Efforts Underway To Preserve History Of Mossville As Town Becomes Extinct [VIDEO]
As Sasol continues to grow, the town of Mossville continues to disappear. Now efforts are underway to preserve the town's unique history.
As the Sasol energy and chemical company continues to expand it's Lake Charles location, the small town of Mossville is literally disappearing. Founded in the 1790's by former slave, Jim Moss, the town is one of a few unincorporated community in Calcasieu Parish.
The predominately African American community gained national attention when the United Church of Christ issued a report in 1987. The report took a look at poor communities of color being disproportionately impacted by industrial pollution. The church revealed the overwhelming health effects citizens of the small community endured do to the nearby factories.
Meanwhile as Sasol continues to add-on, they offered residents voluntary buyouts. Some have taken them up on that offer, while others say the offer wasn't good enough. Still some are trying to hold on to their family homes, property and heritage as long as they can.
As the Mossvilles landscape disappears, KPLC 7 reports efforts are underway to preserve the towns rich history, one story at a time. Imperial Calcasieu Museum highlighted Mossvilles History Project at the Rigmaiden Center, in Westlake Friday March 27.
There, researchers wanted residents to share their knowledge of Mossvilles original settlers, to their descendants, schools, historic places, events and more. Susan Reed of the Imperial Calcasieu Museum confirmed the small community is going extinct. Reed told KPLC 7, "The community of Mossville is going to be extinct pretty soon due to a changing landscape which happens a lot times all across the country. We don't want all that reach history of this community from the 1800s to now not to be known."
The good news is Sasol is helping to fund this initiative and recently got a $275,000 grant to speed-up the process. This gave the effort a big boost in capturing historical photos, records, etc.