Deep in the woods of Tremont located North on Highway 23, you can find the Oakland Normal Institute. The school, which was opened by G.A. and J.T Holley, bridged the gap between rural schools and college for area youths by teaching art, Latin and business courses. The school was open from 1887-1904 at which point it became a county school until it closed in 1954. A monument was erected in 1952 at the school to honor the men and their school by stating, “They brought the torch of light to thousands of youths who otherwise would have remained in darkness.” The original two-story building was torn down in the 1930s and the current structure was built using lumber claimed from the original structure. The school has a classroom, music room, multipurpose room, auditorium, and a supply room. Around the grounds one can find the original water pump and more modern (1950s’ era) outdoor drinking fountains as well as an original outhouse! The school is a Mississippi Historic Landmark.
Special Thanks to the Itawamba Jr. Leadership Class of 2018 Community Project Group: Kayley Phillips, Noah Thornton, Sarah Reeves, and Jolee Rushing for enhancing this place of history.