Sheffield Colored School/Sterling High School

Sheffield Colored School/Sterling High School (HM1K06)

Location: Sheffield, AL 35660 Colbert County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 45.209', W 87° 41.58'

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(side 1)
Sheffield Colored School

Public education for Sheffield's black children began in 1889 in a framed building at E. 20th St. and S. Atlanta Ave. with Henry Hopkins as teacher. Professor Benjamin J. Sterling (1847-1941), a former slave, became principal in 1896 and continued to teach until 1936. Sheffield Colored High School began in 1920 with 12 students. Grammar and high school classes were taught in the frame building and in several churches. In 1921, P.B. Swoopes and Marion C. McDaniel became the first high school graduates. By then the old building was dilapidated and overcrowded. Supporters of the school donated land on E. 19th St. and the Sheffield Board of Education erected a modern brick building in 1923 at the cost of $20,227.50 to house 12 grades. The architect was D.L. Simon and the contractor was Florence Lumber Co.

(side 2)
Sterling High School

Sheffield Colored School was renamed Sterling High School in 1942 in memory of the late Benjamin Sterling. The Board of Trustees worked diligently with school officials to obtain equipment and qualified teachers to make Sterling an accredited school. Land for an athletic field and playground was acquired in 1946. A gymnasium and dining room were added in 1950, and the entire building was renovated when grades 1-6 moved to a new school in 1959. Rev. Richard A. Stewart served as principal,1944-1968. The Sterling band greeted President John F. Kennedy as he arrived at TVA in 1963. Sterling closed in 1968 under federal court orders and its 225 pupils and 12 teachers were absorbed into Sheffield Junior and Senior High Schools. The vacant building was razed in 1978 and 19th St was renamed Sterling Blvd.
HM NumberHM1K06
Year Placed2010
Placed ByCity of Sheffield, Sterling Alumni and Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation, alabama Historical Association
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, April 16th, 2015 at 10:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 436572 N 3845924
Decimal Degrees34.75348333, -87.69300000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 45.209', W 87° 41.58'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 45' 12.54" N, 87° 41' 34.8" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)256
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1000-1098 E 19th St, Sheffield AL 35660, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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