Tag Archives: Georgia Schools

West Berrien Elementary School, 1954

This schoolhouse looks to have been built in the 1950s or 1960s and has been abandoned for a long time. GHSBP confirms, and elaborates: …The school opened in 1954 as West Berrien Elementary, a consolidation of Jordan and New River elementary schools, and part of Berrien’s vast building program under the Minimum Foundation Program. West Berrien was renamed in 1988 to Northwest Elementary after taking in Enigma’s students. No gym was ever built on campus, so basketball teams continued to play home games in Enigma.

Northwest closed its doors in 1994, the year after a new middle school built to be a consolidated middle school opened in Nashville. One wing of Northwest was uprooted and moved to Nashville to be additional room at Berrien Primary School.

(Minimum Foundation helped fund schools throughout the state in the 1950s. Despite being built by different contracting firms, they all have a pretty similar look.)


Montrose School, 1926 & 1939

The Montrose School is typical of other such facilities built before World War II. There are two date stones on the building, one from 1926 and the other from 1939. I presume the second date commemorates an expansion. E. L. Cates was principal in 1926 and J. L. Andrews held the office in 1939.

The decorative lunette above the door on the left front end of the building is its most notable architectural feature, though I’m not sure it’s original to the school.

Jenkins School, 1934, Vienna

The Vienna School, as it was known upon construction, was the comprehensive education facility for the city’s white population. An early project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), it was built in the English Vernacular Revival style, to replace an earlier two-story wooden school on the site. Bert Gregory notes that his grandmother, Marywood Gregory, was up early nursing her son Alton on Christmas morning when she saw the old school on fire. She woke up the others in the house and they called the fire department to the scene.

As is evident on the cartouche, the school was first called the Vienna School, but was later renamed the Jenkins School in honor of the superintendent who was instrumental in getting it constructed.

Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Dorchester Consolidated School, 1938, Liberty County

The Dorchester Consolidated School was built in 1938 to replace the original 1927 schoolhouse which was lost to fire. It was a consolidation of smaller schools in Sunbury, Colonel’s Island, Riceboro, and Jackson Chapel. It closed in 1951 due to more consolidation by the county. It has served as the community civic center since being sold in 1958 and was completely renovated in 2010.

I cannot confirm it at this time, but due to the 1938 construction date, it was likely a New Deal project.

Shiloh School, Wheeler County

This historic rural schoolhouse is located across the highway from Shiloh United Methodist Church. I’m unsure as to its name but am identifying it by the community in which its located. I’ll update if I learn more.

Giddens School, Dodge County

The signage on the porch gable displays the years 1883, 1947, and 1985. I believe the school was established in 1883 and closed in 1947. This schoolhouse does not date to 1883 but was probably built circa 1910s-1920s to replace an earlier building. 1985 was perhaps the date the signage was placed, or the year of a reunion.

Cedar Grove School, 1926, Laurens County

This historic schoolhouse, built in 1926 and expanded in the late 1930s, was the center of the Cedar Grove community, and after a complete restoration in 2019 still serves the area today [most recently as the Cedar Grove Opry]. The school closed in 1970.

If you’re of a certain age [like me], you remember these old merry-go-rounds from your school playground. This one still works.

This was likely the teacherage [teacher’s housing].

Oconee High School, 1952, Dublin

Oconee High School Gymnasium, Circa 1952

Oconee High School was the black high school in Dublin from 1952 until its closure in 1972. Like most equalization schools, it had a relatively short history, but an active national alumni association keeps its memory alive. The gymnasium, football field, and one other building [which I haven’t identified] survive, but the school itself is long gone.

Oconee High School, Unidentified Building

A marker placed by the alumni association gives a brief overview of the school’s history: In 1952, land was purchased from W. H. Lovett to build a new high school for African “colored” American students replacing Washington Street High. The school was named by Marine C. Bacote after the Oconee River nearby. It was the home of the “Mighty Trojans”, the “Blue and Gold” our sons shall ever defend. Lucius T. Bacote served as the first principal (1952-1959); he was succeeded by Charles W. Manning, Sr. (1959-1970). The school’s spirit of excellence, pride, and philosophy were the foundation for the success of African-American students during segregation.

The gymnasium and football field are still used as community resources today, as the Oconee Community Center, administrated by the Dublin-Laurens County Recreation Authority.

Middlebrooks House – Sparta Female Dormitory, 1832

According to local sources, this was one of three dormitories of the Sparta Female Model School, built between 1831-1832. In contrast to the other existing dormitory, this one is in good condition and has been a residence for many years.

Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Elam Baptist Church, Four Points

Established in 1842, the congregation of Elam Baptist Church was a major factor in the settlement of the surrounding area. The original church is no longer standing but congregants moved into the old school, saving it in the process.