building for which I could not find information. Luckily, it included photographs of the Longview school during construction.
At some point when the school was converted to use as a private residence, the double doors were converted to double windows. If you compare the photographs below, you can see that the rock matches in both the original photograph and the recent one, thus, indicating it is the same building. Close examination also reveals the slight difference in the color of the mortar where the doors were replaced with windows and additional rock.
I did not get out of my car to determine if a cornerstone could be located, but it resides (based on the original photograph) behind that bush between the windows and front door.
The rocks came from an NYA quarry, most likely the one in Tishomingo, which was the sources for rocks used by NYA in Pontotoc (MDAH, HRI database). The lumber used in the project was from an NYA sawmill at Longview. Completed in 1941 (or 1938 according to the date in the photograph album archives), the project also built a gymnasium and teacher’s house. The gymnasium is no longer extant.
You can view photographs of NYA projects throughout Mississippi at the link: Photographs from the National Youth Administration Projects Photograph Album, 1937-1939.