Willow Hill School and Community

Willow Hill School and Community (HM219M)

Location: Portal, GA 30450 Bulloch County
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 30.95', W 81° 53.483'

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In 1874, nine years after the Civil War ended, a group of former slaves of the Riggs, Donaldson, Parrish, and Hall families founded the Willow Hill School to serve the area's black children. Georgia Ann Riggs, age 15 and a former slave, was the first teacher. Class was held in an old turpentine shanty. Willow Hill School, was one of 15 family-operated black schools in Bulloch County, became the center of a community of successful land-owning black Americans. In the first half of the 20th century, the Rosenwald Fund helped pay for construction and the Jeanes Fund helped train faculty.

In 1920 the Bulloch County Board of Education purchased the school for $18 dollars. In 1954 the county built the sixth and current building to house the school (.5 miles SW). Children attended an integrated facility beginning in 1970.When closed in 1999, Willow Hill had been a school for 125 years - the County's oldest. In 2005, descendants of the founders bought the school building for $113,000 and the Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center seeks to preserve the legacy of those former slaves who built a community and nourished the school.
HM NumberHM219M
Placed ByThe Bulloch County Historical Society, sponsored by the Jack N. & Addie D. Averitt Foundation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 at 7:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 416277 N 3597964
Decimal Degrees32.51583333, -81.89138333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 30.95', W 81° 53.483'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 30' 57" N, 81° 53' 28.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)912
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Willow Hill Rd, Portal GA 30450, US
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