Old Wesson Public School
Wesson, Mississippi (Copiah County)
Joining Mississippi’s efforts to rebuild its post-Civil War economy, Colonel James Madison Wesson moved to Copiah County and established the Mississippi Manufacturing Company, later known as the Mississippi Mills. He became the engineer of a textile industry and the founder of the town of Wesson. Thousands of people were employed with the company during its peak years and as the town grew, new facilities were constructed to support its growing population. The Old Wesson School, a two-story brick veneer Romanesque Revival Style building originally built in 1889 and rebuilt in 1893 after it was destroyed by fire, is significant as one of three remaining public buildings associated with Wesson’s historic development fostered by the textile industry. A Mississippi Landmark and National Register of Historic Places property, the Old Wesson School has an unusual industrial appearance, and may have been designed by the same architect and in the same style as the original Mississippi Mills buildings.
2015 Update – SAVED
Exterior renovations of the building was completed in 2003 and made possible by funding from two grants: a Community Heritage Preservation grant through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and an Economic Development grant from the Mississippi Development Authority. The Legislature approved an additional $1 million in funding to continue renovation of the interior of the school. Now, the Old Wesson Public School is home to a breathtaking event venue for weddings, meetings, reunions, and conferences.