Tag Archives: Athens

Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery, Georgia

Athens, Clarke County, Georgia

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

Judia Jackson Harris School, Clarke County

Some of you may know this building in Athens as the Hawaiian Ha-le Club. It’s one of the places the B-52s identified as an inspiration for their song, ”Love Shack.” They mention it in several interviews over the years. More importantly, this is the only remaining Rosenwald School in Clarke County, Georgia. My research had led me to believe they had all been demolished. That’s the case with many Rosenwald Schools, the history gets lost until someone shares the connection. Originally called County Training School (a common name for Rosenwald Schools), the school’s name changed to the Judia Jackson Harris School. Judia Jackson Harris was an early Black educator who worked to raise money to build this school after the original school burned. Historic Athens recently named this as a Place in Peril. This school needs to be saved.