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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Portal in Bulloch County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Willow Hill School and Community

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Willow Hill School and Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, June 17, 2014
1. Willow Hill School and Community Marker
Inscription. In 1874, nine years after the Civil War ended, a group of former slaves of the Riggs, Donaldson, Parrish, and Hall families founded the Willow Hill School to serve the area’s black children. Georgia Ann Riggs, age 15 and a former slave, was the first teacher. Class was held in an old turpentine shanty. Willow Hill School, one of 15 family-operated black schools in Bulloch County, became the center of a community of successful land-owning black Americans. In the first half of the 20th century, the Rosenwald Fund helped pay for construction and the Jeanes Fund helped train faculty.

In 1920 the Bulloch County Board of Education purchased the school for $18 dollars. In 1954 the county built the sixth and current building to house the school (.5 miles SW). Children attended an integrated facility beginning in 1970. When closed in 1999, Willow Hill had been a school for 125 years – the County’s oldest. In 2005, descendants of the founders bought the school building for $113,000 and the Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center seeks to preserve the legacy of those former slaves who built a community and nourished the school.
 
Erected by The Bulloch County Historical Society, sponsored by the Jack N. & Addie D. Averitt Foundation.
 
Location.
Willow Hill School and Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, June 17, 2014
2. Willow Hill School and Community Marker
Willow Hill Road is in the background
32° 30.95′ N, 81° 53.483′ W. Marker is in Portal, Georgia, in Bulloch County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 80 and Willow Hill Road, on the right when traveling east on U.S. 80. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Portal GA 30450, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Willow Hill Elementary School for Negroes (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old Portal (approx. 3 miles away); Banks Dairy Farm (approx. 3˝ miles away); Rigdon’s Mill / The Rigdon Cemetery (approx. 6.8 miles away); Skirmish at Statesboro (approx. 6.9 miles away); First Baptist Church of Statesboro (approx. 7.7 miles away); Bulloch County (approx. 7.8 miles away); Bulloch County Courthouse (approx. 7.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portal.
 
Categories. African AmericansEducation
 
Willow Hill School and Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, June 17, 2014
3. Willow Hill School and Community Marker
US 80 is on the left; Willow Hill Road on the right
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2017, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 55 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 30, 2017, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.
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