RICHLAND PARISH, La. (KNOE) - A historically black school in Rayville is making its mark in the community.
Historic marker at the site of the Rayville-Rosenwald and Eula D. Britton Alumni Center. Source: (KNOE)
After years of reunions, 1960 graduate Quincy Mason took it upon himself to preserve the school’s rich history.
“Why don’t we try to recreate some of our history and post it in the gym,” Mason said.
The school was founded in 1904 as "The College." It was later renamed to Rayville Colored School in 1936 and then to Rayville-Rosenwald High School in 1949. In 1956 it was named after the school’s first principal, Eula D. Britton.
The school graduated 31 classes and served K-12 students throughout its 66 years before closing in 1970. Alumni purchased the old gym in 1994 and made it the alumni center.
With the help of other classmates and alum, they turned it into a mini-museum of the school’s legacy and the town’s history of black-owned businesses.
In 2014, Mason had the idea to apply for a historical marker. After years of waiting he made it official in 2019.
“I filled it out, I got all of the paraphernalia that was needed to go with the application and I found it where to send it and who to talk to and so forth,” he said.
While the marker stands proudly outside of the gym’s doors, Mason said it’s a reminder for the younger generation to acknowledge the history of their ancestors.
“That’s the type of legacy that we’re trying to build here and formulate a path that they will carry on and go forward,” he said.
Mason said the alumni association is planning to apply for a spot on the national historic registry.
The marker will be dedicated at their alumni reunion on July 3.