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Losing the Little Red Brick Schoolhouse

As this is a work in progress, this is a very incomplete list of school buildings severely damaged or destroyed while still active (not that it will ever be complete). Most are by fire, though the odd tornado or flood has been destructive. If before 1970, assume the schools to be white unless noted.

Fire was once an ever-present threat to schools as most were wooden structures. Both wooden and brick schools also lacked modern heating and many were kept warm by coal stoves. If it weren't the schools themselves, it was the gyms, which almost universally were wooden until the 1950s.

Most information below comes out of contemporary newspapers.

Note: Nearly all pre-1900 reports state that arson was the reason for the school burning. Few include any evidence, so the reality of each situation is unknown. There could have been angry groups of school haters in every corner of the state or it could be that the quickly-built wooden structures just weren't very fireproof.

  • February 5, 1825 - "We learn by a letter from Riceborough, written on Tuesday, that on the Saturday night preceding, the Academy at the Sand Hills, was destroyed by fire, with a considerable number of books." (Georgian (Savannah), Feb. 10, 1825)

  • October 30, 1866 - The loss of equipment was valued at $400 when Everett Springs Academy in Floyd County burned. Arson was suspected. (Macon Weekly Telegraph, Nov. 5, 1866)

  • March 16, 1870 - "The female school building burned in Columbus on Wednesday, was insured for $2,500, and the policy expired just fifteen hours after its destruction." (Macon Weekly Telegraph, March 22, 1870)

  • April 18, 1870 - Butler Male and Female Academy lost to a fire. Nothing was saved. (Macon Weekly Telegraph, April 26, 1870)

  • c. April 1876 - "The school house near Powder Springs in which Mr. Moon taught school was burned lately by an incendiary." (Carroll County Times, Apr. 28, 1876)

  • May 15, 1876 - The proper name of the city school of Blackshear is unknown, its loss to a blaze was estimated at $800-900. Arson was supposed. A second report in a letter to the Savannah Morning News accused a nine-year-old. The writer, identified only as "B," wrote of various crimes in the town and how they were the work of "the growing evil among children of the present generation." (Savannah Morning News, May 16 and May 20, 1876)

  • December 14, 1876 - Lewis High an African-American school in Macon, was destroyed by fire. Some furniture was saved. (Atlanta Daily Constitution, Dec. 15, 1876)

  • February 20, 1878 - Beach Institute of Savannah burned. It's likely the same school that today survives as Beach High. (Savannah Morning News)

  • December 21, 1881 - Kerosene was said to be poured on the floor, then lit, in the blaze that burned the high school at Snow Springs in Dooly County. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Dec. 23, 1881)

  • February 12, 1884 - Vienna Institute, still under construction, burned. By the sound of the story, the building at this point might have just consisted of a pile of lumber. Or a pile of lumber adjacent to a more substantial building being erected. (Macon Weekly Telegraph, Feb. 15, 1884)

  • February 11, 1885 - Atlanta's Crew Street Public School was lost to a fire with the building valued at $15,000. Six hundred children were left without a school building. (Newnan Herald, Feb. 17, 1885)

  • May 2, 1885 - The school was lost to fire at Johnsonville (likely the one in Monroe County) and arson was suspected. (Macon Weekly Telegraph, May 8, 1885)

  • September 15, 1887 - A name was not given to the Baptist-controlled African-American school in Cuthbert that burned to the ground. (Macon Telegraph, Sept. 16, 1887)

  • c. September 1887 - A lamp too near curtains was said the cause of a fire that burned down the African-American school located on S.D. Hight's planatation, apparently near Covington. Closing exercises were going on at the time. (Macon Telegraph, Oct. 1, 1887)

  • November 17, 1887 - An unnamed school in Montezuma, referred to in an article as just "the Institute," was destroyed by fire. A piano, a few desks and a few books were saved. The school was on Railroad Street. (Macon Telegraph, Nov. 18, 1887)

  • June 17, 1889 - Fire claimed Marshallville School. (Macon Telegraph, June 18, 1889)

  • January 1890 - The African-American Bass Academy, located between Sparta and a community called Dixie, was a fire victim. The story's dateline is Jan. 18, but the edition is labeled as Jan. 14 in newspaper archives. (Macon Telegraph, Jan. 14, 1890)

