Teacher preparation was an important goal of the Beauregard Parish Training School from its founding until the mid-1930s when the program was discontinued. Subsequently, students were required to attend one or two years at a normal school in order to obtain a teaching certificate. The parish training school movement for training black teachers began in 1911. By school year 1919-1920 Beauregard Parish Training School became one of 107 Training schools in the South. The curriculum included regular courses such as math, science, and English, as well as instruction in how to teach. Although each student completing the teaching program was awarded a certificate stating that he or she was qualified to teach at the elementary level in black schools, it was necessary for each to pass a test given by the state Department of Education before that certification was considered valid. After the teaching program was discontinued in the mid-1930s, students were required to attend one or two years at a normal school in order to obtain a teaching certificate. The school curriculum offered and its teachers were highly valued by the black citizens of Beauregard Parish.
Beauregard Parish Training School
First United Methodist Church
406 Shirley St., DeRidder, La.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places 1991
It was during the ministry of the Rev. Riggs that the Hudson River Lumber Company donated to the church the two lots on the northeast comer of the present courthouse square, and the first church building was erected, a frame structure with a bell tower, a gabled roof and high arched windows. The cornerstone was laid July 2, 1905, but a yellow fever epidemic prevented use of the new building until November of that year.
In 1913 DeRidder became the county seat of newly formed Beauregard Parish, and on September 11th the church property was sold to the Police Jury so that the new court house and jail buildings could occupy the entire east half of the downtown block. The selling price was $7,500.00 and the building was moved to the New Heights Road, now Martin Luther King Drive, where it is still used by the Starlight Baptist Church.
First Street School
500 W. First Street, DeRidder, La.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
The two-story red brick building known as the First Street Grammar School is associated with the progression of elementary education in Beauregard Parish. Since it is the only known art deco school in the area, it is considered to be historically significant.
Hwy 112, 13 miles east of DeRidder, on Leo Garner Road, two miles west of Sugartown on Hwy 112, drive 1-1 1/2 miles north on Leo Garner Road. The Cemetery is located behind a small whitewashed church meeting house on the east side of the road.
Louisiana cypress cribs protect graves in Pine Grove Cemetery from weather and depredations of varmints. These shelters protected early graves from weathering and depredations of wild animals. Once commonly found in rural cemeteries in this part of the state, these may be the last ones remaining in the state.
Pine Grove Cemetery
Former CCC Camp
The CCC's twin aims were to alleviate the critical unemployment situation among American youth and to curtail the destruction of America's natural resources. A typical CCC camp consisted of 12 wooden buildings; mess hall, four barracks with capacity for 50 men, officer's quarters, garages, tool houses, supply building, and bath houses. Such camp existed on the east side of DeRidder, Louisiana, at a site where the present Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (beci) is located on Highway 171 South. Men, mostly 17 and 18 year olds, received vocational and on-the-job training at the camps. Thousands completed elementary and high school and illiterates were taught to read and write. Locally, mechanics classes were taught which trained Dan Dugas for a vocation that was useful to him throughout his working years. Locals who had signed up and were assigned to the DeRidder camp were: Teddy Eaves, Louis Burge, Owen Slaydon and Dan Dugas. All worked 8 hour days, 5 days per week for $30. per month. At the time, cigarettes could be bought for 14 cents a pack and theater tickets sold for about 15 cents. Inasmuch as young men were needed in the armed forces, World War II led to the termination of the CCC. On July 2, 1942, some six months after the Pearl Harbor attack, Congress enacted legislation that provided for the disbandment of the CCC. Thus, the Corps was officially dissolved on June 30, 1943. By then, almost 3 million men had gained experience in the CCC program. Supervisors, who were Regular Army or Reserve Officers, had gained invaluable experience in organizing and training men that would serve their country well during the war.
Located at site of Beauregard Electric Cooperative (BECI)
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was the child of poverty and neglect, but it lived in honor and died because of World War II. It was a pseudo military operation and taught skills for a lifetime. In addition to vocational education, there were obvious benefits such as discipline, work habits and proper relationships.
To attack the depression, the CCC was created by the Unemployment Relief Bill under its founder, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. By executive Order 6101, dated April 5, 1933, the Emergency Conservation Work was officially activated which became the Federal Security Agency in 1939.
Prior to consolidation of schools which generally occurred in the 1920s and '30s, every little community had a school where grades 1 - 6 or 1 - 7 were taught. Shady Grove's closing in 1928 was due to consolidation which resulted in fewer but larger schools. There were between 1 and 3 teachers and estimated enrollment of 60 students.
