Springfield Community Center, Inc.
|Posted on April 12, 2019 at 9:55 AM||comments (4538)|
Coming June 27, 2019 @ Alexander H. Stephens State Park,
Group shelter. (next to the park office)
Music of the 50's and 60's.
Hot Dotgs, Hamburger, Chips and drinks will be served from noon to nine.
Come out and support a legacy; Springfield Log Cabin School.
|Posted on April 4, 2018 at 7:05 PM||comments (843)|
It has been some time since I have written here. A lot has happened since then, mostly deteriorations of the Norteast wall and ridgeline. We received another rejections. First the Callahan Incentive Grant and now the National Trust for Historic Preservation's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The reason is the same, "so many applications and they had to make a choice, and we are sorry you were not chosen." In other words, something about the other applications helped us to choose them. They were better.
No matter how sweet thy make the rejection email the feelings still the same. I know our building is great, and its story need to be told, I tell it every chance I get. I can see first hand how feeling inferior and not having the confidence in who you are affects our children progress. The counterpart in our County celebrate all their accompkishments, the monuments, Daughters of the confederacy, statues, historical markers are a constant reminder of what they have done.
For a child growning up in this environment, it seems that our race was matter, here taking up space. In my research, I found that four African Americans in our town died in WWI, but the monument on the courthouse lawn only has one male who died in action during the war and he isn't us. Our children growning up in this atmosphere has a hard time envisioning their people as useful. These images alone could affect their psyche. This need to stop there has to be balance. Our children have to know that their ancestors contributed to the growth of the county.
I also found the book 'History of Morehouse, and learned severl men from Crawfordville attended the Augusta Institute and the Atlanta University and found institutions of their own, became teachers and ministers, men like Ingram and Murden who founded educational institutions.Our children need to hear these stories.
I plan to have workshops in this building to help students research their family tree and learn how to conduct research. The building in the perfect location because it is secluded and has the rooms and space to conduct several workshops plus store the historical records that I have collected through the years.
Some of our members think that once we have the Historic nomination, then we will be more attractive to grant funders. I am not so sure of that. I think our not getting selected has to do with a lot of things, but that doesn't matter to me now. We just can't give up.
|Posted on October 22, 2016 at 9:30 PM||comments (135)|
The following is taken from Frank Bates novel, “From Level Hill to Capitol Hill.”
As far back as I can remember, the summer of 1965 began as every other summer. The country had not healed from the death of President John F. Kennedy. Congress had just passed the all-important Voting Right Bill of 1965, and a year earlier President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 into law.
I was 17 years old in the 11th grade and was getting promoted to the 12th grade. I was the end of the school year. Calvin Turner one of our teachers, gave us the news that the superintendent, Lola Williams, had failed to renew the contracts of five of our prominent black teachers. These teachers had been teaching at Murden High School for a number of years. They were dedicated, committed and very interested in us learning and being the best that we could be.
…. To my knowledge, she did not give a legitimate reason for not renewing the contracts. Calvin Turner was a local teacher who grew up in Taliaferro County and attended public school there. Turner was very dedicated and compassionate about everything he under took, including his commitment to social change for blacks. During 1964 and 1965, he attended some of the Southern Christian Leadership Conferences (SCLC) workshops and had the pleasure of meeting Reverend Hosea Williams, one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s lieutenants.
…. the firing of the prominent black teachers was the catalyst that led to the largest civil rights campaign since Selma and Birmingham. We heard from a reliable source that the reason our superintendent refused to renew those teachers’ contract was that she heard that those teachers were helping black folks to read and write so they could register to vote.
Turner had quietly organized us and gave us the idea of protesting the firing of our black teachers by staging a walkout of the school …. On May 28, 1965, when the buses brought the children to school that morning, we got off of the buses and refused to go inside the school building.
…. there was no turning back after that. The local student movement was ignited, and it went on to capture the nation’s attention.
