Oak Hill Community School

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Here is another old schoolhouse that I regularly pass in my travels to Alabama.  It is in one of my favorite little towns to shoot, Oak Hill, Alabama.  It is what my parent’s generation called a Sears school.  More specifically, it is one of the Rosenwald schools, a two-teacher community school.

Julias Rosenwald was the president of Sears.  In 1917, he endowed a $20,000,000 (1/3 of a billion in today’s dollars) fund to support the construction of rural schools in largely African American communities in the south. With community donations of labor and land, matching funds from the foundation and the Sears home construction industry resources, almost 5,000 schools and some 400 shop buildings and teacher’s homes were built in over 800 counties in 15 southern states before the end of the program in 1932.(1)


Two Teacher Community School Floor Plan(2)IMG_2028The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a program for the preservation of extant Rosenwald structures(3), this one appears to be owned by a local church.

1.  http://www.searsarchives.com/history/questions/rosenwald.htm

2.  http://www.preservationnation.org/travel-and-sites/sites/southern-region/rosenwald-schools/school-buildings.html

3.  http://www.preservationnation.org/travel-and-sites/sites/southern-region/rosenwald-schools/#.UUU_VjCkpi8

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