Location Information
(for the Gymnasium)
Address:Baxterville School (White) complex
City/County:Baxterville, Lamar County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:1949
Mississippi Landmark Information
Book/Vol. No.:22-c/288
Brief Description
The Gymnasium at Baxterville Elementary School, now known as the Otis D. “Buddy” Holston Gymnasium, is said to have been constructed with materials from Camp Shelby on site at the school around 1950. Oral history around the town claims the gymnasium was once an airplane hangar at Camp Shelby during World War II.

The building is constructed of concrete slab on grade with concrete masonry units for the exterior load bearing walls. The roof is gable-on-hip, made of composition asphalt shingles, with gables on the north and south elevations. The building now includes four additions, one on each corner, that were not original to the construction in 1950 but are used as restrooms. Windows on the east and west sides of the building include four tripartite clerestory windows divided by concrete block pilasters.

The interior boasts exposed wood trusses that support the tall ceiling of the gymnasium. It is clearly visible that the trusses are constructed with reclaimed wood. The columns and the bleachers also appear to be constructed of reclaimed wood. The original building had a seating capacity of 500 with dressing rooms for boys and girls.
Historic Information
The reclaimed wood trusses exposed in the gymnasium support the claims that at least the wooden sections of the building came from Camp Shelby. This camp, established during World War I as a training installation, became the second largest Army post in the United States. At the end of World War II, the Federal government set out to sell the excess buildings and supplies. An advertisement appeared in local newspapers in January 1948 announcing Camp Shelby’s plans to sell 470 buildings. Most of the buildings that were sold as surplus were garages, warehouses, related storage buildings, and some gymnasiums. Rita McCarty, a cultural resource program manager and archaeologist at Camp Shelby, states that each division at Camp Shelby had their own gymnasium, so there had been a number of gymnasiums on site that may have been disassembled and shipped off site after World War II.
Baxterville Gym: ML Significance Report June 2011 Swayze Neyland, MDAH