Willie Bolton, J.T. Johnson and several other Civil rights workers met us there. (the march from Friendship Baptist Church to the courthouse) Bolton the field secretary for SCLC mapped out the strategy for the sit-ins, peaceful demonstrations.
Our list of demands and interests now included: the right to register to vote without a hassle; the opportunity to go to the state park and swimming pool; the insistence that white store owners hire blacks; and blacks be hired to work in the courthouse other than as janitors and landscapers.
After a week of mass meetings, Bolton and the civil rights workers, said that they had to go back to Atlanta for a few days. Turner suggested that I be left in charge of the student activities until they got back.
The SCLC had a serious commitment to the Crawfordville movement. Dr. King came to Crawfordville to speak at Friendship Baptist on October 11, 1965. After the rally, we made a decision that it was too dangerous for Dr. King to lead the night march downtown to the courthouse. Instead, Rev. Andrew Young led the march to the courthouse and Dr. King waited at Lula Stewart’s house on Lexington Avenue, which is now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
An elderly black man who was not involved in the civil rights movement, was stopped one night and beaten. He was mistaken for Calvin Turner.
Every Sunday we would meet at Friendship Baptist Church and then march downtown to the courthouse for a mass rally on the courthouse lawn. Reverend Andrew Young, Hosea Williams, Willie Bolton, Ben Clark, and many others would either pray or address the group as well. Some 200-300 people would be involved.
Local leaders such as Representative Tyrone Brooks, from Warren County and Toombs McClendon from Wilkes County would come over and lead the marches.
Dr. King and SCLC initiated a program called the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) for the express purpose of education blacks about politics and helping them to register to vote. The initiative mobilized hundreds of white college students to work in the South against segregation and black disenfranchisement. Hosea Williams was selected to manage the SCOPE effort.
There were several civil rights workers in Crawfordville during the “long, hot summer of 1965,” and Hosea Williams sent four SCOPE workers-all were White0 on June 15, 1965. There were two young women and two men. Candy Weber was an 18-year-old college student from Seattle, Washington. Judy Van Allen was a 24-year-old from California; Richard “Dick” Copeland was a 19-year-old college student from Oregon, Father Joseph Cooney was Catholic priest from Washington D.C.
During that summer, 83 students applied to the all-white Alexander H. Stephens school for fall. To our surprise and without our knowledge, the superintendent and the school board had secretly conspired to bus all of the white children to the surrounding counties.
After several attempts were made to enter the school, but to no avail, we decided to concentrate our efforts on attending a Freedom School in Springfield community near Mr. Turner’s home.
We formed car pools and went throughout the county picking up children, taking them to the school and bringing them back home after classes were finished. One particular morning, we went out picking up school children and I saw two boys, Otis and Rudolph Mayes, standing beside the road. I asked if they were going to the Freedom School, and they said yea.
Their mother was unaware that they had gone to the Freedom School and Frank charged with kidnapping.
Bates, F. (2014). From Level Hill to Capitol Hill . Decator, Georgia: Mister Sammy.
Calvin Grant Turner (1932-2007)
|Posted on October 19, 2016 at 3:45 AM||comments (88)|
The Following links show the student protest Spring of 1965. The last link is the court case that ended it all.
http://www.leagle.com/decision/1966979255FSupp724_1858/TURNER%20v.%20GOOLSBY (Turner v Goolsby)
|Posted on October 19, 2016 at 3:30 AM||comments (84)|
The Georgia Archived, Atlanta, Georgia has the Superintendent Annual Report beginning the 1937-38 to 1954-55 School year. (1939-1940 is missing) listing the following African American schools:
Murden Jr High (later Murden)
Oak Grove *only school in Taliaferro County listed as Rosenwald School and receiving a check)
Springfield (Value of the school remains a constant 5000.00 for the 4 teacher school)
(by the 1954-55 school year there is only Battery, Friendship, Murden, Sharon, Springfield, and Winburn African American Schools
|Posted on October 19, 2016 at 3:10 AM||comments (102)|
Taliaferro County was formed by an act of the Georgia Legislature of December 26, 1825. This Act provided for the combination of portions of five older counties, Wilkes, Warren, Hancock, Greene, and Oglethorpe.
