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Eddie Mae Herron Center (Pocahontas Colored School, St. Mary’s AME Church)

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1918; 2006 renovated, Jameson Architects. 1708 Archer St.
  • (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, A Division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, Ralph Wilcox, photographer)

Randolph County, like other Arkansas counties that border the state of Missouri, has traditionally had smaller African American populations than the counties along the Mississippi River, where a cotton plantation economy flourished through the labor of enslaved black workers. This small rectangular building was constructed as a church, but because there was no school for black children, the building also served that purpose. The one-room frame structure has a gabled roof and two doors at the front. It is not known if these doors were used as separate entrances for men and women, or perhaps one was used for access to the building and the other for egress. The church’s side addition came later. Following the pastor’s death in 1948 the trustees for St. Mary’s AME Church transferred ownership of the land and building to the public school board. Although Brown v. Board of Education had declared segregated schools unconstitutional in 1954, this building continued to serve African American students in grades 1 through 8, although the school now received some financial support from the public school system. Students in grades 9 through 12 were bussed to a segregated school in Newport. The school was closed at the end of the 1964 school year. The building was renovated in 2006 and now houses a cultural and community center and a museum that illustrates the story of the county’s African Americans from their early years until 1964.

Writing Credits

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors


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Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Eddie Mae Herron Center (Pocahontas Colored School, St. Mary’s AME Church)", [Pocahontas, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 225-225.

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