Author Preston Lauterbach is a regular guest writer. Many readers will recognize Lauterbach as the author of The Chitlin’ Curcuit and the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll.
As much as I enjoy griping about the failure to preserve chitlin’ circuit/black history landmarks, I am much happier to learn about a successful restoration.
100 Men Hall in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi was slated for demolition after sustaining damage in Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to the efforts of Jesse and Kerrie Loya, the Hall is back, looking sharp, too.
The structure dates to 1923, but the club that built it goes back to 1894, when it was organized as a debating society. In their by-laws, they stipulated that the organization could host entertainments as a means of raising funds, and the 100 Men Hall became a stop on the chitlin’ circuit.
Here’s the Hall’s Mississippi Blues Trail marker.
The spot is once again hosting live entertainment, and you can stay looped via its facebook presence.
My thanks to Kerrie Loya for use of the images here.