The Act of December 24, 1825
A new county, shall be laid out from the counties of Wilkes, Warren, Hancock, Greene, and Oglethorpe, to be included in the following limits, to wit:
Beginning at Carters Bridge on the Ogeechee, in the County of Hancock, thence along the Washington Road, by McFarland’s store to Wilkes County line, thence to the mouth of Beaver dam where it empties into Williams Creek, in the County of Warren, thence a line direct to the twelve-mile post, near John Gibson’s on the road leading from Wingfield’s Bridge to Powelton, thence to the residence of Frances B. Billingslea, thence to the mouth of Powder Creek where it empties into Little River, thence to the twelve-mile post leading from Washington to Greensborough, thence to the point where the road from Washington to Scull Shoals intersects the Oglethorpe County line near Green’s mills, thence to the residence of William Porter in the County of Oglethorpe, thence a direct line to Col. Absolam Janes, from thence to the thirteen-mile post near Grantsville, thence a direct line to Merritt’s old mill, thence a direct line to Malachi Murden’s, thence a direct line to John Colt’s, thence by Mrs. Moore’s to Hancock to Walt’s old fort, thence a direct line to Carter’s Bridge on the Ogeechee, the beginning; the territory thus included shall form a new County, to be called “Taliaferro” (Bird & Greene, 2012, p. 2)
(italicized added to show the area of the Springfield School)
Bird, J., & Greene, S. (2012). Taliaferro County History. Historical Society.
|Posted on September 20, 2016 at 10:55 AM||comments (107)|
In 1935, the citizens of Taliaferro County Springfield District and the Trustees bought four acres of land from a member of the community and began cutting the logs from their property, using their time, money and resources to build this large and beautiful school to educate theirs and other children. Using the design from a large school in Hancock County the finished product resembles the Rosenwald five teacher community school plan (Return to Rosenwald community school plans, 2016).
1940, U.S. Federal Census for Militia District 606 has 120 homes listing the head of house and eliminating the white families they are: Greason, Molly (wd); Greason, Doll; Armstrong, Lloyd & Dora Mae; Evans, Linell & Viola; Hunter, Charley & Dorothy Mae; Hunter, Hold & Liza; Evans, John Henry & Sallie Mae; Ellington, Lazarus & Vester; Stewart, John & Mary; Meadows, John D & Gertrude; Evans, Edgar & Sarah; Alexander, Willia & Emma; Gullatt, Jordon; McCrary, Sander & Pearline; Asbury, William & Nanty; Evans (?) & Carrie Belle; Young, Jim; Askew, Robert & Liza; Edwards, John B & Rosa M.; Daniel, Foster & Florence; Asbury, Frank & Susie; Nichols, Henry & Sallie; Stephen, Sarah; Lightfoot, Roscoe & Mary Jane; Robinson, Walter & Rosa Mary; Randolph, Sam; Thomas, Willie & Daisy; Heath, John & Hattie; Hackney, Miles & Ada (school trustee); Martin, Nancy; Heath, Jim & Catherine; Wingfield, William & Alice; Evans, John W. & Pearl; Sanders, Dennis & Fannie; Gullatt, Mary; Evans, Josh & Mauda; Gaines, Leroy; Evans, Dwellie & Lillie Belle; Porter, Linton & Nina Kate; Burdette, Jimmie & Irma; Meadows, John & Luvenia; Gullatt, Jessie & Lena; Weaver, James & Mary Lu; Manago, Lena; Shorter, Haigler & Lena Mae; Williams, Heywood & Dora; Sanders, Sallie; Hackney, Vearlis & Amalee; Plumber, Henry & Pearl; English, Henry & Bunie; Hackney, Henry & Annie Belle; English, Russell & Sarah; Beasley, Tucker; Hackney, Pat & Millie; Hackney, Carrie; Durham, Champ & Corine; Smith, George & Emma; Stephen, Henry & Nancy; Barner, Billie & Fannie; Wilkerson, Romalia & Corrie; Burns, Cecil & Sallie Mae; Smith, Pick & Sallie; Ross, George & Mattie; Turner, Spencer & Sallie (School Trustee); Jackson, Allen & Martha; Asbury, Bob & Fannie; Turner, Floyd & Isabella; Howell, Albert David & Fannie Lou; Callaway, L.M. & Rebecca; Swan, Mason; Meadows, Lucinda; Turner, Hanna; Turner Ed & Esida (school trustee); Turner, Luss & Fannie Mae (school trustee); Turner, M.C. & Sabria; Turner, Maria; Evans, Casper & Viola (school trustee); Bowman, Matthew & Ophelia; Turner James & Mildred; Turner, Joe & Lelia (school trustee); Turner, Joe Morris & Martha; Turner, Clark & Cleo (school trustee); Adkinson, Henry T & Dora; Evans, West & Ella; Chapman, George & Anna (school trustee); Chapman, Henry & Origa; Chapman, Mitchell & Hattie; and last but not least Wilson, James R. & Letta Mae.
