Schoolhouse built circa 1898 stands as a memorial to the African American
educational system in Mecklenburg County,
North Carolina. Currently it is one of only two known existing rural one
room schoolhouses for black children still standing in Mecklenburg County.
(The other school discovered in February 2006 is Siloam Schoolhouse, located
in the northern University area of Charlotte, which is also under
This wooden one room schoolhouse is said to have been built
by a popular local black farmer, named John Young. However, it is still
unclear as to his overall involvement in the project. Nevertheless, his
action in establishing this primary school for African American children is
significant to the history of American education.
In 2005 the old schoolhouse
which had long since resembled its original structure having served as a
dwelling for numerous families through the years, was in jeopardy of being
torn down due to development in southern end of Huntersville along
Alexanderana Road where the school originally stood (13129 Alexanderana
Road). The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Landmarks Commission saw fit to preserve
the historic structure to a more protected site.
In June 2005 an agreement
was reached with Rural Hill, Inc. and the CMLC to move
the Bethesda Schoolhouse to Rural Hill as its permanent home. Both
entities agreed to work together in preserving the structure through grants,
donations, and volunteers.
February 16, 2006 Bethesda School was sited on its permanent location and
restoration began. Since then this historic schoolhouse has been going
through restoration and preservation to take it back to its original
When restoration is
complete the schoolhouse will serve as an interpretive center for teaching
visitors about the educational system for young African American children in
the 1890’s to early 1900’s.
Needs New Home by The Charlotte Observer
American One Room Schoolhouse
MAKE A CONTRIBUTION
If you would like to find out more about how you can make a contribution to
the restoration of Bethesda Schoolhouse please contact Rural Hill or click the button
below to make a donation securely online.
Thank you for helping us preserve