Remembering Camptown School

Some former students at the Camptown School near Franklin are trying to build a park in honor of their old seven-room schoolhouse.

The Camptown School closed its doors after integration in the late 1960s and was later torn down.

The school was a community hub for the settlement of poor millworkers at the Camp Manufacturing Company lumber mill. And it was valued because of the fight it took to get it built: a black school that the community had to push for in the midst of segregation.

Former student Gwen Blue, a case manager in the Franklin housing redevelopment office says that if the Camptown School hadn't been built, "a lot of people would have been completely uneducated."

Details about when the school started are hazy. But the tiny schoolhouse was eventually built with help from the county, community members and the Rosenwald Fund, which provided money for black schools throughout the rural South.

The Isle of Wight group is looking to raise around $350,000 for the Camptown park. Since their fundraising began in March, the committee has raised about $25,000. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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