French Camp Academy

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French Camp Academy

French Camp Academy (FCA) is an interdenominational Christian boarding home and academy in French Camp, Mississippi. It is intended to serve children who live in troubled households.[1] The school operates several businesses in French Camp, including a bed and breakfast, a gift shop, and a restaurant.[2]


A group of Scotch-Irish Christians, under the area Presbyterian Church, established the Central Mississippi Institute for Girls in 1885. The French Camp Academy for Boys opened later in 1885.[3] The school was intended for children of Native Americans and White settlers who lived in the French Camp area.[1] In 1915 a fire destroyed the girls' school; both the schools for boys and girls combined as the French Camp Academy. In 1950 the school was reorganized under a board of trustees, which represented various Christian denominations.[3]

Location and composition[edit]

French Camp Academy is in French Camp, a community in central Mississippi,[4] 80 miles (130 km) south of Tupelo and 90 miles (140 km) north of Jackson. The school has a total of 900 acres (360 ha) of land.[3]

The school hosts the Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium, the largest planetary observatory in Mississippi. The observatory, with 16 telescopes, has a clear view of outer space since it is far from major cities, which are sources of light pollution. The observatory is open by appointment to members of the public.[1]


Residents of French Camp Academy in Grades K-6 attend a public school, French Camp Elementary School. Students in grades 7 - 12 attend French Camp Academy's in-house school. [5] [6]

Students are required to wear school uniforms. High school students may attend a vocational technology program in the Choctaw Vocational Center in Ackerman.[7] [8]


French Camp operates the Council House Café, a restaurant, in a 17-foot (5.2 m) by 17-foot (5.2 m) log cabin that was built in 1820 and once served as a meeting place for Greenwood LeFlore. The school received the building as a donation in 1967. As part of a bicentennial project of students and staff, the log cabin was restored. The Council House serves sandwiches, salads, soups, bread pudding,[9] and Mississippi mud pie.[10] The school uses the restaurant as a training area for students, and the profits from the restaurant fund scholarships for students.[9]

French Camp operates a bed and breakfast hotel. In 1986 the school moved two clerestory log cabins from Eupora, Mississippi, to French Camp. The cabins, which had been constructed between 1840 and 1860, were placed together and the school established an addition between the cabins. The addition was designed to have the same historic appearance that the original cabins have. The hotel opened in March 1987. In 1990 the school restored an additional cottage, named the B & B Jr., and placed it behind the main building. Carriage House is a building of newer construction which sits on the former location of an 1880s cabin. Another cabin, the Burford Cabin, is the most newly opened accommodation building within the bed and breakfast. The Buford Cabin is accessible for handicapped people. The main building can accommodate up to eight people. The B & B Jr. can accommodate up to six people, the Burford Cabin can house up to four people, and the Carriage House can accommodate up to six people.[11]


French Camp Academy hosts the WFCA radio station, a non-profit radio station with its studios located along the Natchez Trace Parkway at Mile Marker 181. H. Richard Cannon, president of the school, conceived of the idea of the radio station while taking a mission field trip in New Guinea.[12]


The French Camp village harvest festival, held annually every second Saturday of October, has its proceeds benefiting the school.[1]


As of 2000 the school had about 300 student residents.[1] As of 2011 about 300 children and adults live and work on the campus.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Scherer, Dennis. "Time travelers." ("CAMP: Visitors get a glimpse of the past in French Camp, Miss.") The Times Daily. Tuesday May 23, 2000. 7A (continued from 1A). Retrieved from Google News (14 of 27) on February 28, 2011.
  2. ^ Sherer, Dennis. "Tracing History." Times Daily. June 18, 2005. 13F. Retrieved from Google News (Page 42 of 43) on February 28, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "Our History." (Archive) French Camp Academy. Retrieved on February 28, 2011.
  4. ^ "Home." French Camp Academy. Retrieved on January 13, 2012. "[...]Christian boarding school and home experience in central Mississippi[...]" and "French Camp Academy • One Fine Place • French Camp, MS 39745"
  5. ^ Choctaw Plaindealer summer 2013
  6. ^ French Camp Today summer 2013
  7. ^ "Academics." French Camp Academy. Retrieved on February 28, 2011.
  8. ^ French Camp Today summer 2013
  9. ^ a b "Council House Café." French Camp Academy Historic District. Retrieved on January 13, 2012.
  10. ^ "The Winding Road: Parkway traces history, nature from Nashville to Natchez." Boca Raton/Delray Beach News. Sunday June 23, 2002. 36. Retrieved from Google News (91 of 136) on February 28, 2011.
  11. ^ "Bed and Breakfast Inn." French Camp Academy. Retrieved on January 13, 2012.
  12. ^ "About Us." WFCA. Retrieved on February 28, 2011.

External links[edit]