Naylor School, Lowndes County

I would estimate that this structure, which likely served all grades, was built in the 1910s or 1920s.

Stockton School, 1920s, Lanier County

This facility, which housed grades 1-11, was built in the Mission Revival style popular in schoolhouse architecture of the 1920s. The interior remains in fairly good condition; the stucco siding is non-historic and was obviously added later. A full restoration would require removal of the stucco.

Goulding House, Circa 1817, Lexington

The Presbyterian Church had a presence in this area in 1785, before the incorporation of Lexington or the establishment of Oglethorpe County. The missionary spirit which originally brought them to the community perhaps guided Liberty County native Reverend Thomas Goulding (1786-1848) in his creation of the Theological Seminary of the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia at this site in 1828. [The structure was built as Goulding’s home circa 1817, though one source dates it to 1808]. The seminary moved to Columbia, South Carolina, in 1830, and remained under the direction of Reverend Goulding until 1834. The name of the school was changed to Columbia Theological Seminary in 1925, and though it moved to Decatur, Georgia, in 1927, it retains that name to this day. Over nearly two centuries, it has produced numerous prominent social, political, and religious leaders.

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Colored Memorial School, 1923, Brunswick

In 1870, the Freedmen’s School was established as the first public school for African-Americans in Brunswick. Colored Memorial High School, designed by Cloister architect Francis L. Abreu, was built adjacent to the Freedmen’s School in 1923* and named to honor African-American veterans of World War I. The Freedmen’s School was replaced by Risley High School in 1936 and served the community until 1955 when a new Risley High School was built elsewhere. It was named Risley School, for Captain Douglas Gilbert Risley, who advocated for the school as the head of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

*- The 1922 date on the building is the date the cornerstone was laid by Dr. H. R. Butler.

National Register of Historic Places

Hearn Academy, 1910, Cave Spring

Hearn Academy was established by the Baptists as the Manual Labor School [a permanent school of high order] in 1838, to teach boys agricultural and other life skills. Tuition was paid by work on area farms. A generous endowment from the estate of Lott O. Hearn in 1846, realized from the posthumous sale of 12 slaves, gave the school the name Hearn Manual Labor School.

Reorganized as a more comprehensive institution in 1903, it was renamed Hearn Academy. After a fire, the original school building was replaced with the present structure in 1910. It closed in 1925, with the rise of public state-funded schools in the area.

It remains an anchor of historic Cave Spring and is used for a number of public and private events.

Rolater Park Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Goodyear Elementary School, 1930, Rockmart

This elementary school, built by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company soon after they opened a factory in Rockmart, is typical of other schools of the era. It is no longer in use. The Rockmart plant of Goodyear Tire & Rubber was responsible, for many years, for the production of the giant balloons used each year in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Hulett School, Carroll County

The community of Hulett, near Carrollton, is rapidly being lost to urbanization. The old school closed in 1950 and at one point served as a community center.

Mauk School, 1936, Taylor County

This historic Mauk School was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1936 to replace a smaller schoolhouse that had served the the community for a number of years. The architect is unknown, but the school is almost identical to “Floor Plan No. 5 – Five Teacher Community School” from the Rosenwald Fund. The school appears to be well-maintained today.

National Register of Historic Places

 

Sparta Female Model School Dormitory, Circa 1815 & 1832

The Sparta Female Academy was established in 1832 by Sereno Taylor of Vermont. [Various sources also refer to it as the Taylor Female Academy, Sparta Female College, and Sparta Female Seminary]. It was supported by the Baptists. This and another renovated dormitory are all that survive of the historic boarding school. A preliminary evaluation by architect Brandy Morrison suggests that the rear section of this house is the earliest, circa 1815, with the front being added circa 1831.

After many years of neglect, the structure is finally getting some much-needed attention. Amber Rhea and Stacia Smith initiated a process of preservation in early 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic has halted progress but Rhea and Smith are determined to see it through, whatever that entails.

A broadside dating to 8 December 1838 heralds the school’s reorganization and an enlargement of the course of study. The seven disciplines: Language; Mathematics; Cosmics; History; Geotics; Government; and Philosophy. Sereno Taylor was superintendent and a teacher in the Literary and Musical Departments. Five assistants were on staff, as well, with the expected arrival, in early 1839, of Madame Salmon Hantute of Paris, for the teaching of the French Language, Piano Forte, and Singing.

Annual tuition varied, dependent upon the level of instruction. It ranged from $25 for primary instruction to $125 for collegiate instruction. Musical instrument training was also on order, beginning with the piano forte, advancing to guitar, harp, and finally, organ.

Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Asbury School, 1910s, Wilkinson County

Though it appears at first glance to be a house, this was the Vernon Johnson School. Located across from Asbury Church, on the Wilkinson side of the Wilkinson-Twiggs County line, it is best known locally as Asbury School today. A state educational survey in 1918 recorded 31 students from both counties. Wilkinson County students attended for 5 months and Twiggs County students for 6 1/2 months. One teacher was responsible for all eight grades.