Message Board
The Oak Grove Heritage Committee is reaching out to you for your assistance to help us save The Oak Grove Rosenwald School in Gallion, Alabama. The school was built in 1925 as one of the over 5000 schools built in 13 southern states to provide a haven and equipped school to allow Black children in the south to obtain a quality education.

The Educators that dedicated their lives to teaching the children at the Oak Grove Rosenwald School were Principals: Marie Carrington Jones, and Dorothy Agnes Scott. The teachers were: Louise Garrett, Rebecca Mattie Agnew Burks, Roxanna Garrett Dawson, Renona Crawford Martin, Elnora Wilson Barnfield Henderson, Lois Penny Stokes, Willie Glover Love, Eunice Beard and Roslyn Worthy Bennett.

We are asking that if you know of anyone that is related to the teachers that taught at Oak Grove School please reach out to them so that they can be a part of saving Oak Grove Rosenwald School.

The Oak Grove School is at the center of our history. All our ancestors that migrated to Hale County helped build this school with the limited funds that they had.

Many of our ancestors, including the few still living today attended The Oak Grove School before it closed its doors in 1968. The Oak Grove School is still standing for over 98 years but is in dire need of repairs.  As of today, there are only a few of these schools still standing and only two remaining in Hale County.

Several members in the Oak Grove Community devoted years to get the Oak Grove School added to the National Historical Register and on March 3, 1998 the school was added. The Oak Grove School was also placed on the Alabama Bureau of Tourism. The school was removed from the Bureau of Tourism when the community could no longer keep up the school, but visitors still come to tour the school.

Residents in communities across the South have dedicated themselves to saving Rosenwald Schools in their communities so that an important part of our history will not be lost. Oak Grove is fortunate to have one of these schools. The Oak Grove Heritage Committee was formed under new Board Members in 2018 to drive the initiative to save Oak Grove Rosenwald School, but we cannot do it without the help of individuals and corporations.

The Oak Grove Church had overseen the school for years but agreed in 2018 to relinquish the upkeep of the school to the Oak Grove Heritage Committee.

The Oak Grove Heritage Committee is actively seeking grants to make the necessary repairs. The Committee was awarded a grant in 2023 from The Alabama Historical Commission. Funds from this grant matched with contributions from donors have been instrumental in helping to start the long awaited renovation. 

We continue to apply for grants but need the help of our family, friends and corporate donors to continue to move the renovation forward until completion.

Once the renovations are completed, the school will reopen as a museum and a community center for Oak Grove and surrounding communities.

The Oak Grove School Heritage Center officially begun it's Clean Up Project in the fall of 2019.The project was suppose to consist of three Phases.

Phase One - Board Members, Corporate and Individual donors, Volunteers and Community Leaders met at Oak Grove School Heritage Center Renovation Day on October 26, 2019. 

Phase Two - Clean up began on the outside and inside of the school shortly after the October ,2019 event.  Large items such as old cooling and heating units were removed from the site along with other debris. Initial clean up of the school was started but not completed. The final inside clean up of the school was to begin during the winter of 2020 which was suppose to be the start of Phase three.

Unfortunately, the country was devastated by the Covid Pademic and all activities in the United States and other countries came to a standstill. The committee placed all activities for the school on hold. We were fortunate enough to continue to receive donations from small donors and the Oak Grove Church.

Oak Grove Heritage Committee resumed operations in the spring of 2022. The Board resumed their monthly zoom meetings and preparations kicked back up to start the renovation of the school. In June of 2022, The Committee applied for a grant from The Alabama Historical Commission to help with the renovation project. The search started to find a company that was skilled in renovating historical buildings. The Committee decided to go with Psalms Construction Inc located in Northport, Alabama. 

The first phase of the renovating officially started in December, 2022 to fully renovate all the windows in the school. The Committee was able to use donations collected to fully pay for the windows renovation. The first phase was successfully completed at the beginning of 2023.

The Committee received a letter from The Alabama Historical Commission in November,2022 informing us that we were awarded a grant in the amount of $37,500.00 to assist with our project.

The grant funds will be used to start the second stage of the renovation which will be restoring and repairing the school structural issues such as foundation stabilization, and addressing all other foundation issues.