Can you identify any of these folks from the 1950 – 1st Annual “Dairy Bowl”. The Perk High School team was the host team.
Perhaps these trees do talk back! In January 1971, Astronaut Stuart Roosa selected seeds from five different trees to take to the moon on Apollo 14. Upon their return to earth, some of the seeds were sent to Bill at the Harrison Experimental Forestry Station in Gulfport, Mississippi. The seeds were planted, celebrated and continue to share their story; “moon trees” and their direct descendents (baby moons) are planted across the world. Some trees were planted in 1976 to celebrate our Bicentennial. Another moon pine was planted in honor of Bill Mauldin in McHenry, Mississippi at the George Austin McHenry House and yet another in honor of Astronaut Fred Haise on the Perkinston Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College — his alma mater.
The “moon trees” continue to flourish, a living monument to our first visits to the Moon and a fitting memorial to Stuart Roosa, Bill Mauldin, and our space program.
“This story was told in its entirety as part of the Telling Trees story gathering project in Stone County, MS with assistance from the MS Humanities Council and the National Humanities Council.” Kathryn Lewis, project director.
W.P.A. RESEARCH PROJECT 1939
By Mrs. C.E. Wells
One page of the project report describes Points of Interest in Perkinston.
“The farm owned by the Agricultural College is of outstanding interest, noted for the manner in which it is operated and the number of dairy cattle maintained.
A short distant west of town there are numbers of acres being developed in the Tung Oil Industry, the tung nuts being crushed for the oil which is used in making paint.
A brick factory is located in the environs of the town to the south. Very fine clay is found in this section, suitable for the making of brick, tile, pottery and for moulding clays of all sorts.
The outstanding feature of Perkinston is the Harrison-Jackson-Stone Agricultural High School and Junior College. Perkinston has an excellent public school, featuring the grammar grades, which has long been a feeder for the Agricultural High School.
West of town stands the “Little Brown Church” , Baptist, a wooden structure.”
If you took dance lessons “back in the day”, chances are your first teacher was Frances Hemeter. She also choreographed the “Perkettes” for many years.
John Perkins is the man for whom the community of Perkinston is named. After serving in the Confederate army, he became one of the homesteaders in South Mississippi. His home remains (in an expanded form) in the community today. See Len Blackwell’s The Perk Paperboy. This portrait was donated by his family to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
Did you know that Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College originated as the Harrison County Agricultural High School in 1911. Citizens in Perkinston donated land and funding for the school. School opened for the first time on September 17, 1912 in Huff Hall.
For more information on the history of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, check out this link from their website: http://www.mgccc.edu/The_College/history.php.