“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Bridgewater School

Bridgewater School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, June 6, 2018
1. Bridgewater School Marker
Inscription.  Bridgewater School, formerly on this site, was founded in 1911 and exited continuously at this site until 1960. In 1921, with help from the community, the Shelby County school board, and the Rosenwald Fund, the Rosenwald school concept was instituted here and thereafter operated at the school.

Rosenwald schools, unique for their time, were built with specific design guidelines such that the building was oriented to receive morning and afternoon sun. The windows were large to let in natural light and air. The foundation was raised to let air flow beneath the building, thus keeping it cooler in the hot humid southern summers. A community room was also a unique feature of the school, to be used not only by the students and teachers but also as a community gathering place.

The Rosenwald fund, which provided financial support for the creation of these schools, was established by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears & Roebuck, Rosenwald in conjunction with Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute, developed this school concept to promote model schools for African Americans of the rural South. The Rosenwald funds,
Bridgewater School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, June 6, 2018
2. Bridgewater School Marker
with matches from grassroots community efforts, created a movement that built schools in 15 southern states. From 1912 to 1932 over 5,300 schools and auxiliary buildings were raised. These schools, built by the community, for the community, created the educational foundation for many future civic leaders.
Erected 2009 by Bridgewater Alumni and the Shelby County Historical Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCharity & Public WorkEducation.
Location. 35° 9.728′ N, 89° 49.714′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is on Raleigh Lagrange Road 0.3 miles from Lagrange Hills, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7023 Raleigh Lagrange, Memphis TN 38108, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Lynching of Wash Henley (approx. 1.3 miles away); Shelby County Hospital / Shelby County Center (approx. 1.6 miles away); Nashoba (approx. 2.3 miles away); The Lynching of Ell Persons (approx. 2.8 miles away); Christian Brothers High School / Christian Brothers Band (approx. 2.9 miles away); Oak Grove Baptist Church
Bridgewater School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, June 6, 2018
3. Bridgewater School Marker
(approx. 2.9 miles away); a different marker also named The Lynching of Ell Persons (approx. 3 miles away); St. Ann Catholic Church (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Also see . . .  Rosenwald Schools - National Trust for Historic Preservation. The site contains a searchable database of Rosenwald Schools. (Submitted on June 10, 2018, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 13, 2018. It was originally submitted on June 8, 2018, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 227 times since then and 96 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 8, 2018, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Aug. 11, 2020