Saturday, March 29, 2008

Baldwyn High School and North of Town Photo

Photo by Curly Copeland - submitted by Milton Copeland
Click to enlarge

This aerial photograph of the BHS and the area north of downtown Baldwyn shows that the damage of the two tornadoes only a few years before has been completely repaired. Notice that the gymnasium and woodworking shop have been completed. The date of the photo is said to be 1950. The lateness of the evening casts long shadows from the trees. Up is east.

From the Latimer home and barn in the upper left, where the road makes a 90-degree turn, to the then controversial concrete block home with a flat roof built by Carson Baker's family at the lower right, the detail is very good for an older photo.

The school, as the 40s and 50s students knew it, stands out with it's baseball diamond in front, the football field with bleachers, the primer/first grade/lunchroom building and the duplex home to the right of it, and of course, the principal's home nearby the gym. About this time Barry Henderson, recently discharged from the Air Force, lived in one side of the principal's home.

To the left of the gym is the drainage ditch that went through the tunnel under the fields. Look at the distance from end to end of the tunnel and try to imagine that dark, wet trip through it again. There was a slight right turn somewhere in the tunnel, I would guess about the spot where the shortstop position would be played on the baseball field.

The grass strip used by the local aircraft owners was just east of the line of trees at the top of the photo.

I just wish that a little more of the area to the left was shown so we could see Christine's Drive In. Trying to guess the time of year this was made - apparently summer since the foilage was thick and the football field wasn't striped with lime.


  1. This school building burned, I heard. When was that after 1958? How did it happen?

  2. Had to be after I graduated in 1960

    I've been trying to pin down the date this photo was taken by checking Dad's letters home from Germany and it appears it was sometime in September or early October of 1949 while he was home on furlough.
    During his leave he spent a lot of time with his old friend Claude Gentry and I have several pictures of them at various places like Pickwick etc.
    But I was most fascinated by this series of aerial photos of Baldwyn and was wondering if anyone can remember if Claude had an airplane at this time.

  3. OK, back to the drawing board. I just realized that Carl pointed out the lack of grid lines on the football field, so Sep. and Oct. are probably out.
    I'm wondering how long Dad's furlough was. I have copy of a bill of sale for a new Buick from Doty Buick in Tupelo dated Aug 29, 1949. So maybe he was home earlier than August.

  4. Milton, Claude had a total of three airplanes, two of which i remember. I think they were, in order, a Piper J-3, then a Super Cruiser, and lastly a Stinson Voyager. He wrote in his book Fourscore and More in Dixie that he flew for 10 years. He went to Arizona in 1954 in the Stinson. That doesn't make for much information on your subject, tho.
    I heard the school was set afire by an irate student and started it in the library, however, not sure about that.

  5. Since you obviously know your planes I'll try to dig up the picture I have of the one they were using and let you identify it.

  6. EW hit home run which rolled all the way to the school house steps, not bad for HS - probably over 400 ft.

  7. You are referring to Ellis?

    He had some power in his arms, Joe. He had to have - he could walk around on his hands with his feet in the air for long ways. Even could walk up the steps and into the poolroom that way.

  8. Carl, That's EW. I remember the walking on hands also.


  9. Bobby Aldridge also hit a long home run one day that bounced against the schoolhouse. He didn't connect with a pitch very often, but when he did it usually went a long way.