A Life-Long Resident of Jackson County
Mary Beechim was born and raised in Springfield, a Legacy Community located northwest of Marianna. She has lived her whole life in Jackson County. Growing up, her family worked in sharecropping. As a young child, she went to school in the community at the Springfield Schoolhouse. It was here where Beechim had many of her cherished early memories. The May Day celebration was held at school annually where she and her friends would wrap the May Pole, bob apples, and make arts and crafts. Jackson County consolidated the school system during Beechim’s childhood, and the Springfield Schoolhouse was closed.
After the Springfield Schoolhouse closed, Beechim was forced to walk ten miles to school each day. Beechim and her friends had to always be cautious of the school bus, as the kids riding these buses would throw things at them and taunt them during their walk to school.
“I love to fish. I love to cook. And I love working around here in this museum, in the art gallery we have. My beautiful daughter, she assists her. And I just love staying busy.”Mary Beechim
Beechim’s family stopped working in sharecropping when she was 15, and at age 17, Beechim got married and started a family. At this point, Beechim had dropped out of school. After her marriage, Beechim became a certified cook and worked as a cook for 22 years until her retirement in 2004. Nowadays, she still cooks, but mostly just for her friends and family. She cooks a lot of comfort food and has a love for making desserts like pound cake and red velvet cake. In addition to cooking, she spends her free time fishing and helping out at the Springfield Schoolhouse Museum.