From the 1940 Census only with my interpretation of the census writer penmanship. Today we are trying to raise funds to save our treasure and put it back in use.
Return to Rosenwald community school plans. (2016). Retrieved from History South : http://www.historysouth.org/fiveteachew/
|Posted on September 20, 2016 at 10:55 AM||comments (80)|
The more I learn about this building, the more my heart is touched, and I wish there were some way to save it. It is so unique in its use of the pine logs, and I learned that the walls are leaning outwards (almost to bow). According to the University of Georgia report, "this is not a current development because the inner wall finish shows no signs of movement. It is possible that this was intended. (Harrmann, McStotts, Miller, & Wilder, 2000)”
Not only were the trustees, Miles Hackney, Cousins: Joe Turner, Luss Turner, Edd Turner, Clark Turner, Spencer Turner, Casper Evans, and George Chapman close friends and family but they were men of means and business, dedicated to educating their and others children and providing for them. The family of these men should swell knowing they come from such men and of course the women who supported them.
The structure is so unique that the building contractors that I have reached out to aren’t able to help with the recovery. I have had to contact the National Park and Recreation and anxiously awaiting a response from them. I will keep everyone posted.
Harrmann, A., McStotts, J., Miller, J., & Wilder, M. (2000). Historic Structure Report . Taliaferro County, Georgia : University of Georgia School of Environmental Design .
|Posted on September 20, 2016 at 10:45 AM||comments (3620)|
In 1966 Aunt Annie was working part-time at Sears & Roebuck in Atlanta while attending Hope Smith Technical School, later Atlanta Area Tech, on Hill Street, when she happened to see Calvin Turner one day at work. He asked what she was doing and informed her they were starting a Sewing plant in the Old Schoolhouse (Springfield) and asked if when she finish her education, she will move home to work as the secretary. She agreed.
She worked from 1967-70 at the sewing factory, and silk screening, “you know what silk screening is?” I assured her I did not.” I worked there from 1967 until I got married making $85.00 a week. That was good money working and living here with mama; it was fine. I had plenty. It worked out very well. I come across my certificate from Hope Smith one day when I was cleaning. Robert took me to the graduation. Robert looked so cute and little, and I was in my white dress and cute and little.
I was answering the phone, and at some point let me see I just did the basic clerical work, but at some point, I started keeping the books. It was a little more entailed than just answering the phone and doing paperwork. I had to go to the trustee meeting and record the meeting because a copy of the minutes had to go to whomever we were getting the money from. I was in the office at the beginning by myself at the beginning. Mr. Sheridan, Fred Free and Bo Jim and Calvin they were in and out. Fred Free was a little white man that was there helping us, and Mr. Sheridan, I am not sure what his title was, but he was helping us too. He said, “he never seen a city where the stores all closed down on Wednesday.” He said, “What’s up, why all the stores closed on Wednesday?” He was a nice looking old man.
