Tag Archives: South Georgia Rosenwald Schools

Site of Historic Queensland Schools, Ben Hill County

This historic marker, recently placed by Ben Hill County, details the history of the old Queensland School: In July 1913, applicants furnished 10 acres of land and $800.00 cash to build the Queensland Negro Industrial Training School on this site. The Ben Hill County Board of Education matched the funds, work began, and the school and grounds were dedicated on October 2, 1913. The Rosenwald Fund continued to support the school by financing building projects as needed for growth.

The first principal, J. Clifton Smith, a graduate of Brown College and Tuskegee Institute, promised the patrons that with their cooperation he would teach their children and themselves better use of the land and better modes of living. First term commencement exercises were held May 2-May 5, 1914. School enrollment for the first term totaled nearly 300 students representing seven counties; with 107 boys in the corn club and 76 girls in the canning club. The school was one of the first three in Georgia designated as Training Schools for excellent vocational training in labor professions. The school expanded academic offerings and prepared graduates to pursue professional careers as lawyers, doctors and educators as well as farmers and laborers.

In 1918, the school was supported by the county board of education, the Slater Fund and a Negro Baptist Association, mainly for the purpose of training teachers for the Negro schools. The original school included a two-story building with five large classrooms, a dormitory and teachers’ home. The faculty consisted of the principal and four assistants with an average enrollment of over 200 students. At that time, including Queensland, there were fourteen Negro schools in Ben Hill County. The rest were one- teacher schools located in church buildings with very little equipment.

The world is a better place because of the dedication of patrons, educators, administrators and the thousands of students who were educated on these grounds located “Deep into the heart of Southeast Georgia.” The Christian Fellowship Tabernacle Church, which now owns and occupies this site, continues the legacy of preparing people to make a positive difference in this world.

This image, from 1918, shows the original school in the foreground and dormitory in the distance. It appeared in M. L. Duggan’s Educational Survey of Ben Hill County. A modern replacement followed by the late 1940s or early 1950s and all components were razed by the early 2000s.
 

 

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Queensland GA

Barney Colored Elementary School, 1933

The Morven Rosenwald Alumni Association, with the cooperation of the Georgia Historical Society and the Brooks County Board of Commissioners restored this important resource in 2013. The marker placed at the site reads:  Barney Colored Elementary School was part of the Rosenwald school building program that matched funds from philanthropist Julius Rosenwald with community donations to build rural Southern schools during the era of segregation.  An example of a “community school plan,” it included large banks of windows, an industrial room, and sliding partition doors to accommodate larger school and community gatherings.  This combined a Progressive-era design emphasis on lighting and ventilation with educator Booker T. Washington’s focus on community development and industrial training for rural African Americans. The school operated from 1933 to 1959, serving first through sixth grade students.  One of six Rosenwald projects in Brooks County, Barney served as a feeder school to the Morven Rosenwald School. In 2006, the Morven Rosenwald Alumni Association, Inc. acquired the building and preserved it for community use.

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Barney GA

Canoe-Hagan School, 1932, Candler County

candler-county-ga-abandoned-schoolhouse-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2016

Located between Metter and Twin City is a Rosenwald school known as the Canoe-Hagan School. Rosenwald Schools were built through the efforts of Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington and thousands of volunteers all over the South. Their purpose was to provide industrial education to rural blacks at a time when Southern states were barely providing them school buildings, let alone a proper education.

Thanks to James Palmer for pointing out the Rosenwald connection, and for the identification.

UPDATE: Sadly, this landmark burned to the ground on 16 June 2017.

 

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Filed under --CANDLER COUNTY GA--