Back in time: Excerpts from the chronicles of St. Mary of the Pines

St. Mary of the Pines, Chatawa, Mississippi, c. 1915-1920.

Back in time: Excerpts from the chronicles of St. Mary of the Pines

The School Sisters of Notre Dame were required to keep chronicles or records of major events at each location where they lived and worked. The chronicles are very interesting to read, because they are little snapshots of history.

Below are excerpts from the chronicles of St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Mississippi. St. Mary of the Pines was established in 1874, and the following year the SSNDs opened a boarding school for girls there. The school closed 100 years later, and the facilities were renovated to become a retirement community for sisters in 1976.


“December 1898, the climate seems to change. In the early fall already it became very cold and so the quarantine was lifted. In February the weather was so severe that even the oldest inhabitants could not remember such cold in their life-time. The blossoms of the plum and early peach trees were killed by the frost and many trees and plants are completely gone. The homes here are built of very frail materials, principally of frame, and as the walls are not plastered, window and weather have free play. Even while lying abed the wind blows in to my face and one has to be careful to avoid the incoming rain. Yes, the insure life and continuance to this institution new buildings would soon have to, of necessity, replace these old houses…”


“May 5, lights tested in Convent. They burn with a steady white light. All are delighted with them.”


“Refrigeration Plant was installed costing $650. From now on all cattle and hogs will be bought on hoof and butchered here as we need them. This means an immense saving as meat on foot is from 3¢ to 6¢ per pound and from the butcher 15¢ up. The hides can be sold at from 14¢ to 16¢ a pound.”


“April 10, A bull calf presented by Mr. A Fabaeher broke out of his crate on his arrival at Chatawa. Took a whole week to find him. Seven months old.”