AROUND MISSISSIPPI — A Mississippi turn-of-the-century car dealership, African American cemetery, two public schools, and a historic district are now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Department of Interior recently approved the listings on the recommendation of the Mississippi National Register Review Board.
The Christian and Brough Building, one of the first automobile dealerships in Vicksburg, was built in 1905 by businessmen John Christian and Knight Brough. Their business began as a carriage and wagon manufacturing and repair shop but as interest in automobiles grew they expanded their inventory to include Franklin, Nash, Packard, and Studebaker motorized vehicles.
Located east of downtown, the Starkville Colored Cemetery was used by the African American community in Starkville from the late 1800s to the mid-1950s. The oldest marker found to date memorializes Jimmy Cooper, who died on June 21, 1882, at the age of sixteen.
The Meridian Senior High School and Junior College in Lauderdale County was built north of downtown in 1937 in response to Meridian’s growing population and was the first municipal junior college in Mississippi.
The campus ranges in architectural styles from the Stripped Classic style of the administration building to the Art Moderne Ross Collins Vocational Building. Hartley Peavey, founder of Peavey Electronics, attended the vocational center. The high school is still in use today.
Completed in 1931 the (old) Waveland Elementary School in Hancock County served the community as a school until it was damaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969. After the Tudor Revival building was repaired it reopened as the Waveland Civic Center in 1972. The auditorium was used for community theater programs and classrooms for meeting rooms. It also served as a senior citizen’s center.
The center was again severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and rededicated in May 2009 after being restored.
The Downtown Tupelo Historic District in Lee County encompasses 186 buildings and includes five properties previously on the National Register — First United Methodist Church, Lee County Courthouse, Peoples Bank & Trust Company, R.C. Clark House, and the R. F. Goodlett House.
The varied architectural styles ranging from Italianate and Neo-Gothic to Craftsman and Art Moderne reflect the growth and historic significance of the district.
The National Register of Historic Places was established by Congress in 1966 to help identify and protect historically significant properties.
The Department of Archives and History is the official State Historic Preservation Office in Mississippi and handles all requests for National Register information and assistance.