The History of the Old Baywood School

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 The Baywood School


By Mia Freneaux
    While meeting with Garnett Pollard, Vickie Carney and I felt like we had discovered a treasure trove.  In addition to her personal memories of the Baywood area, Garnett has a large collection of family photographs, both her own and those belonging to her sister Vione.  "I attended Baywood High School," Garnett shared, "though it consolidated with the Pride School when I was in third grade."  Garnett also remembers that the 2 story white building was "one of the better high schools in the area."  The Baywood School went through the 11th grade, as did all schools at the time, before Kindergarten was added.  "I knew the Smith family.  Willy Smith drove the Baywood bus.  There were not many students at the school – the first through third grades were all in one room.  The little kids' classes were all downstairs."  A look at the commencement announcement from 1929 reveals 6 students in the graduating class.  
    Garnett remembered how the families in Baywood were expected to put up the teachers in their homes – there was no teacherage.  The teachers would stay upstairs in her family home, and were fed as well.  Interestingly, according to Garnett, the Livingston Parish area directly across the river had no schools.  Students from Livingston would cross the river to come to Baywood.  There was a bridge past Stony Point that they would use to cross the Amite.  It eventually broke down.  "We used to go swimming right there," Garnett remembered fondly. 
    Garnett, who was raised Baptist, remembered meeting her "first Catholic".  She was Yvonne Guillot, a friend of her sister Anita, who came to teach at Baywood and stayed with the family. She spoke French.  Other teachers at Baywood included Aunt Mabyn Felder, who was Ed Browning's half sister and lived next door.  She taught Garnett through the fourth grade.  Trigger Browning taught her in the fifth.  She taught 3 Brownings at one time.  Garnett also remembered the principal, Mr. G.T. Willett.  After consolidation with the Pride School, it is rumored the old Baywood School building was used for dances.  Nothing remains of it now. 

More Memories of Baywood

    Ray Cotton of Zachary read the article in last week's Central Speaks on Baywood and shared the following.  
    His grandparents were the aforementioned Willy Smith and Mae Meads.  They had 7 children: Hattie Arvila (Roy's mother), Albert, Mattie, Hazel, Floyd, Adelle and Sadie.  They attended the Baywood School, with Hattie graduating in 1927.  Shortly afterward, she and her family moved to Jackson.  Her family was also related to the White family of Stony Point, possibly on her grandmother's side.  Ray believes some of that family are still in the area.  "The bridge picture is at Thompson Creek, sometime in the early forties, I believe," Ray shared. Many thanks to Ray and Garnett for sharing their reminiscences and photos.  Do you have memories or photos of the Central area?  Please consider sharing them with us. 
 Above: Baywood High school class of 1929 Commencement Announcement – Collection of Garnett Pollard

 C.D. Pierce, Principal of the school in 1908

 The bridge at Thompson Creek – Mattie, Hazel, Hattie, and Ray's father, Hunter Cotton. – Collection of Ray Cotton.
















 Willy Smith and the Baywood School Bus (before 1930). Collection of Ray Cotton

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