My mother's family has roots that date back to the 1800's in Holmes County, Mississippi, where Lexington is the county seat. And with relatives in Holmes County, as well as in neighboring Attala County, we often traveled there to see relatives during my childhood. It was during one of these trips that I first recall seeing the marker that directs travelers to "The Little Red Schoolhouse," a Mississippi landmark, just off Highway 14 near Richland, Mississippi. The cornerstone for the planned two story brick structure was laid in October of 1847, shortly after Masonic Lodges in Holmes County had raised over $3,000 for its construction. Although the original name for the school was to be the Richland Literary Institute, the name was changed to Eureka Masonic College shortly after its construction. In addition to being one of many privately endowed educational institutions that were built to address inadequate education in Mississippi during the 1800's, "The Little Red Schoolhouse" is also known as the birthplace of The Order of the Eastern Star. The historic building is now owned by the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star in Mississippi and is maintained in the honor of Dr. Robert Morris, the school's first headmaster and the author of the Order's ritual.
Must See Mississippi, 50 Favorite Places by Mary Carol Miller, Mary Rose Carter, Greg Iles, Published by University of Mississippi Press, 2007