Teacherage becomes home for progress, refuge from the storm
The little white building that houses the Bridge City Chamber is one of the city’s oldest surviving buildings and one of the town’s first.
But the school house once used by Prairie View principal Austin Floyd and wife Mammie Lou, and two single teachers, Dolly Peveto and Dimpie Lott has become more than an office and historic museum.
Most recently in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, Sept. 13, the site became a staging area for disaster relief coordinated by Sehon, executive vice president of the chamber. Within days following the storm, Sehon and chamber employee Evelyn Brandon with Tracy Miguez as volunteer, began sorting and distributing donations as they poured in.
The teacherage building became the site for Mid-County Kindness in October, and remained a command post for several disaster relief efforts and outreach programs. The Small Business Administration set up shop in the building in November, where it remain today.
In the meantime, Sehon was able to secure grants and donations to help fund the chamber and keep the doors to the old teacherage open.
The historic home withstood three hurricanes in four years. It is doubtful the historic building would have survived the storm surge of Hurricane Ike, had it not been moved to its Roundbunch location in 1995. Originally located near Hatton Elementary, the surge did considerable damage to the grounds where the building once stood.
The home had been used continuously since it was built to house the principal and school teachers. At one time, Grover Dies and family lived there. He later became the second school superintendent of BCISD. Floyd was the first superintendent.
With the inception of the school district in 1941, the home was used by maintenance personnel including the Tommy Dixon family for nearly 20 years. The school district was using it for storage when it was donated to the chamber.