T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
The original Mossville School Building and remembering Pete Moss' honeycomb in the school chimney
Larry Payne by Teresha Ussin, 2015.
TERESHA USSIN: What is your earliest memory of Mossville growing up?

LARRY PAYNE: Hmm, earliest memory. Well, when I was allowed to come out the house, what I saw was a building here, located right here [on the site of the Rigmaiden Center]. The building, it must have stood about over five foot off the ground with brick pillars. And I was told that that building was the original school. But when I came up it was used as a recreation center.

USSIN: [agrees]

PAYNE: And I remember us playing in it. It was a big building. And I remember playing under the building because it was so high off the ground. And I remember they had a chimney when they were tearing it down they had bees in it and they wanted to . . . They found out that there were a hive, a beehive in it. And they only person that could do . . . That could get the beehive out was an old man live in Mossville they called Pete Moss. He drove a wagon with horses and his wife named Caledonia. They had dogs on the wagon. And this guy, he would come around back in the days we had pigs, hogs, we would take our waste food and put it outside in a barrel. He would come around and collect the spoiled waste food and bring it . . . collect it from all the people in the neighborhood. They knew what they had to do and he would pick it up, put it on his wagon, and bring it back and feed it to his pigs. So his name was Pete Moss. And when they tore the building down . . . Well he was the one that came and got the honey . . .honeycomb from the chimney. And I remember that. And when they . . . after they removed . . . They did not tear the building down, they removed it. They moved it to the site where they built the brand new high school, Mossville High, it’s still existing. And they put the building in the back.
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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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