The Brownville School
Architect J. C. Harris designed and supervised construction of the Brownville School in 1927-28. It replaced a two-story wooden school. About five miles north of Arcadia, Brownville was once a town with a church, general store, post office, sawmill, and service station. Surrounding the town were cattle ranches, crop farms, and orange groves.
Brownville School was one of five DeSoto County schools to be closed in 1947 when—following state legislation—the school system was consolidated, and students were bused into town. Since that time the building has been used as a VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Hall, community center, federal food commodities distribution office, storm shelter, polling place and a training program for mentally challenged adults.
Badly damaged by Hurricane Charley in 2004, the school has not been completely rehabilitated. The floors, walls, and ceilings were refinished, and the stage curtain for the second-floor auditorium was repainted. Eventually, the school will have an elevator to that auditorium. The Society had hoped that the Brownsville School would serve as a museum, but the future of that project and use of the building are unknown.
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