Grand Bay in Mobile County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Grand Bay Elementary School for Colored
Established in 1919
The Grand Bay Elementary School for Colored was located on land adjacent to this building. Peter Alba donated the parcel on which the school was constructed in 1919. Soon thereafter, Black residents of Grand Bay and the Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County, pooled their resources with the Julius Rosenwald School Building Fund to construct the school which served only Black children as mandated by segregation laws. The building included five large rooms, three of which were used for classes and two served as living quarters for the three teachers. Instruction from primer to seventh grade was offered. In the middle 1940's the building was moved to Irvington, along with buildings from all the schools serving Black children in St. Elmo, Bayou la Batre, and Coden. The school closed in 1949 when the building was moved to the site of Dixon Elementary School. Rosenwald Schools have been recognized as historic places of national significance because of their role in providing education to Black students in the segregated south.
Erected 2007 by Citizens for a Better Grand Bay.
Topics and series. African Americans • Civil Rights • Education. In addition, it is included in the Rosenwald Schools series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1919.
Location. 30° 29.143′ N, 88° 19.063′ W. Marker is in Grand Bay, Alabama, in Mobile County. Marker is on Government Boulevard (U.S. 90) half a mile west of Ramsey Road, on the right when traveling west. Located directly west of the Grand Bay Community Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11610 US-90, Grand Bay AL 36541, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. William Bartram Trail (approx. 4.3 miles away); Bayou La Batre, Alabama (approx. 7 miles away); Alabama's Coastal Connection (approx. 7 miles away); a different marker also named Bayou La Batre (approx. 7 miles away); a different marker also named Bayou La Batre (approx. 7 miles away); Military Service Monument (approx. 7.2 miles away in Mississippi); The Story of Bellingrath Gardens (approx. 11.2 miles away).
More about this marker. The area directly behind the markers is heavily wooded (1/1/2021). According to accounts all that remained of the original Grand Bay school building after it was moved in the 1940's is a chunk of stone and mortar about 2 by 3 feet in size. The approximately 4.3 acre tract of land on which the marker sits along with the present day Grand Bay Community Center is owned by the Mobile County Public Schools Grand Bay School. According to accounts the land was originally donated for the Grand Bay Elementary School for Colored Rosenwald School project by a local philanthropist and historical figure, Peter Alba (Find a Grave #43466970), who had homes in the Toulminville, Coden and Dauphin Island areas as well as in the City of Mobile (all in Mobile County). In 2007, one of the oldest living graduates (Clinton Moses Hayes-1911-2007; Find a Grave memorial #90877345) of the Grand Bay Elementary School for Colored and a small group of other graduates returned to the site of the school to dedicate this historical marker.
Also see . . .
1. Grand Bay Elementary School for Colored. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on July 25, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Grand Bay Elementary School. Joe Hilly Blogspot entry:
An image and information about the school is included among the official Rosenwald Fund papers housed at Fisk University. (Submitted on January 2, 2022, by Jim Ellis of Theodore, Alabama.)
3. Endangered Rosenwald Schools. In 2002, The National Trust for Historic Preservation joined forces with grassroots activists, local officials, and preservationists to help raise awareness of this important but little-known segment of our nation’s history, placing Rosenwald Schools on its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. Of the 5,357 schools, shops, and teacher homes constructed between 1917 and 1932, only 10–12 percent are estimated to survive today. (Submitted on January 2, 2022, by Jim Ellis of Theodore, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 2, 2022, by Jim Ellis of Theodore, Alabama. This page has been viewed 145 times since then. Last updated on January 8, 2022, by Jim Ellis of Theodore, Alabama. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 2, 2022, by Jim Ellis of Theodore, Alabama. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.