  • December 2, 1890 - Fire was discovered around midnight at Stewart Academy in Lumpkin. It was too late to save the building and everything inside was lost. It was insured for $1,500. Arson was blamed, though the article admitted that the fire's source had not been discovered. (Americus Recorder, Dec. 5, 1890)

  • March 3, 1892 - McIntosh Academy in Darien was said to have been finished in October 1891. The city would be looking for a new one after a blaze five months later. Locals were convinced it was intentionally set after a rash of fires in the area. (Macon Weekly Telegraph, March 9, 1892)

  • April 16, 1893 - School was probably going to be out for a few months after a blaze took down Wayside School, said to be three miles southeast of Cusseta. A new building was already proposed to replace the old one, with the term predicted to start July 1. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, April 19, 1893)

  • January 15, 1895 - A faulty stove flue was possibly the reason that Washington Institute in Linton burned. It was owned by the Washington Association of the Baptist Church. (Ishmaelite, Jan. 18, 1895)

  • March 22, 1897 - Striking at about 8 a.m., a tornado hit Arlington Academy, in the town of the same name. The building collapsed and was said to kill nine children who had gone inside, seeking shelter.

  • July 3, 1897 - Quitman school burned. (Macon Telegraph, July 4, 1897)

  • December 14, 1897 - Nothing is spared when fire swept through the two-story Park High in LaGrange. The building was owned by two of the teachers (both surnamed Park), who had purchased it from the city. The article said it was the worst fire in some time in LaGrange. (Athens Daily Banner, Dec. 15, 1897)

  • December 16, 1899 - Fire costs the main building at Chatham Academy (Savannah High). There had been many recent attempts, it was said, to burn city schools. (Macon Telegraph, Dec. 17, 1899)

  • November 30, 1901 - The African-American Fort Valley High and Industrial was lost to fire. The building was said partially insured. (Atlanta Constitution, Dec. 2, 1901)

  • c. March 1902 - Fire destroyed Meda School, spelled as Meeta in an article, in Putnam County. (Macon Telegraph, March 23, 1902)

  • March 21, 1902 - The loss of Meigs High was said to have cost $2,800. It was taken down by a fire, after having been insured for $1,500. (Thomasville Daily Times-Enterprise, Mar. 22, 1902)

  • March 11, 1904 - Students and faculty were able to make an escape from the blazing Samuel Benedict Memorial a boarding school just outside of Cedartown. Unfortunately, the fire struck at night and nearly all were in their night clothes and lost all possessions in their dormitories. The school itself was also a total loss. As was the norm, the building was not insured. Samuel Benedict would be rebuilt. Vanishing Georgia has a photograph of the original school from c. 1900. (Atlanta Constitution, Mar. 13, 1904)

  • November 19, 1904 - Cause unknown for a fire that wiped out the new school at Lumber City. (Atlanta Constitution, Nov. 20, 1904)

  • January 26, 1905 - While insurance was reported to only cover $2,500 of an estimated $4,500 loss, it was expected that Hampton school in Henry County would be rebuilt immediately after a fire. While the blaze occurred during the school day, no one was injured and they were able to remove a few desks and a piano from the building. (Atlanta Constitution, Jan. 27, 1905)

  • October 24, 1905 - The start of the fall term at Midville School was not a good one. The building burned to the ground that day. It was thought that perhaps a spark from a stove pipe caught the ceiling. (Augusta Chronicle, Oct. 26, 1905)

  • April 8, 1906 - Samuel Benedict Memorial near Cedartown lost its main building again in a fire. No fire had been lit in the building in a week and it was supposed a dropped match or cigarette was the culprit. A few bits of furniture were saved. Insurance was said to cover most of the damage. (Atlanta Constitution, Apr. 10, 1906)

  • October 14, 1906 - The black public school building at Moultrie, a frame structure that was formerly the white school, burned down. The building was valued at $5,000. (Macon Telegraph, Oct. 15, 1906)

  • January 24, 1907 - The historical photos site, Vanishing Georgia, has a few pictures of Hartwell with smoke billowing through its wooden frame. No doubt it was destroyed. Date is courtesy Vanishing Georgia/Georgia's Virtual Vault. The Jan. 25, 1907 Macon Telegraph added that the "pianos and fixtures were saved, but badly damaged."

  • February 22, 1907 - Coal sparked a fire that cost the school at Sandy Creek in Fayette County. All contents were lost. The March 1, 1907 Fayetteville News carried a caution at the end of its story: "Let us be careful about fire in our public buildings."

