This is a mid-20th century photo of Cherry Grove Church. This structure was built at the turn of the 20th century to replace an earlier building that had been destroyed by a storm. At some point in the 1970’s that building was remodeled and bricked over. The old church remains but hides within the brick walls of the new. This is often the case with a number of many old rural church structures in Georgia. The Cherry Grove School house is located close on the right. Proximity to the Church building was a necessity.
We are told that this is a mid-20th Century, Black and White photo of the Cherry Grove School House. The unseen church building is nearby to the left. As you can see, it was a very small single gable structure with windows on each side. But, this modest building was of great importance to the church congregation and community. After years of little or no schooling of any kind, the future of their children could be very positively impacted by what they would be taught within.
We have now walked up the rickety steps, entered the interior and are standing inside, facing the back wall and the chalkboard area on that wall. Various pews, benches, boxes, etc are scattered about. Yes, we see a small space, but it is one that had a huge impact on its African American community! Though we see a great deal of disrepair, the ceiling, floors, windows and most importantly, the roof have not been fatally compromised and water damage is not present. It appears that resuscitation of this wonderful, historic relic of African American education history in Georgia for over a century would be a significant accomplishment.
Here we have a photo of what appears to be a significant problem. It is not. Throughout Georgia, buildings like these rest on stacked, unmortised fieldstone , foundation piers and have rested plumb and square for a hundred years and more. With modern equipment, replacement and repair with authentic materials is a common necessity and easily accomplished.
Here we have a closeup picture of the school ceiling, upper rafters and a stove flue. Even though the stove flue appears battered, it can be easily replaced. The ceiling boards are in fair condition and can be repaired with inexpensive authentic materials. Furthermore, once the restoration is completed, it provides the chance for visitors to see just how primitive but workable, clever solutions to every-day needs in rural Georgia were handled. This is real History and will be appreciated by generations for years to come.
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