Walt's Look Around: Sisters of Mercy Convent - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Sisters of Mercy Convent

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBt Source: WLBt
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Sisters of Mercy came to Vicksburg during the Civil War and opened a school in the Cobb House next door to the convent building, which they built a few years later in 1868.

Well, the east wall stood nearly a hundred and fifty years before the middle of it came tumbling down recently.

Stacey Massey is the Executive Director of the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, the cultural center is housed in the buildings now. Stacey says the collapse happened quite without warning one weekend.

“The side of the wall that collapsed is where we usually exit. So we found out that we had bricks in the driveway,” said Stacey

Exactly why it fell is still being determined. But fundraising is already underway to put it back together again.

“A guess-timate was thrown out there of at least 200-thousand dollars to fix this problem,” added Stacey.

Meanwhile there are temporary support beams from the basement up to the third floor to stabilize the building so no further damage will happen.

On the ground floor is a chapel. Students, like Stacey who went to school here, came here often.

“We would walk, yes, from the academy building and come over in a single file line and come in and go to mass. So we got to come over here pretty regularly,” said Stacey

Of course the upper floors where the Sisters lived were strictly off limits to students. So now that Stacey is the executive director and responsible for all of these buildings, she feels a little wicked when she goes up there.

“No, we were not allowed to go upstairs," she said. "So now as I go through and help manage these buildings sometimes I feel like I’m not supposed to be upstairs.”

But if there are spirits left over from “the day” evidently they are helpful and don’t mind the intrusions.

“As we’re working around here, sometimes we’ll be walking through somewhere and a door will just open for us," said Stacey.”

A door opening is probably what the foundation is hoping will happen in raising the 200 thousand to fix the wall, on a complex of buildings that has nowhere near reached their potential in the contribution they could yet make to Vicksburg.

Previous Story:  Part of a Vicksburg landmark has collapsed, community funding needed for repairs

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