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Historic Lott-Canada School in Beeville

posted Jun 30, 2018, 10:31 AM by Bee County Historical Society   [ updated Jun 30, 2018, 10:33 AM ]

April 11, 2018 - interview with JoAnna O'Reily and Martha Stovall - hosted by Shirley M. Wyatt about Beeville's African American history and the Lott - Canada School. The original school for Black Americans was founded in 1876 in the Stephen Canada store seven miles above Beeville. In 1886, when the Methodist Church was moved to make room for the railroad depot, lumber from what is known as the “old Methodist Church” was given to build the second school for the Black American children. Mose Lott and Allen Canada were the carpenters who built the school at 107 Burke Street. The school operated at this location until it burned around 1929. Built in 1931, this third school was named “Lott-Canada” in honor of the builders of the former school. The Lott-Canada School was partially funded by the Rosenwald Foundation and the building was named for the CEO of Sears at the time. In the fall of 1955, students were transferred to BISD, where integration was peacefully concluded. In 1960, the school was closed; however, it continued to serve the community as the Special Education Building for the school district until it was leased to Coastal Bend Community College in 2008. Today is it used by the college for Customized and Continuing Education, Adult Basic Education/GED, and English as a Second Language classes. Of the 450 Rosenwald schools built in Texas, Lott-Canada is one of only forty known to be standing. Members of the Lott-Canada Alumni Association have created an exhibit in the school that details the building’s history and contains artifacts from the old school days donated by former students. In 2008 the school was awarded a Texas Historical Marker and is on the National Register.