From the late 1800s through to the mid-1900s, the old Carrrollton Courthouse served as the site of McDonogh 23 public school. On February 10, 1889, McDonogh 23 became the first school in Louisiana to observe Arbor Day, which they did for many decades. McDonogh 23 students regarded Arbor Day as their special festival day. Many of the trees surrounding the building were planted during McDonogh 23’s ceremonies commemorating Arbor Day.
On April 21, 1893, a ceremony honored McDonogh 23 for its dedication to Arbor Day. All in attendance received a pamphlet featuring songs especially for Arbor Day, including “Welcome,” “Forty Years Later,” and a poem by Master Edwin Chalin. Mrs. White and her Kindergarten class offered a gymnastic performance, demonstrating McDonogh 23’s “physical culture.”