As consolidation changed the face of rural education, the school closed nine years after classes began. School board minutes reveal that in October 1928, the parish superintendent was authorized to offer the building first to the community for purchase. On May 31, 1929, over 40 Shady Grove citizens incorporated and bought the school building.
The history of Shady Grove gives us an insight into the rural life in the 1930s and '40s. Business meetings of the Shady Grove Community Club, held once a month, also included some type of social event (a program or a covered dish supper). Locally organized three-act plays, performed by both children and adults, were quite popular. Two week "singing schools" were held regularly, with teachers boarding in the community. "Chalk talks" (colored chalk drawings done to musical accompaniment) were also much anticipated events. Boxed suppers and pie and cake sales were held to offset upkeep expenses. Besides social events, the home demonstration club met in the building in the 1930s, and after WW II, veterans took classes there. A few weddings and funerals were also conducted there.
The building remains in community use and is used mainly as a polling place, for reunions, auctions, and garage sales.
Shady Grove School & Community Building
2400 La Hwy 26 DeRidder, La
Located 6 miles east of Hwy 171, on Hwy 26, southeast of DeRidder.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in2002
The building, which served from 1919 to 1928 as the Shady Grove school and subsequently as the small village's community center, survives completely unaltered in a rural setting southeast of DeRidder.
Hundreds of schools such as the Shady Grove School existed across the state in the early twentieth century - they were the face of rural education. Today there are probably less than 20 remaining, if that many. Shady Grove survived because it continued to be used.
The builder was LeBlanc Brothers (Baton Rouge) who completed the building in 39 days for a cost of $57,480. It was ready to be used for the recreational and spiritual welfare of our armed services, Army and Army Air Force in the area on Nov. 27, 1941. Artifacts are on display, which commemorate the DeRidder Army Air Base, Camp Polk, the big Louisiana Maneuvers and the USO. Original WWII posters line the wall of the main drawing room. Plaques commemorate Generals Bradley, Mark Clark, Eisenhower, Marshall, and Patton, that mark meeting rooms named in their honor. On February 25, 1946 the American Legion purchased the building from the United States government and shortly thereafter donated it to the Police Jury with the stipulation that it be operated and maintained as a war memorial civic center. The building is maintained with a tax millage and continues in this use through the present.
First USO and War Room Museum
250 W. 7th, DeRidder, La.
Also known as the War Memorial Civic Center
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992
The War Memorial Civic Center was the first building built for and donated to the United Services Organization (USO) in 1941. It was one of the largest of five different sizes of Type A buildings designed for USO's by the Quartermaster Corps. Off-duty soldiers from Camp Polk and DeRidder Army Air Base made it a home away from home. The structure, exterior and interior, is preserved on its original site and in its original condition. The shower house still exists to the south of the building and dances are still held on the original wooden floor.
628 North Railroad Avenue, Merryville, LA
337-825-0101 (local number) or 979-864-0219 (mobile number)
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in1987.
Raised in 1883, Burk's Cabin was moved to Merryville, completely restored. It is typical of log cabins built when the area was opened to homesteading in the 1880's.
It is the only authentic log cabin in Beauregard Parish. The chimney is mud daub, using traditional methods from West Louisiana.
For more information on the Burk’s Log Cabin please visit www.merryvillemuseum.com
Burk's Log Cabin
First Street, DeRidder, La.
Completed in 1914
Added to the National Historic Register in 1983
It is easily Beauregard Parish's largest building, as well as the only example of a domed structure with classical details. It is also the only building in the parish with colossal order columns. The large, three-story structure occupies a city square in the heart of historical downtown DeRidder. The clock in the dome with its four faces, originally hand wound, has been converted to electric motors.
Beauregard Parish Courthouse
313 W. First Street, DeRidder, La.
Completed in 1914
Added to the National Historic Register in 1981.
Celebrated in the song "The Hanging Jail", the lockup was the location of a double execution in 1928. The jail and courthouse were connected by a tunnel used to transport prisoners out of public view.
Tours are available Monday through Friday
10am, 11am, 1:30pm & 3:00pm
Saturday tours are available to groups of 10 or more with an appointment. Call 337-463-5534 to schedule an appointment.
Cost to enter is $5 for adults and $3 for children 11 and under
5 and under is free.
Check out our Sister Prison - Southern Grace Distilleries at Mt. Pleasant Prison!