Ocilla Public School, 1936

ocilla public school irwin county photograph copyright brian brown vanihsing south georgia usa 2009

A two-story brick school house and two-story brick teacher’s home were originally located on this lot. Two dormitories for students who lived in the county and went to school in Ocilla during the week were also located here. None of those structures survive. The original school taught grades one through eleven, and as the student population grew, the teacher’s house was converted for use as a grammar school. By the early 1930s, these buildings weren’t large enough to accommodate increasing numbers of students and in 1933 they were demolished to make way for the present structure. Lauren Parrott (of Fitzgerald, I believe) was the architect. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) began the project and it was finished by the WPA. While the new school was being constructed, classes were held in the courthouse, city hall, and Methodist and Baptist churches. The school was built between 1934 and 1936. For its first twenty years, it housed the elementary and high schools. By 1952, a new high school was built a few blocks away and this became the elementary school. It served that capacity until 1987.

National Register of Historic Places


Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--, Ocilla GA

14 responses to “Ocilla Public School, 1936

  1. anyone out there remember 1958/59 at the irwinville school,iwent there two years and made lots of friends,rosa brown,letty cleghorn ,the thompsons,keith, and farris….little jimmy davis,had a wonderfull time also remember the culpeppers,the boys, the harpers,and many more,i went by the old lunchroom a while back before they cut the big tree,anyone like to talk about that time in history and the old school ,call me anytime .706 971 4427

  2. Miles T. Johnson

    I also attended the school 1st through 3rd grades. Mrs. Martin as my first grade teacher. Mrs. Anderson as my second grade teacher. Mrs. Williams for my third grade year. The auditorium was an early morning rest before class began as all early arrivals sat quietly. The old wooden floors cracking and popping under your every footstep. Also followed up as an Irwin county high school wrestler practicing in the old cafeteria for wrestling practice. With coach Danny King.

  3. Deb Bettis

    Probably “sprinkled them with ‘,compound’ “. I remember the smell at our elementary school in Bacon County…….our janitor did the same thing.

  4. tina crosby

    I attended 1st-3rd grades in this building… watched old Disney movies every wk in the auditorium … had Mrs.Chambers, Mrs. BA Smith, and Ms. Clements … used to love the playground with the wooden fort that was 2 stories high although I ended up sitting on the wall way too much!

  5. Ray Mann

    Lauren Parrott was from Fitzgerald and was the architect for this building and the Rogers English Tudor home a few blocks west owned first by Rogers and currently by Leroy Dorminy. Parrott was an owner of Standard Supply Company in Fitzgerald. I began first grade in the east wing of this building in 1945. The high school grades were then in the west wing. The two wings were joined by the auditorium.

  6. Fond memories – I can still remember the smell of the floors.

  7. Ovilla Griner Scudamore

    I went to the elementary during the 50’s. I fondly remember Mrs Paulk and Mrs Powell and not so fondly remember Mrs Flanagan.

  8. I moved to Ocilla well after this school was closed. However, I tried out for cheerleading in this building (on the stage in the auditorium) and watched several Miss Sweet Potato pagents in the auditorium! (1980’s)

  9. Janiece Brannen

    I had four children (all girls except 3 of them) that attended this elementary school building. This wing was the auditorium w/ the famous door, along with the halls and some of the class rooms, had oiled wooden floors. The stage had a old painted mural backdrop curtain. I have heard the bldg. is being renovated – I commend those involved ! The lunch room was newer and OH! what lunches Miss Lois and her crew served – They were the best…While working there for Mr. G. we established a library, media rooms, and the nationally recognized Title 111 Physical Education Program. These were big change and tough adjusting years. Thanks to cool, wise heads on all levels, led by Mr. K.P. we eluded major trouble other system endured. All of my children continue to benefit from the outstanding basic education they received in Ocilla Elem. So far they have managed 8 college degrees and their children with 6 degrees and we are working on 3 grandchildren to go. Now that was a pretty neat way to get some bragging in…..Do I get an Amen?

    • L. Harper

      Amen! I have to say that I, too, got an excellent education within those hallowed walls, and I have four college degrees.

      I’ve read that smell evokes more powerful memories than our other senses, and I remember the smell of the oiled hardwoods, and I also remember Mr. Clyde Paul, our janitor, sprinkling them with ____??? and running a dust mop over them every afternoon. I remember Miss Dickens (she was never my teacher). All the children on the playground loved her. She had been badly burned, but we loved to love people who were “different” because of her.

      Thanks again, Brian!

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