Carolina School opened in new building in 1927

Published 1:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2017

Last week’s column ended with an introduction to Carolina School, which was begun in its new building in 1927. It was mentioned that the next several succeeding years might be skipped to the beginning of the school year in 1946. However, additional history and pictures of the school during those intervening years will be shared next.

In addition, it is significant to mention that Carolina School was created when the earlier Walker School and Pine Level School were merged in the late 1920s. Very little is known about either of these schools except both buildings burned. The students attending them were taught in the Carolina Church building until the new Carolina one could be finished. It is known that one or the other of the two schools was attended by Mrs. Era (Hall) Kelley, Turner Henderson, Mrs. Lillian (Franklin) Tart, and Miss Gussie Savage. Others are not known to this writer.

The following is a quote from the story on Carolina School written by Mrs. Ina (Mancill) Garner, former teacher, for The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama. “The first Carolina School building, located seven miles south of Andalusia on the Rock Hole Bridge Road now known as County Road 31, consisted of an auditorium, three classrooms and grades one through six. In 1931 Acree and Adellum Schools were closed and the students transported to Carolina School. At that time, additional classrooms were added to the original structure. The school continued to grow and by the time World War II began, the school boasted of 10 classrooms, nine teachers and grades one through eight.

“Principals who were instrumental in the growth of the school were W.R. Walker, Raymond Farnell, J.T. Sheppard, L.B. Whitehead, Clyde Johnson, J.A. Johnson, Hugh D. Wilson, James Livingston, B.C. Fincher, and Joe Jim Brown. Some of the teachers who taught at the school were Mrs. Margaret Shine, Mrs. Sara Carter, Mrs. Bessie Cross, Mrs. Ollie Ingram, Mrs. Missouri Wiggins, Mrs. Janice Andress, Mrs. Ina Garner, Mrs. Alice Duggan, Mrs. Elizabeth Pelham, Mrs. Virginia Bowman, Mrs. Katherine Wyatt, Mrs. Dorothy Giddens and Mrs. Lorene Corley.”

A few additional teachers who have been recalled include the following: Mrs. Jean Brown, Miss Lena Mae Clary, Miss Carolyn Ingram and Mrs. Marie Weed. A Mr. Cobb and John Allen Gantt were also principals at Carolina.

With today’s story is a picture of the school building with all the students in front, which was taken during the first year in the new building in 1927. Unfortunately, there is no identification of the students, but the picture is valuable. Note the trees surrounding the building. In later years, there were large Cedar trees only in the edge of the front lawn with a few large oak trees on the south and west sides of the building. The second picture is the student body in front of the school in 1931.

The only other structures on the campus were outdoor restrooms. There were two small buildings on the north side for boys—one for the lower grades and one for the upper grades, probably grades five through eight. The same arrangement was built on the south side of the school building for the girls. Of course, there was a water pump house near the back of the school with outdoor drinking fountains. These were faucets turned up over a metal trough. Sometime later small sinks were installed in the classrooms.

The history of the school will be continued in next week’s column. Once again, this writer appeals to anyone who might have records, memories or pictures of Carolina School to contact him at one of the addresses below. The source for this writing was primarily personal memories and the story written by Ina (Mancill) Garner for The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama, which was published in 2003.

Anyone who might find an error in above history or additional information is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Compatriot Hank Roberts will present a talk on the Battle of Mobile including an overview of Fort Morgan. Anyone interested in Confederate heritage is encouraged to attend.