Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Black Jack to Clarksdale

I had to make a trip to Batesville today, so stopped by Black Jack community to locate the old school building. It was mentioned in an earlier MissPres comment about the architecture of rural schools.
You can read more about it here .

Batesville is only a half hour from Clarksdale, another trip I have been planning on for several months since reading about Lustron houses on the MissPres blog. I had looked up the location on the Lustron preservation site before leaving, but it was not at the alleged address. I drove up and down Cherry street to no avail.

While in the area, I spotted a now unused school complex, and stopped to explore a bit.

The Industrial Arts Building on Riverside Street.
The old school maintenance building for the Clarksdale school system.

Graveyard at the school.
Wonder how many couples stood under this tree before or after class?

The school reminded me that E. L. on MissPres had mentioned the Lustron house being on School Street, so since it had clearly been a bust on the "official" site, I was pleased to see School Street was the street behind the school I was exploring. Sure enough, down at the end of the street, there it was.
Lustrons were all-steel houses (inside and out, walls, ceilings, floors, roofs, frame, shelves, cabinets, etc.) prefabricated and set up on site, as an answer to the housing crisis following World War II. You can read more about Lustron houses and their fascinating architectural and political history here and here.

Heading back home, I passed this gorgeous field of sunflowers. It was a bit tricky to turn around on the narrow dirt road. A semi has a smaller turning radius than the Equinox.
I have spent so much time on the house and on research this past week that I could not resist a little road trip today. After all, rain is in the forecast for the next 3 days. While I will welcome the respite from the heat, I dread the resulting greater humidity. As Si put it in one of his songs:

"You know how hot it gets in Mississippi. You know how dry it gets in the summer sun. Dust clouds swirl all down the Delta. I just hope that I don't die before the harvest comes."

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