Category Archives: National Register of Historic Places

Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery, Clarke County

Founded in 1882, Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery in Athens, Georgia was the first cemetery owned by Black community in town. Over 3,000 Black Athenians have been laid to rest here. From Monroe “Pink” Morton, a prominent builder and namesake of the Morton Theater, to noted quilt maker, Harriet Powers.

The Gospel Pilgrims were a benevolent organization started after the Civil War. One benefit the group provided was burial insurance. In Athens, the organization was so popular that by 1912 almost 75% Black Athenians were members.

It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

Morton family marker

Pleasant Hill AME Church, Macon County

Located in Cowee, or Too Cowee, North Carolina, Pleasant Hill AME Church was started in 1874. Prior to the Civil War, Cowee was home to a significant population of freedmen and women and enslaved people. After the Civil War, Cowee had the most significant population of Black families in this part of Western North Carolina. This church building was built in 1929 and restored in 2009. While the church is no longer active, the cemetery is still used. This church is part of the Cowee Historic District for Macon County, North Carolina.

Girard Elementary School, Burke County

Main entrance

The Girard Elementary School, an equalization school, in Burke County, Georgia was recently put on the National Register of Historic Places. It was one of six schools built to continue segregation in the county, while replacing one and two room schools that were spread throughout the county. This building includes four classrooms, a library, and a cafeteria. It opened in 1955.

Street side
I am assuming this is either the library or cafeteria.
Classroom

Nolan House, Morgan County

Built in 1906, this house is part of the Nolan plantation, Morgan County, Georgia. It is the second Nolan home on the property. The other one is supposedly still standing but isn’t easily accessible. The Nolan family built their wealth on the backs of enslaved labor prior to the Civil War. After the war, they switched to a sharecropping method of farming. There’s been talk for several years to preserve the home, but restoration has not been started. The Madison-Morgan Conservancy have been trying to get work done. The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

Oak Grove School and Church, Hale County

The Oak Grove Church and School sit at the end of a dirt road in Prairieville, Alabama. The school was built in 1925 for the local Black community. Built as a two-teacher school at the cost of $3000, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Metairie Cemetery, Orleans Parish

There are so many amazing monuments at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans. This is one of the art deco ones to memorialize Charles F Beck (1892-1928). Whenever a hurricane makes landfall, I always wonder how much more the city can endure. It is a city of resilience, so I would never count it out.

Whitney Plantation, St. John the Baptist Parish

When I was in Louisiana, I visited the Whitney Plantation, the only plantation that focuses on the experience of the enslaved. It does not romanticize plantation culture, which many plantations do. There are some plantations that are doing a better job at sharing these stories, but the Whitney has set the gold standard for this. I recommend everyone to make the effort to visit. For all photo descriptions, I am referencing the Whitney website or their audio tour.

Nettles Death Masks, Clarke County

Outside of Carlton, Alabama, Mt. Nebo Baptist Church’s cemetery contains death masks created by Isaac Nettles. Nettles created these masks by making molds of the subjects’ faces while they were still alive, which is different than the traditional death mask which are made after someone passes. The three person marker represents Isaac and Cora’s three daughters, and it rests atop Cora’s grave. There are two other markers made by Nettles. These are deteriorating quickly. In 2020, Hurricane Sally caused significant damage to the masks. These are incredible pieces of folk art. At one point, there were four death masks. One was made for Isaac’s mother Selena/Celina. It was damaged by Hurricane Frederick in 1979. The markers were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Barney Colored Elementary School, Brooks County

Built in 1933 in Brooks County, Georgia, this school was built with Rosenwald funds to serve Black school children of the county. The Morven Alumni Association, another Rosenwald School in the county, fund raised and helped get the building restored. This school building operated from 1933 to 1959. It now serves as a community building for Barney, Georgia and the surrounding towns. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Riverside, Stephens County

Built in 1857, Riverside sits high on a hill overlooking the Tugaloo River in Stephens County, Georgia. The homestead has been in the Prather family since its inception. The Greek Revival structure is part of a larger piece of plantation land that still had several extant structures according to the 1982 National Register of Historic Places application.

According to the NRHP application, the Prathers used enslaved labor to farm their land. According to the 1860 Slave Census, the Prathers enslaved at least fifty people. For the 1850 census in South Carolina, it shows there were at least 45. It is safe to assume that the house was built by enslaved labor.

Woodville Baptist Church and School, Greene County

Built in 1913, this Gothic Revival structure is the Woodville Baptist Church. The school, built in 1886, served the congregation as a church first. It served the white students of Woodville from 1913 to 1956. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Calvary Episcopal Church, Spartanburg County

Founded in 1848, the Calvary Episcopal Church is in the former resort town, Glenn Springs, started by John B. Glenn who had a mineral spring on his property. This Carpenter Gothic church was built in 1897. It lists as part of the Glenn Springs Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Catawba School, York County

Built in 1924, the Catawba School is a Rosenwald School in York County, South Carolina. This two-teacher type school was built for $3200. It was one of at least 22 schools built in the county to educate the Black children of the county. It stayed open until 1956. This is one of two documented schools still standing and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Carroll School, York County

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018, the Carroll School sits in York County, South Carolina. The three-teacher type Rosenwald school stayed open until 1954. Restored within the last few years, the Rock Hill school district uses it as a place to educate fifth-grade students about segregation and education in South Carolina.

Hannah Rosenwald School, Newberry County

The Hannah Rosenwald School is affiliated with the Hannah AME Church in Newberry, South Carolina. It is a three-teacher school that was built in 1924. It was originally known as the Utopia School, named for the local community where it was built. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.