Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Baldwyn School Disasters
The original BHS building was built in 1929. It faced North Second street on the East then. A fire destroyed the school in 1939. It was rebuilt and turned to face West toward the highway and was also enlarged. Someone jokingly said that the only thing that was needed to make the necessary change of frontal direction was to move the flagpole to the front and the outhouses to the rear.
TOP: On a hot Summer day in 1942 the downtown elementary school was destroyed by a fire of unknown origin. The brick sides were left standing but later demolished. All elementary grades were eventually moved to the North Second Street buildings.
The tabernacle at the left of the school in the photo was used for the lower grades until suitable provisions were made. This building sat on the corner of Main and US 45 where the Caldwell Hospital was built 8 years later (1950).
It was built in 1904, replacing another destroyed by fire. It was destroyed by fire in 1928, rebuilt and used until this fire.
LOWER: The school that most of us attended was destroyed by a fire that was presumably set by an individual, a student. This photo shows the early stages of the fire. Several fire units were called in for assistance from as far away as Booneville.
Both structures were damaged by the April '42 tornado. Students from the Second Street school attended classes in local churches and other places until the current school year ended. That school building was hurriedly repaired for the 42-43 semester, and remained in use until the '91 fire.
Top photo courtesy of Simon Spight. Lower from Betty Smith Massengill.
Posted by Carl Houston at 7:50 AM