Well, the sewing plant started off at the Springfield Log Cabin (old school building) but move to a new building. You know how you have pictures on shirts? It’s called silk screening. They had a long tray like something like a table, maybe two feet longer than a regular dining room table and they use to somehow print those pictures. Then we sent those pants and stuff that they were making back up there to Sears. It’s a picture of me and Gay, at your mama’s house, standing beside a car with the Smith boys and the pants I had on was made at the plant. They were like those stretchy pants, and we made those fishnet stockings, and we made jackets. They were real good, but folks were stealing like crazy. I didn’t have any idea they were stealing.
Con(cousin) Martha worked over there, Virginia Meadows, Bert Wynn, ah cause Bert and Ollie Bell use to do something after the stuff got made, ah Louise Sigman ah some girls from Washington were over there two and Franklin Manago. They had a store where you could buy the products. Calvin Turner also tried to have a credit union people would borrow money just to be borrowing. That kind of money adds up. Working at the building was kind of fun. It was close to the house, and people use to come stay with me to work at the factory.
I love talking to my Aunt Annie she is so descriptive, and I am always impressed by the things she remembers…It sounds as though the old schoolhouse has a lot of history. Until next time…Be encouraged.
|Posted on September 20, 2016 at 10:40 AM||comments (1210)|
It must have been 1964 cause I wore the same outfit twice, you know we wore our dressed twice for the prom. I was in 11th grade, and I just didn’t have any money for a prom dress. Daddy was the type, he wanted you to go to school and get an education He wasn't particular about you going to the prom. I had a date. “I asked her for her date’s name.” Look we're not putting all that anywhere, I had a date, and that was that.
I heard this guy all the time on the radio, he was a DJ, and I wrote to him and asked him if he would have a dance for me, and he said yes and he told me what my cut would be and ah, I guess he gave me all the tickets to sell too. I put up flyers about the dance and, of course, he announced it. I forgot how much money I actually made, but I made enough money to go to Atlanta, and I bought myself a prom dress, and I stopped in Greensboro and bought a pair of shoes. I bought whatever I needed to wear to the prom.
“What type of dress was this, I asked?” It was a pretty pink dress with like a cowl kind of collar that went around to the back and had a flap and a train like going down my back kind of when I walked. It was kind of flair tail; it wasn’t long. It looked so pretty. I stopped in Greensboro and bought me some white sling back shoes. I thought I was dressed up. I may have a picture here somewhere.
She asks her sister if she remembers the dress. She does. It was a pretty little pink dress. I caught the bus and came back home the next day. All that was part of the money I made from the dance (at the old Springfield School Building). Let me see! I don’t know how I got from Greensboro to Crawfordville. Somebody may have come and picked me up. You know mamma may have had a car, but I caught daddy to Atlanta (Daddy worked for Hasting Seed Company and came home on weekends). I don’t know who took me shopping, but I know I went downtown Atlanta shopping. I guess some of my sister-in-laws or someone up there took me, and after I got what I needed I guess daddy or someone took me back to the bus, and I came back to Crawfordville that Monday or Tuesday.
The prom was in Crawfordville, and the dance was at the old school(Springfield). At that time, we were just using the school we weren’t paying nobody to use it. We just used it. Aaron (her older brother was a DJ) probably had a key because they had dances from time to time. They use to have meetings there, the men’s club, so Aaron probably had a key. Aaron was probably there with me because I was a teenager, 16 or 17 years old, and he stood at the door and all with me so no one could take advantage of me. We had a good time at the prom both years that I went.
We wore the same dress to the prom we didn’t have to have a different dress like these kids today. We had one prom dress, and that was it. You know I was nice and trim and looked good in it. We had some good times in the country. I enjoyed going to the dances that was one of the places mom would let me go. I guess she felt like Aaron was down there and he’d protect me. I wasn’t wild I just liked to dance, it was good exercise. I didn’t hang around outside. I just enjoyed the dance.