Location Information
(for the former Gautier Colored School I)
Name:(former) Gautier Colored School (I) [community house]
Address:902 De La Pointe Drive
City/County:Gautier, Jackson County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:c.1924
No. of Stories:1
Mississippi Landmark Information
Designated:10-19-2012
Recorded:06-12-2013
Book/Vol. No.:V. 1714, p. 474-475
Context/Comments
The Gautier Colored School represents multiple facets of the educational history in Jackson County; it is not only significant as pertaining to the history associated with African-Americans in the Gautier community; it is also important as an early representation of educational facilities. It is one of the few surviving examples of a one-room school in Jackson County.
Brief Description
The Gautier Colored School is a one-story, frame-building with corrugated metal hip-roof with exposed rafter tails. It is clad with V-notched siding on brick pier foundation. The primary elevation, south, is three-bay (WW-DD-WW) has a centered projecting porch with an intersecting corrugated metal hip roof. The porch roof is supported by six slender square posts, with a half-wall on both sides. Benches are built into the half wall. The doors are double-leaf wood replacement doors. The entry is flanked by paired 9/9 DHS wood windows. On the interior, an entrance foyer opens through two entrance-ways into one-large room (apparently never divided), and all interior wall and ceiling finishes are of a V-notched car siding identical to that of the exterior. If there were ever any interior doors, they do not remain. Possibly the original configuration of the space included two small rooms or closets to either side of the entrance foyer. If so, the walls separating those spaces from the main classroom have been removed. There are two additions; a shed-roof addition on the left (west) front facade that was added to provide indoor restrooms, and a full-width, shed-roof addition extending from the north elevation that was likely added to provide for additional classroom space.
Historic Information
The Gautier Colored School is historically significant as the only surviving school building built for African-American students in Gautier during the era of segregated schools. The earliest records for an African American school in Gautier indicate a small school with fourteen students operating in the 1882/1883 school year. The New Era Missionary Baptist Church purchased the school property in 1894 which then deeded the property to Jackson County in 1914. In 1921, Jackson County purchased the site on De La Pointe Drive for a new school. The county provided $200 while the community raised $500 and provided volunteer labor to construct the current school building. Also known as West Pascagoula Colored School, African American students attended the school until 1946, when a new concrete block building was built near Frasier Park, (since demolished). After ceasing to be used as a school, the Gautier Colored School was used respectively as a community center, senior citizens center, and polling location.