The W.J. Quarles House – “Greenvale”
Long Beach, Mississippi
In 1884, W.J. Quarles moved his family to Long Beach from Tennessee. Mr. Quarles was responsible for many firsts for Long Beach, including organizing the first school in the front of his house and building the first dry goods store. Mr. Quarles set up the first post office in his store and served as postmaster. He was also instrumental in beginning the truck farming industry in Long Beach.
The second home of the Quarles family, known as “Greenvale,” was built in 1894. For years, the house stood as one of the city’s jewels and was known as the birthplace of Long Beach. In 1969, Hurricane Camille destroyed the first and second story gallery. Later in 1998, Hurricane George further damaged the house, while Hurricane Katrina ripped the roof from the building.
The house sat vacant for many years. The family, which valued the history of the house, did not have funds to restore the building. Located at a busy commercial intersection, there was pressure to sell the property for development.
2017 Update – Saved
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 5th grade Discovery students from Quarles Elementary began trying to save the Quarles House through an activity called Project Citizen. Through their efforts, the Quarles House was cleaned out, and it also received a new roof as part of MHT’s Hurricane Katrina Pilot Stabilization Program. In March 2009, student volunteers landscaped the grounds. In 2009, the owner passed away and the house was left to his heirs. In 2012, the house was moved 400 feet to the northeast, near the Quarles Family Cemetery.
The house is currently unoccupied, but stable. It boasts a new roof and a fresh coat of paint. now owned by descendants of the Quarles family, the home is still need of funding for interior repairs.