Heart of Louisiana: Husser Community School

TANGIPAHOA PARISH, La. (WAFB) – The former green school was built in 1921 to serve the children of the small community of Husser in Tangipahoa Parish.

This is where great ancestors learned to read and write, and it was the place for important family gatherings. There are now efforts to save the old Husser School.

Nearly a century ago, the bell atop the school called children to school in the small community of Tangipahoa Parish of Husser. Ethan Dunn is the head of the community organization Husser trying to save the century-old school building.

“Around 1920, my great-great-grandfather Hypolite Husser Jr., the postmaster’s son, was commissioned by the school board to build this school, the Husser School,” Dunn said.

Many long-standing families have a connection to the old school.

“My grandmother just turned 90. She and two of her sisters attended school here for four or five years. My grandmother only went to school here until fourth grade,” Dunn added.

In the 1940s the school closed due to consolidation, but the city rallied to buy the property at auction and turned it into a community center. They got help from the local Catholic priest.

“He took it upon himself to ask for a second special collection, on a Sunday during mass, precisely to raise money, to pay the bill, to get the school from the school board. And in just one Sunday, they raised the $75 for that building, plus the two acres,” Dunn explained.

They also had to replace some of the old flooring in the classroom. It was not ideal for square dancing.

“The old floor was so stiff the dancers couldn’t stomp and slide properly enough and they refused to have another square dance here until the floor was fixed,” Dunn noted.

Now the community organization must raise at least $75,000 for the repairs.

“The whole building was constructed of fat pine, taken from Zemurray Gardens here in Loranger, right next to us,” Dunn pointed out.

This old pine wood is showing signs of decay. Some of the older logs that support the building are failing.

“You can see that threshold is actually completely on the ground here,” Dunn described.

And there are leaks and broken windows that need to be fixed before the community center can reopen.

Why should people care about saving old buildings like this? You have done the research. You are on a crusade to save him. Why is this important?

“There is so much history inside this wall, inside this building that connects many people, whether they are related or not. I can’t tell you how many, how many people came up to me and said, “I celebrated my 16th birthday there. “My grandparents had their 50th birthday party there.” “Oh, we got married there.” Probably one of the most valuable things we’ve received is our National Historic Landmark plaque, which just describes a simple story,” Dunn replied.

The community group has already done their research and won national recognition for the old school. Now he has to convince others that it is worth giving money again, to save it.

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