Bricks commemorate deadly nightclub fire

Published 12:07 am Thursday, January 26, 2012

NATCHEZ — Rhythm Night Club Memorial Museum owners are asking Natchezians to purchase a brick for a pathway at the museum they say will lead to more awareness and community involvement in the museum.

Monroe and Betty Sago are placing the bricks purchased through their Buy a Brick Program on the pathway and porch in front of the museum.

Monroe said the program is the first time he and his wife have solicited money from the public for the museum, but he said he thinks it’s important to get the community more involved in the museum.

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“It’s all of our history,” he said.

The museum, which is located at the site of the Rhythm Night Club, commemorates the 209 people who died in a fire at the dance hall on April 23, 1940.

Betty said many people in town do not know about the fire and where it happened. She said she hopes more awareness will spread throughout the community through involvement in the brick program.

“It’s important that people know that we are living in a time when something this tragic has happened in our town, and three-fourths of people don’t know,” she said.

Monroe said he would like to have the pathway finished before the museum’s annual commemoration on April 23, which will mark the 72nd anniversary of the fire.

The prices are $30 for a brick with three lines of text and $60 for a brick with five lines of text. Monroe said there are no stipulations as to what can be written on the brick.

Monroe said he is asking residents, businesses and any survivors to participate in the project. He said people will be investing in a permanent marker of their support of the museum by purchasing a brick.

“It’s not like purchasing an ad in a magazine or something that is going to be read a couple of times and thrown away,” Monroe said. “This will be here forever.”

Anyone wishing to purchase a brick can pick up an order form at the museum at 6 Catherine St., or place an order by calling Monroe at 601-597-0557.