Saturday, September 27, 2014 marked a very special day for Historic Jarvisburg Colored School, as the day that the HJCS Museum opened for the first time.
The stories from many former students who attended the Currituck County African American schools prior to de-segregation are being told. They are stories about our heritage in rural Currituck County. They are stories from those who also were encouraged to expand their education and go on to become teachers, school administrators, businessmen, and workers in many trades. Please enjoy the photos from our celebration and we look forward to many visits.
With grateful appreciation we acknowledge many helping hands along the way:
It has been a long journey with many helping hands working together to save and restore this historic African American school building, tied to the history of Corinth Baptist Church, and to preserve the heritage and history of all of the African American schools in Currituck County. By 2003 the building was in disrepair and in danger of collapsing with the next major storm. Members of Corinth Baptist Church reached out for help. The Historic Jarvisburg Colored School Association was organized in 2002. The Church gifted the school property to HJCS to ensure its continued survival.
The HJCS Board expresses its gratitude to the Currituck County Commissioners who agreed in 2003 to stabilize the building and then worked with HJCS to restore this historic building, working with Joe Freeman, Architect with RRMM. This task was accomplished over the next few years and the building now reflects its early 1911 appearance. In 2003, Charles Hardy, Hardy Moving & Storage, offered to store the old furniture removed from HJCS. It took 11 long years before he could bring it all back.
We thank the North Carolina Community Foundation, and former Regional Associate, Peggy Birkemeier, for guiding us as a newly organized nonprofit organization. We are pleased to now be supported by the William A and Julia Hunt & Douglas P and Alice H. Lindsey Fund for Historic Jarvisburg Colored School, which will help provide funding for exhibit upgrades and Museum upkeep.
We express gratitude to Penne Sandbeck for her role in documenting the history of Jarvisburg Colored School and its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in December of 2010. Bob Riggs, Principal with Riggs Ward Design, has worked with us over many years to help define and design the exhibits. His creative talents and patient guidance has been a blessing.
Several key supporters who encouraged us along the way with their talents and commitment are no longer with us to see the Museum become a reality and we are grateful for their support: Douglas Lindsey, Norma Williams, Edna Bowser and teacher, Naomi Fulford.
We thank our Charter Members and contributors over the years for believing in our mission and keeping us focused on the road ahead. Most importantly we appreciate the dedication and support from current members of the board: Alice Lindsey, Vivian Simpson, Rowena Roby, Sarah Banks, Ruth Dillard, Leon Saunders, Jr., William Parker, Paul O’Neal, Milton Etheridge, Faye B. Phillips, Rhonda Morris, Jennifer Powell, Angerona Saunders and Marita Powell.
The mission of the Historic Jarvisburg Colored School Association shall be for the preservation and dissemination of information about the history and culture of the Colored People and Schools in Currituck County, North Carolina from 1868-1950’s.
Historic Jarvisburg Colored School Association is the culmination of local efforts to preserve the Jarvisburg Colored School, first established in 1868 near its current location. The HJCS Association was formally organized in 2003 as a nonprofit organization.
Initial efforts focused on saving the old school building in keeping with historic preservation standards, listing it on the National Register of Historic Places, and collecting and disseminating historic information about this school and five other schools for colored children in Currituck County (Gregory, Currituck Union, Moyock, Snowden and Coinjock).
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places December 11, 2009
HJCS is a membership organization and we welcome your membership/donation support and your stories, photos, and any artifacts from your experiences in any of Currituck's Colored Schools during this timeframe.
We believe it is important to take time to celebrate our heritage and to remember the path we have followed to be where we are today. The stories we share are about life in a poor, rural area of North Carolina in a segregated society where families were often self- sufficient and lived off the land.
Members of the Board of Directors:
President – Alice Lindsey
Vice President – Vivian Simpson
Secretary – Sarah Banks
Treasurer – Rowena Roby
Directors – Paul O'Neal, W. Leon Saunders, Milton Etheridge, William Parker, Rhonda Morris, Ruth Dillard, Faye B. Phillips, Jennifer Powell, Angerona Saunders and Marita Powell.
Many school alumni and community volunteers have all worked hard in support of our efforts. The board notes the deaths of several dedicated supporters: Douglas Lindsey, Norma Williams and Edna Bowser, who worked to establish and this organization and provided support with their generous spirit and contributions.