The Fairview-E.S. Brown Heritage Corporation, a historical non-profit organization, seeks to preserve the life-affirming African American cultural experiences of the early 1900s; namely, the Fairview Colored School located in Cave Spring, GA. The campus was erected under the Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington philanthropic building campaign to provide an education for African-Americans.
The only remaining structure, the first grade building, is now in imminent danger of collapsing. Discovered in 2009, the building was covered and miraculously preserved by the kudzu that grew alongside Padlock Mountain. It is the last of the four buildings that constituted the Fairview Campus. Alumni recall attending school and eating biscuits and sorghum syrup underneath the cedar trees.
Interested alumni want to preserve this history. Tentative preservation plans include a renovated four-acre campus with museum, campsite, organic garden, and multi-purpose buildings to benefit the entire community.
Early 1900’s – Booker T. Washington, an educator, author and political leader, worked with Julius Rosenwald, co-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Company to form one of the most important philanthropic partnerships in American history. The Rosenwald Foundation supported education for African American children in the rural South by building over 5,000 schools, shops, and teachers’ homes in the South. One of those ‘Rosenwald Schools’ was in Cave Spring.
1924 - The only documented Rosenwald school building in Cave Spring, GA. is erected on Padlock Mountain. James B. Atwater is appointed by the Floyd County Board of Education as the first principal of the new school.
By 1949, the Floyd County Board of Education had consolidated local community schools into Cave Spring, a thriving seat of education. Those local schools consolidated included Central School in Chubbtown, Flat Rock, Six Mile Bethel, Livingston, and Morton Bend. At Fairview/E.S. Brown students, were taught the value of doing their very best.
By 1954 Gov. Herman Talmadge honored desegregation laws and erected Equalization Schools across the State. Floyd County received federal funds to erect a modern, state of the art school building on Mill Street. Fairview was renamed E.S. Brown Elementary School after distinguished principal, Professor Edward S. Brown. After the 1967-1968 school year, E.S. Brown School served the children of Floyd County for the last school term. No known full picture of the building has been found.
March 2010. An amazing, heart-filling discovery. The first grade building of Fairview School is found once again. For 60 years it has been sleeping on a hillside hidden under mounds of kudzu. The tin roof and sturdy structure stood the test of time. Kudzu, snaking around all parts of the building, has served as a natural preservative.
Summer, 2010. Fairview and E.S. Brown alumni gather for a reunion to begin planning for the restoration of the first grade building. Already accomplished is the creation of an exact replica of a Fairview classroom from 1953 displayed in the Cave Spring Welcome Center.
October, 2010. A prestigious partnership begins between the Georgia Trust and Fairview. The Trust promotes both an appreciation for and protection of Georgia’s diverse historic resources. With similar missions, Fairview is named as one of The Georgia Trust’s 2011 “Places in Peril” and now resides under their watchful care. This collaboration has brought Fairview the friendship of a national preservation architect and an early American Educational Scholar.
We Commit to the Future...
Fall, 2010. The men of Fairview begin work on the site. As always, the strong hands of Albert Chambers, Lovell Watters, Amos Montgomery, Leo Word, Ed Ellis, Jerry Garret, Joe Ellis, Larry Washington, Paul Townsley, Randall Wright, Ted Barnett, and Eddie Hood make a difference.
February 2011, a second exhibit entitled “Education…the tie that binds”, opens at the Rome Area History Museum. It honors faculty, staff, and administrators.
Parts of the foundation, brick pillars and siding, are near disrepair. Spring 2011, damaged parts of the structure are repaired in order to stabilize the building.
Next steps - Continued clean up of property, develop a full project plan detailing future use of the property and specific details for completion, and implementation of a full fundraising campaign to raise funds to preserve an endangered site in Cave Spring.
How You Can Help!
Collect from our “Keepsakes”
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