Minutes from September 2016

September 9, 2016

Simone has permanently moved to Florida. She will work on updating print materials.

Alumni Update: Fatimah provided an update on homecoming. Wi-fi access was not available, [but was able to show video tape from exhibit?]. Received final check payment from Marilyn King. She had a chance to the see her family’s window and appreciated it. Some corrections are needed to the plaque. Stokly should be changed to “Stokely”.

Bob Zink wants to contribute to the window fund for Charity [and Dorothy?]

Most alumni/family visited the school on Sunday.

Charity mentioned that everyone was excited to see the school’s progress.

Sarah Ann shared that after the school showing some elders later shared that some of the history was missing, such as info on the following teachers: Ms. Tilda Koon, Ms. Love, Ms. Monica, Ms. Wilson, and Ms. Bass. Some alumni were disappointed and wanted to see more on Ms. Wilson. Some people [did not know a Ms. Charlene?] or when the school was named Anderson. Richard sent an email to Willa with a list of all teachers who taught at the school.

Ray and Roland was the community’s only black grocery store. Should be a part of the history. The committee agreed that we need to gather more info on the families in the community. Dan wants to meet with Sarah to do some additional research and gather more historical info. Fatimah reiterated that this would all be a part of a living library at the school.

In doing research, Dan mentioned that the spelling of names is important as you go through the census. Exact spelling was not as important during the 1900 to mid-century. Sarah added that a lot of folks also had the same name. David mentioned that the committee has the ability to copy and photoshop original pictures if alumni are willing to share for this effort. Dan added that alumni should let the families know that we can do all this without photographs leaving the owner’s sight.

Alonzo and Earl mentioned that there was only one stove when they attended the school. The number of stoves likely varied according throughout the years. Omar mentioned there are three outlets from the chimney.

Next time there’s a gathering, there should be a recording so that the group can later review and include in school’s library. Marilyn King will record her family’s stories (Silvia family). Willa will contact Ryan about the archives. It would be nice if we could do something in November. These can be recorded on smart phones.

Construction: The first coat of paint has been applied to the windows. The ramp/end steps have been installed; the rails are temporary. Next items to work on are: two outside doors – the ramp door needs to be 36” wide and the other door needs to be 32” wide. We also need to work on the siding of the addition. Scaffolding is available that we can use. We need to purchase outside siding and paint the exterior of the building.

Every bill except for the steps/rail has been paid. There was a question about wiring. David responded that it would be taken care before doing interior improvements. Willa added that the school is funding technology improvements through the e-rate grant.

For septic, an environmental certification [is needed]

After completing the first coat, the painters will have a break. Next work day should focus on exterior siding and continue to work on bead board. Because there is still broken glass mixed in the soil that comes up, we’ll either have to put up gutters if allowable or put down stone.

Fundraising: We heard back from Steven Smith at Wells Fargo. He will email the group an application to apply for a grant. The group also has made preliminary contact with the State Employees Credit Union (Biltmore branch). We are asking them to cover costs to finish the project.

History: Dan has no new updates, but has gathered a list of teachers in Hot Springs, Marshall, and Mars Hill. The list comes from newspapers and board of commissioners meeting minutes. Dan will bring list to the next committee meeting. Teachers assigned to a single-teacher school were also known as principals. They were responsible for getting helpers, who may not have been on the official school payroll. [Ms. Rhodes was supervisor of county schools and curriculum supervisor during this time period?]

Blue Ridge Community College, Center for Life-long Learning Program: Brenda and Ronnie gave the committee an overview of the college’s life-long learning program. Members of the program are 50+ years old and most are new to Hendersonville. Attendees pay $20 to participate in the program/course. The college would like for the committee to do a course on the Mars Hill Rosenwald School.  The committee decided to do the presentation/course on Wed, May 17 from 10-12 noon; this includes a 10 min break. Brenda will work on preparing a catalog description for the course. Brenda recommended arriving a van. The afternoon (from 1-3 PM) will be open to the public and held in the same room. Ronnie will coordinate on the public session in the afternoon. Fatimah recommended that we could show the Rosenwald movie in the afternoon during the public session and should reach out to Asheville’s Jewish community to participate. The committee may bring panels.

The group may get questions about the Brevard school. It is the committee’s understanding that the Brevard School is not a Rosenwald School. It was built using WPA funds and used a Rosenwald design; it probably received Rosenwald funds to add an addition/do upgrades. The history of the Mars Hill Rosenwald School is as follows:

  • 1905: Madison County purchased one acre of land; Rosenwald program required schools to have 2 acres.
  • Feb 1928: county requested Rosenwald funds to update the current school. Program responded that school needed to meet plan requirements (which it did not). County decided to demolish old school and build a new school using Rosenwald plan/funds.
  • Fall 1928: School is built using Rosenwald funds
  • 1930: School appears on the Fisk records.

Lunsford Festival, Oct 1: Do we have volunteers to participate? We can set up in front of the Rural Heritage Museum. Willa will talk to Hannah; the committee may set up a table at the festival.

General updates: Meetings are the 4th Friday at 3Pm in Asheville at the Stevens Lee Center, except for Nov and Dec. The Friends group is a lifetime member of the center.

Charity is getting ready to have 2017 calendars printed. She also mentioned that Margie Smith raised $500 at a meeting and requested that the funds be donated/go in remembrance of the Mars Hill School.

Willa wants to prepare/complete a quarterly report. Will talk to Simone about completing the visuals and for a funding campaign. Would like to add new pics, showing the progress of the restoration, on the website.

Next committee meeting will be on October 14 [at the school?].