T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
Old Spanish Trail and the Schoolhouse
John Bernard by Doug Mungin, 2015.
DOUGLAS MUNGIN: What is your earliest memory of Mossville?

JOHN BERNARD: Oh, I forgot what year that I came down here. It was way back when. Old Spanish Trail was just a one-way highway. When you meet another car, one of them had to get off and . . . [Laughs] Way back there. I’ve been here over sixty-some years. But anyway, I raised all my kid right here, nine kids.

MUNGIN: So what did Mossville look like when you came here? Like, so were you a teenager?

BERNARD: There were very few houses. This used to be . . . the schoolhouse used to be right in the front of my house here, yeah. The schoolhouse, yeah, that was a two-story building, one teacher. One teacher, yeah. And Mossville had, like, a water trough, the kids go wash their hands and face and things right there in the yard. Yeah, one teacher. And the teacher name was Mrs. Lemelle. I don't know her real name. Mrs. Lemelle, yeah. And I bought this place here just passing through here. I got a job at Conoco and I worked there until I retired.
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This project is a collaboration between the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and LSU Libraries to document the history of Mossville, a historic African American community in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
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