Tag Archives: Georgia Schools

Colored High School, Ellaville

ellaville ga colored high school mural by linda adams photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010Colored High School by Linda Adams

This vernacular frame schoolhouse was in use until 1957, when the State Department of Education recommended consolidation of all the county’s African-American schools into one facility. It was demolished soon after that.

Schley County High School, 1917, Ellaville

ellaville ga mural art by linda adams high school photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010Schley County High School by Linda Adams

Built in 1917 as Ellaville High School, this structure became Schley County High School in 1937.  It was demolished in the mid-1980s.

Excelsior School Lunchroom, Snipesville

snipesville ga excelsior school lunchroom photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

The old lunchroom (1950s) is all that remains of the Excelsior School and serves today as the Snipesville Community Center. Jesse Bookhardt writes: This photo is of the old Excelsior School grounds at Snipesville, Georgia. Excelsior was where all the Bookhardt children attended during the 1940’s through the 1960’s. The rectangular brick building with the covered walk was the school’s last lunchroom built in the 1950’s. Prior to that the white wooden structure that is in the background was the cafeteria. Where the tin covered pavilion stands was the main school building’s location. Sometime after Jeff Davis County consolidated schools, the Excelsior building fell on hard times. Regrettably, the main building burned under rather mysterious circumstances. At the time the school was being used as a “night club” of sorts that dispensed alcoholic spirits. Disapproving, many that had attended the school felt the use of the school in such a way was a disgrace. It was like having a church used as a bar or bothel. The burning flames took away the building but could not erase the memories, friendships, and learning that many still cherish. School colors were Black and Red and the Yearbook was called the Huckle Buck. A farm net wire fence enclosed the grounds and at the entrance one had to cross a stock-gap. Two old multi holed out houses stood in the rear of the main brick building, one on each side. Students played basketball on a red clay court and softball in a rough field that abutted the Snipesville to Jacksonville, Georgia Road (Ga.107). The school had a basketball team and competed against other county teams—Altamaha, Brooker-Denton, Satilla, and Hazlehurst. The team also participated in an annual basketball tournament in Broxton, Georgia. Long live the memory of Excelsior School.

Dasher Bible School, 1928

dasher bible school lowndes county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

The Dasher Bible School was established in 1914 and this facility constructed in 1928. It is still used today, as the Georgia Christian School. This historical background appeared in a 2014 edition of the Valdosta Daily Times, when the school was celebrating its centennial: O.P. Copeland, P.W. McLeod, and W.J. Copeland led a petition drive to the Lowndes County school board in summer 1914. They wished to consolidate the Dasher and Union public schools then hold classes in the Dasher Church of Christ. They succeeded and held classes at the meetinghouse on Dasher’s Carol Ulmer Road. Willis H. Allen and Molly Powell led the school’s first classes. They separated lower and upper grades with a curtain strung across the room. To keep with public school rules, Allen taught Bible classes after the regular school day. Children did not have to stay for Bible classes though most did.

After this one year, the consolidation ended. O.P. Copeland, P.W. McLeod, and W.J. Copeland were named as the board of trustees, a school board was selected, and they named the new institution Dasher Bible School. Richard Wisenbaker donated land between the railroad and U.S. 41 South. In 1915, the school was built upon this land, the same land where Dasher Bible School by the mid-20th century became Georgia Christian School.

I’m unsure why the building has a date of 1928 over the entrance, but it’s likely the school was expanded or remodeled around that time.

Stillmore School

 stillmore school emanuel county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

In 1969 this became the home of David Emanuel Academy. It was destroyed by fire on 14 August 2010, just a few months after I photographed it.

Negro Industrial School, Mystic

msytic ga negro industrial school photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Noting the deplorable physical condition of African-American schools in the late 1940s and early 1950s, many school boards throughout the South began building facilities such as this one. This was done in anticipation of or in response to Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka but ultimately only delayed desegregation.

Sycamore School, Turner County

This is one of numerous old schools throughout Georgia that stand empty and in real danger of being lost. Their large size often prohibits feasible renovation, as does the outrageously expensive removal of lead paint, asbestos, and other hazardous chemicals.

South Georgia College Administration Building, 1892, McRae

old south georgia college administration building mcrae ga photograph copyright brian brown vansihing south georgia usa 2009

South Georgia College began operations in January 1893, a result of an educational initiative by the South Georgia Conference of the Methodist Church. (The school never had any assocaition with the present South Georgia College, in Douglas). Reverend W. A. Huckabee served as the first president. Although called a college from the outset, the institution actually offered various levels of instruction, from grammar and high school, to two years of college for students inclined to further their educations. The college closed in 1928, when the Methodist Church withdrew their financial backing. The campus was sold to the local school district and this structure served as the high school until the 1960s when it became a primary school. It’s now home to the Telfair Center for the Arts.

National Register of Historic Places

Dixie School, Brooks County

dixie school brooks county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

The first school in Dixie was known as the Brannon School, but other than a name, I can’t locate any other information about it. Jim Cook writes: This school was originally grades 1-12 run by the county and was known simply as Dixie School. The basketball team was championship quality and was known as the Dixie Demons. The school had separate Home Economics, Shop, and gymnasium buildings. The gymnasium burned down some time around 1958 and the lunch room, which had been in the gym building, had to be relocated. High schools throughout the county were consolidated into one school for white students and one for black students for the 1959-1960 school year. Dixie continued as a grammar school with grades 1-8. I was in the last eighth grade class ending in June 1964. The school was closed for several years before reopening as Dixie Christian School, which was later renamed to Westbrook School. When I started first grade the rooms were heated by coal-burning pot-bellied stoves in the corners of each classroom. These were soon replaced by propane space heaters. I have many fond memories from my years there, especially singing to entertain our parents at the annual Christmas programs.

Third Ward School, 1915, Fitzgerald

third ward school fitzgerald ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009