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Gaffney in Cherokee County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Granard Graded and High School / Granard High School

 
 
Granard Graded and High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 3, 2009
1. Granard Graded and High School Marker
Inscription.
Granard Graded and High School
This is the original location of Granard Graded and High School, also known as Granard Street School. It was built here between 1905 and 1914 and included the first black high school in Gaffney. The first high school graduating class numbered two students in 1923. J.E. Gaffney served as Granardís principal for more than thirty years. A new Granard High, a brick building, was built on Rutledge Avenue in 1937.

Granard High School
The 1937 Granard High School included grades 1-11 until 1947, then added grade 12. Standard courses for grades 8-11 were supplemented by industrial and home economics courses, sports, music, art, and other activities. Granard High School organized its first sports team in 1928 and its first band and chorus in 1947. The school closed in 1968 when Cherokee County schools were desegregated.
 
Erected 2008 by Cherokee Historical and Preservation Society and the Cherokee County African-American Heritage Committee. (Marker Number 11-7.)
 
Location. 35° 3.935′ N, 81° 39.7′ W. Marker is in Gaffney, South Carolina, in Cherokee County. Marker is on Old Georgia Highway (U.S. 29) near Willis Street. Touch for map
Granard High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 3, 2009
2. Granard High School Marker
. Marker is in this post office area: Gaffney SC 29341, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Towne Center (approx. ĺ mile away); Gaffney (approx. 0.8 miles away); Cherokee County Confederate Monument (approx. 0.8 miles away); Gaffney Cornerstone (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Gaffney (approx. 0.8 miles away); Michael Gaffney (approx. 0.9 miles away); First Baptist Church (approx. 0.9 miles away); Col. James Williams (approx. 0.9 miles away); Carnegie Library (approx. 0.9 miles away); Cherokee County Veterans Monument (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gaffney.
 
Additional comments.
1. Historical Marker Unveiled for African-American School
Spartanburg Herald-Journal
by Janet S. Spencer
February 26, 2008

Cherokee County no longer is on a three-member list of areas in the state without a historical marker that recognizes the educational and cultural impact of African-Americans.

The Granard Graded and High School site on Highway 29 near the intersection of Logan and Granard streets in Gaffney now can be located by a recently erected sign.

The school was built in the early 1900s
Granard Graded and High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 3, 2009
3. Granard Graded and High School Marker
and named for Granard, Ireland, where Michael Gaffney, the city's founder, was born.

Information on the marker was announced Monday at a reception.

Jannie Harriot, who chairs the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, said the state's marker program began in 1936. Since then, more than 200 sites commemorating significant African-American history and culture have been designated.

Two counties, Allendale and McCormick, have not yet erected markers. Harriot praised the Cherokee County African-American Heritage Committee for its efforts to establish multiple markers. The Mulberry Chapel CME Church will receive the next historical designation.

"The goal is to help all citizens become aware of African-American history - educational and cultural. And it's important to be included," Harriot said, explaining that the marker program that does not receive state funding. She presented copies of a book compiled last year when seven areas remained unmarked.

In Gaffney, the local committee and the Cherokee County Historical and Preservation Society worked two years and raised about $3,000 to pay for the marker, said Bertha Harris, a retired educator and committee member. The money also included paying for a reception's invitations and refreshments.

Jane Waters, CHAPS director, said her group was eager to participate in the effort
Granard High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 3, 2009
4. Granard High School Marker
to recognize African-American history, since Cherokee County already has seven historical markers.

"People should stop and read the markers. They're there for a reason. They have interesting information," she said.

The newest marker was announced with a tape made of an unveiling held over the weekend and played during the reception Monday in the Cherokee County Senior Center on Rutledge Avenue, only a few blocks away from the Granard High School facility that is now a middle school.

Karry Guillory, project consultant for the state African American Heritage Commission, said the ceremony was taped for the convenience of the guests invited to celebrate the marker and its purpose.

Included was Salona Mae Hambright, 97, of Gaffney. She was the only graduate of the school present. Several former students also were in the audience.

"It was wonderful. So many good memories," Hambright said of completing her school days at Granard High in 1930.

Speakers shared the school's success, naming various educators, graduates and athletes whose names remain recognizable today.

Cherokee County Council Vice Chairman Rufus Foster said the first graduating class in 1918 had three students. He said the three R's - reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic - were integral parts of Granard's curriculum.

Bill James, superintendent of the local
Granard High School Marker -<br>Looking West Along U.S. 25 image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 3, 2009
5. Granard High School Marker -
Looking West Along U.S. 25
public schools today, agreed with Foster on the importance of the basic fundamentals in education. "If we focus on that, we wouldn't have as many issues in our schools today," James said.

He commended the committee for ensuring the history will be remembered. "Granard is a vital part of our school system, then and now," he said.

Gloria Rosemond, who serves on the Heritage Committee and is a former chairwoman of the Cherokee County School Board, said the Granard Graded and High School marker is important, especially for today's youth.

"I think it's very significant for the youth of today to relate to history. So many things were lost during desegregation. This marker helps with our identity," she said.
    — Submitted November 1, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. African AmericansEducationNotable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 1, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,286 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 1, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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