Founded in 1884, St. Luke’s Baptist Church is still an active church with services every other Sunday. It was formed by former members of the First African Baptist Church. The church was initially called the 2nd Baptist Church. Current structure has been in use since 1902.
St. Luke’s also had one of two Rosenwald Schools on the island. Everything I’ve read states that the school is still standing and is being used by the church. If that is the case, this is the school, but it has been heavily modified. I hope to get confirmation that this is the building.
Built in the later part of the 19th Century, the Palmer School is the oldest schoolhouse remaining in Marion County. The school and the adjacent cemetery are named after David Palmer, an SC legislature.
It operated until the 1920s educating white school children from the area.
Built in 1924, the school served the Newborn community until the 1950s. The community came together in 2009 to fully restore the schoolhouse. It’s a contributing property to the Newborn Historic District.
Built around 1938, the Philadelphia School is tied to the freedman’s church, Philadelphia Baptist Church. The church was founded in 1875. The land where this school sits was purchased in 1883. Records show there were teachers associated with the church by 1885. Unfortunately, in April 1936, a fire in the schoolhouse spread to the chapel and destroyed both buildings.
Located in the community once known as Rico, the “Old” Rico School was built before 1900 and was in use until 1932 when a new school was built just down the road. It was a four-room schoolhouse with a central hallway. It was turned into a single home dwelling that is now abandoned.
Bold Springs CME Church was founded on February 20, 1874, when the trustees of the church, Willie Moreland, Clark Bell, and Sam Stillwell, purchased the land from Charles Sims, a local farmer.
Initially, the church served as both a school and a place of worship. The congregation is uncertain of when the two-room school was built. They messaged my page on Facebook asking for help. They were initially going to tear it down, but they now would like to try to save it. They need help since they are a small, aging congregation.
Based on newspaper articles, I know the church was built before 1930 and used until 1958 when school consolidation happened. Based on similar buildings I’ve seen around the state, I am dating it in the late 1910s. For any architectural experts who can determine more with the photos below, please let me know.
According to the trustee I met, the original white clapboard church is under the church. This structure was built around 1902 after a fire burned down the church.
Founded in 1886 in a bush arbor, the Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church was named because of the year-round green forest that surrounded the church. Perry Hudson, Louis Cherry, and Isaac Shorter founded the church. By 1898, the church began to host school in the church building. Unfortunately, the church was destroyed by a tornado in 1919.
By 1920, the church was rebuilt on land given by Heddy York. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire a mere four years later. Another church was built and opened by 1927. In 1937, a school built and used by white schoolchildren was no longer used. Known as the Wesley Chapel School, the building was moved and renamed the Green Grove School. It still stands today. The school was used until 1958, when schools were closed for consolidation.
The church is still active. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
Source- Willie Marie Porter’s bookA Grateful People: An Historical Account of the Founding of a Community
Founded in 1926 on the corner of Ivanhoe Plantation, this land was donated by Mrs. Clarissa Dye and her son Rowland Dye to start a one-room schoolhouse. They were the direct descendants of Charles Alden Rowland, the founder of Ivanhoe Plantation.
The school was started when Jim Hall, a sharecropper on Ivanhoe Plantation, asked the Dyes about the possibility of getting land to start the school. When it opened, there were no glass windows, just shutters. It had a white steeple roof. Savella Hall, Jim’s wife, was the first teacher for the school.
Like so many schools, the building had other uses. On the weekend, it served as the benevolent society.
Thank you to the Burke County Archives for confirming the identification of the building and sharing the older photo of the school. Information on the school was pulled from Eugenia Mills Fulcher’s 1999 dissertation, “Dreams do come true: How rural one- and two-room schools influenced the lives of African Americans in Burke County, Georgia, 1930-1955.”
Located next to the Trinity CME Church and south of Sparta is the Trinity School. It was used until 1959 to educate Black schoolchildren of the area. Based on the design, this one-room schoolhouse was built before Rosenwald schools were and, likely, before 1910.
The Middle Hill School is located next to the Middle Hill Missionary Baptist Church. The school was started in 1879. Gussie Wright, Geneva Ford, and Rosa Williams were listed as teacher’s in the school. I believe this building would have been built in the 1920s.
Much appreciation to Katherine Helms Cumming for providing history.
Opened in 1902, the Wallace Grove Church and School were built after land was donated by W. P. Wallace in 1901. (My assumption is that this is William Pierce Wallace, who was a local banker and merchant in the area.) The one-room schoolhouse was used until the 1960s to educate Black schoolchildren.
The school fell into disrepair. In 2011, the congregation came together to restore the school. With assistance from the community, the school was fully restored in under a year. It is the only extant turn-of-the-century schoolhouse still standing in its original location.
Source: Wallace Grove Board Info with Madison Morgan Conservancy
The Brooklyn School is a Rosenwald School affiliated with the Brooklyn CME Church in north Spartanburg County. Built in 1928, this two-teacher type school cost $3016 to build. Since I first photographed this school, it has rapidly deteriorated. This is the last known Rosenwald standing in Spartanburg County.