I confess to more than a little frustration these past two weeks, ranging from research dead ends to the weather. I have been all over Arkansas and Memphis, which has caused me to sorely neglect Mississippi. And, speaking of neglected Mississippi, how about the 1920 three-story Sardis High School? The Sardis Public Library’s Community Analysis in 2010 said of it:
…stands empty and in need of repair. (p. 13)
I am presuming that the “empty” refers to not currently in use, although I had to wonder at the piles of what look like new books in the windows of one of the rooms, and the fact that a couple of windows were open a few inches. None the less, it was distressing to see this imposing building deteriorating, whether from lack of resources for care or intentional vandalism.
This is one of those times when no amount of searching will turn up anything about the building other than the brief mention in the 2010 community analysis, which of course, I did not know about when I was there Saturday or I could have stopped at that public library whilst driving right past it. I can find no mention of the Sardis School Museum, or reference to the dedication of this marker, but there must have been plans for this building–grand ones. It looks as if windows were replaced, and other than bricks falling down or being knocked down from the walls on the steps, there did not seem to be any glaring problems. I hope we have some MissPres readers out in Sardis who can fill in some of the huge gaps in the information. I have dedicated the better part of a day to searching archives and references in the library, all to no avail.
Mississippi Department of Archives and History Historic Resources Inventory Database, which provided the limited information I could find on this building, indicated that the no longer extant Old Sardis Public School was also located on McLaurin Street. Everyone do your homework this week–gold stars and extra points!