Plans for the Mars Hill Rosenwald School Exhibit

Artifact found at the school.

Artifact found at the school.

An exhibition on the Mars Hill Anderson Rosenwald School & the History of Education in Madison County will open in the fall at the Rural Life Museum on the campus of Mars Hill University.

There will be a reception and guest speakers, music, food, and a large tent outdoors on the quad. Inside there will be banners, mounted photos, artifacts from the school, and earphones to listen to choir music from the time period. On the right will be a theater for watching the video interviews. Two museum attendants will give tours, help visitors, and answer questions.

The main subject of the exhibit will be the school. A broad history of the community will be included. The story line will include the history of education in Mars Hill. Topics will include: African American Public Education, the Long Ridge Colored Community, The Rosenwald Story, and the Historic Anderson Rosenwald Rehabilitation Project.

Objects for the display include: a privy; oak desk with ink well; chalkboard with frame; a cloak rack, which is spikes on a board; children’s coats (need similar to or from the 1950s); a small stage about 6″ tall, (needs to be built or found); a water bucket and dipper (white enamel); a coal stove (can someone help search for this?); a scuttle bucket of coal (found in basement of MHU); the alphabet (need a banner or individual cards from the 50/60s); any books, flash cards; axe and kindling; a paddle (from a bolo bat or similar).

The windows can be decorated for the season; perhaps Madison county school children can recreate the types of cutouts that were displayed. Other items related the school are sought. Awards, ribbons, jump ropes, herbs, salves, plants, medicine bottles could be displayed. Other equipment used at the school, such as film strips, cameras (Brownie’s), and slide projectors would be nice.

Photos are needed showing the Joseph Anderson family, the Long Ridge community, the Rosenwald schools, the Mars Hill Rosenwald School, integration, and the rehabilitation project. Sidebars, or related stories include: the land story, John Ferguson donation, the privies, the spring and water, the stove, Viola King Barnett, VIP alumni of the school, planning committee activities, and the NC Land Trust partnership.

Please contact us if you have any items that can be included in the exhibit. All items will be labeled with the donors name and returned at the end of the exhibit. Items can also be donated to the school for future exhibits. Email or call Willa Wyatt, (828) 689-3922.