Sedalia in Guilford County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Origins of Palmer Memorial Institute
Many students walked miles to Bethany Institute and missed classes frequently due to winter weather. Miss Hawkins solved this problem with the help of students and parents by converting an abandoned blacksmith’s shop across the highway from the church into a classroom and girls’ sleeping quarters. She obtained an old house about a quarter of a mile away for the boys. Because the house was in better condition, she moved the girls there as well. Girls lived upstairs and the boys downstairs. She was a strict disciplinarian of high moral character, and she supervised all activities to ensure proper conduct.
The school and church were both well-attended when 18-year-old Charlotte Hawkins arrived in October 1901. Pupils attended classes in the church, sitting on long benches which converted to pews on Sundays. Classes occurred only during the winter for four or five months. The school
Despite the improvements, the AMA withdrew its limited financial support of Bethany Institute in 1902. Inspired by the community’s pleas to maintain a local school and with a strong sense of mission and faith in God, young Charlotte courageously reopened the school on her own in the fall of 1902. It was later named the Palmer Memorial Institute in honor of her friend and mentor, noted New England educator Alice Freeman Palmer.
Bethany Church remains an active congregation today and is located across the highway from the parking lot.
Erected by Division of State Historic Sites and Properties.
Location. 36° 4.088′ N, 79° 37.487′ W. Marker is in Sedalia, North Carolina, in Guilford County. Marker is on US Highway 70, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6136 Burlington Road, Sedalia NC 27342, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum (here, next to this marker); Carrie M. Stone Cottage 1948 (within shouting distance Charles W. Eliot Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Canary Cottage (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Meditation Altar (about 400 feet away); Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown, 1883 - 1961 (about 500 feet away); In Memory of Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sedalia.
Also see . . . Charlotte Hawkins Brown Historic Site. (Submitted on April 16, 2011, by Paul Jordan of Burlington, N. C., U. S. A..)
Categories. • African Americans • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2011, by Paul Jordan of Burlington, N. C., U. S. A.. This page has been viewed 441 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 16, 2011, by Paul Jordan of Burlington, N. C., U. S. A.. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.