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Landmark & Heritage Meeting Minutes – January 2019

January 21, 2019

A meeting of the Brusly Landmark and Heritage Commission was held on Monday January 21, 2019, at Brusly Town Hall, Brusly, Louisiana.  Chairman Rills called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM. Commissioner Bourgeois led the Pledge of Allegiance.  A roll call determined the following:

Commission Chairman:                      Jim Rills
Commission Members Present:          Billy Bourgeois, Edward Dupuy,  Henry Soniat
Commission Members Absent:          Margaret Canella, Rose Jackson, Shirley Jordan
Advisory Members Present:               Brian Falcon
Advisory Members Absent:               Scarlet Callicoatte, Billy Hebert
Others present:                                   Joanne Bourgeois

Upon motion by Commissioner Soniat, seconded by Commissioner Dupuy, the minutes of the  October 15, 2018, meeting were unanimously approved as written.

Landmark Plaque Applications:  None

Former Landmark Site Applications:

Brusly Council Member Joanne Bourgeois presented a Former Landmark Site application for 332 E. Main Street, the former site of the Eureka School.  The following narrative accompanied slides regarding the site:

Eureka Central School, the first public high school in West Baton Rouge, established 1884, was located on East Main Street in Brusly, across from the present- day Post Office. Constructed of lumber (cypress) from Morley, the school accommodated students in grades 1 – 10. The campus included the entire block of land encompassed by Landry Street  and First Street, on the  east and  west, and East Main and Bourgeois Street on the on the north and south. Hence, that is the reason for Gwin Street dead-ending at Landry Street.  A home was built for the principal, Mr. Knoblock, around 1900 on property across First Street; the home later became property of Mrs. Lucile Hebert Fourroux’s family.

The school ceased to operate in 1911 when the 2 story wooden building on the River Road was constructed to serve as Brusly High School, serving students in grades 1 -11, until the 12th grade was added in 1949.

A conversation with Felton Crockett, Jr., “Mickey,” revealed further information about Eureka School. When the school was vacated, several African-American men approached the WBR School Board about having the building moved to the Lukeville School campus to replace a building which had been destroyed by a storm. After some time, permission was granted, providing the men themselves moved the building; “Mickey” recalled that his grandfather was one of those men. That was not an easy task in those years and probably involved horses and manpower, maybe taking 2 weeks to complete the task.

The building remained on the Lukeville Campus until new buildings were constructed there in the late 1950s. That building and the former Levert-Addis School building, on the Lukeville Campus since the 1940s, were sold at public auction. Wilman “Tickie” and Bernadette Hebert Michel purchased the building, had it disassembled, found the word “Morley” on the wood and used the material to build their home at 1723 Allene Street.  The house is still there as of this date.

After the discussion, a motion to recommend 332 E. Main St. to the Town Council as the Former Landmark Site of the Eureka School, was made by Commissioner Rills; seconded by Commissioner Dupuy.  The motion passed unanimously.

Other Business:  As a point of history, Ms. Bourgeois shared with members that Ms. Evanna Jackson-Hodges, the first African-American to graduate from Brusly High School (1966), had passed away on January 9, 2019.

Public Comment:  None

A motion was made by Commissioner Bourgeois to adjourn; seconded by Commissioner Dupuy.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote. Commission Chairman Rills adjourned the meeting at 6:46 PM

/s/Patricia Gaudet Thibodaux, Secretary

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