Cooleemee in Davie County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Cooleemee's Old Wood School
Local school classes were held as early as 1899 in a mill house on Main Street. The foundation for this school was laid in 1901, with its official opening in December of 1902.
Its first principal was J.B. Craven, a Methodist minister and its student body numbered 160 students. Professor J.D. Hodges, Miss Rosa Tatum and others served as principals over the years.
The Old Wood School was a two-story frame building with eight class rooms. There was an assembly hall which was also used for chapel.
Each room had a pot-bellied stove. Scores of Cooleemee boys had the chore of firing-up these stoves each morning. There were outdoor toilets for the staff and young scholars in the rear yard. A cast iron pump provided water drunk from a gourd or a tin dipper.
The Old Wood School was a major step forward for education in Davie County. It was Jerusalem Township's seventh public school.
Erwin Mills built the school and maintained it. Erwin Mills General Manager T.V. Terrell and mill book-keeper J.W. Zachary
The Old Wood School drew white students from the surrounding countryside as well as the mill village. High School graduations began as early as 1908, when six scholars received their diplomas for completing eleven years of schooling.
Those who attended this Old Wood School recall their teachers as all being called "Miss". Many of them lived at the Riverside Hotel, located down the road on Cross Street. Among the list of beloved teachers were Rosa Tatum, Mary Eliza Hudson, Creola Wilson, Emma Grimes and Grace Coley.
After the "New Brick School” was built on Marginal Street in 1923, the Old Wood School continued to be used for teaching grades 1-3. At one time there were so many students that a nearby mill house and a tar-papered building were engaged to hold the student body.
Hundreds upon hundreds of students who sat in its classrooms and marched down its halls went on to become literate and productive citizens. Hugh T. Lefler, prominent North Carolina historian, received his first years of education at Cooleemee's Old Wood School.
Erected 1998 by Cooleemee Historical Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1902.
Location. 35° Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cooleemee NC 27014, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hugh T. Lefler (approx. ¼ mile away); Cooleemee's Brick High School (approx. 0.4 miles away); John Stokes (approx. 2.7 miles away); Boone Trail Highway Marker (approx. 5.3 miles away); Davie County in the Civil War (approx. 5.7 miles away); H. Andrew Lagle (approx. 5.7 miles away); Boone Memorial (approx. 5.7 miles away); Davie County War Memorial (approx. 5.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cooleemee.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 15, 2021, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 126 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 15, 2021, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.