New Deal in Mississippi: Grenada Community House

Grenada community house 3In previous weeks, we have visited the community houses constructed under the New Deal Administration in the communities of Pontotoc and Eupora.  This week, we stop off in Grenada for a third in the Tudor style of the Mississippi versions of community houses.  As described by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History Historic Resources Inventory database, the Grenada facility is:

A stone-veneered building with false-half-timbered gables, very similar to the community house in Pontotoc and Winona.  This building was used as the public library from 1938 to about 1988.

According to William M. Gatlin (2008 National Register for Historic Places nomination form for the Winona Community House), the Grenada Community House was built by Braxton Irby, using stone that had been brought from Arkansas.  The portico columns feature the same open design as the Pontotoc Community House.

This historic property is part of the Grenada Downtown Historic District.  The first public library in Grenada County was opened in an upstairs room next door to the Grenada Bank on February 9, 1934, also with funding from the WPA Library Project (“From humble beginnings…”, 2008).  In 1936, when the Community House was erected by the Works Progress Administration, part of the building was designated for the library.  The rest of the building was used as the USO Club after the opening of Camp McClain (“History of Elizabeth Jones Library”, 1973).  In 1963, the building was given to the library.  It is currently in use as a church.

The building is definitely in need of paint on the trim and some roof repair before additional damage takes a greater toll on the building.  The building is clearly not as well cared-for as Pontotoc or Eupora community houses, but at least has not been demolished as has the community house in Louisville.

History of Elizabeth Jones Library. (1973, April 10).  The Daily Sentinel-Star, Grenada, Mississippi. p. 4.

From humble beginnings…to modern Elizabeth Lones Library. (2008). Grenada, Mississippi 2008. Publication of The Daily Star. p. 54.

Categories: Grenada, Historic Preservation, New Deal

6 replies

  1. reminds me of the gathering of stone veneered houses at chatawa near the highway and railroad.
    can you investigate that area as well?
    love your pieces on this site. the early 20th century must have been a time of ‘moving and shaking’!


  2. Thanks for covering these WPA projects. This is a well-built building, but the current roof is wrong. I guess the original in the 1930s was asbestos shingles or possibly even slate? Does anyone have a 1930s photograph?


  3. Thanks, Sara and kodachromeguy (you gotta love that name!). I never would have guessed this would morph into such a huge project when I read that first MissPres post about the Forrest Post Office (at least I think that is where it was) and went in search of a mural!


  4. Did you do a story on the Winona Community House? One of my pals said it was extensively renovated recently. Thanks.


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