  • September 30, 1907 - Ebenezer High, near or in Dudley, burned. It was said to have been run by the Ebenezer Baptist Association. Opinion was split on whether it was an accident or intentionally set. Dudley's Baptist church was to temporarily house the school. (Macon Telegraph, Oct. 2, 1907)

  • December 19, 1907 - The chimney flue is blamed for starting the fire that destroyed Alexander Stephens Institute in Crawfordville. All equipment, including a piano and some new desks were lost. (Atlanta Georgian and News, Dec. 21, 1907)

  • September 26, 1908 - "Night riders," individuals who sought under the cover of darkness to intimidate African-Americans, were said responsible for a great deal of damage in the southeastern part of the state. They burned several schools in Baker, Miller and Calhoun counties, including (but probably not limited to) school/church combinations of Mount Zion, Pleasant Hill, Christ Church, Little Zion, Mount Aetna and New Salem (as well as Belmont Church). Several lynchings were also said to have taken place recently in the area. (Athens Banner, Oct. 2, 1908)

  • November 30, 1908 - Dorminey Hill School, said to be 10 miles south of Hawkinsville, burned and a man was arrested on suspicion of burning it. The Pulaski County sheriff said he and a posse rounded up the suspect because "he was known to be hostile to the school." (Augusta Chronicle, Dec. 1, 1908)

  • January 28, 1909 - It was believed that a spark falling on the roof from the building of morning fires caused the fire that burned the school at Thomson. The adjoining music room was also burned, but a piano and violin were saved. School was expected to resume four days later, though a location had not been secured. (Augusta Chronicle, Jan. 29, 1909)

  • February 27, 1909 - Fire burned down both buildings and the auditorium of R.E. Lee in Thomaston. (Augusta Chronicle, Feb. 28, 1909)

  • April 25, 1909 - People are said to strongly believe that the blaze that destroyed Bethel school in Chattooga County was purposefully set. It was reported as the second time Bethel had been burned in four years. No insurance was carried on the building. (Atlanta Constitution, Apr. 26, 1909)

  • February 12, 1910 - The main building of Ballard Normal School in Macon was severely damaged by a fire believed to have emanated from a stove pipe. Ballard, then private, was one of the few African-American schools in Macon at that time. (Atlanta Constitution, Feb. 14, 1910)

  • January 9, 1911 - Faulty flue believed to have caused a blaze that took out Glennville High. (Atlanta Georgian and News, Jan. 10, 1911)

  • March 22, 1911 - Tenth District A&M (also known as Sparta A&M or Granite Hill A&M) lost its main building in a blaze. The building was estimated at $25,000, but said to only be partially insured. (Atlanta Constitution, Mar. 23, 1911)

  • April 25, 1911 - Citizens were looking at an estimated $13,000-$14,000 loss when flames swept through the left wing of Norwood school in Warren County, but thankfully had insured the building for the full amount. Some furniture was also saved from the school. Students were to be taught in the city hall until it was rebuilt. (Atlanta Constitution, Apr. 27, 1911)

  • August 21, 1911 - An unnamed eight-room African-American school on Glade Road in Columbus was burned. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Aug. 23, 1911)

  • December 7, 1911 - No insurance was carried on Pavo High, built for about $10,000 three years ago, but citizens immediately tried to secure material to build a new one after it was hit by fire. (Macon Telegraph, Dec. 10, 1911)

  • November 20, 1912 - Calm in the face of chaos was credited with saving the 53 girls boarding at St. Joseph's Academy in Washington when their dorm caught fire in the middle of the night. The fire spread to other buildings on campus, destroying them, too. The library's books were saved as well as records. (Augusta Chronicle, Nov. 21, 1912)

  • February 27, 1913 - A tornado ripped through middle Georgia, causing substantial damage. Bridges School, near Cordele collapsed, trapping 40 students. Five were said to be severely injured. Students of Hopewell School, four miles from Milledgeville in Baldwin County, caught a lucky break; their school was said blown off its foundation and over the heads of 25 students. Only a few were said to suffer bruises. (Atlanta Constitution, Feb. 28, 1913)

  • September 28, 1913 - Fire destroyed St. Paul's Parish and Industrial School, an African-American school located at 241 Auburn Avenue in Atlanta. Cause was unknown. The church's rector, A. Eustice Day, said he feared that classes would have to take place outside unless someone donated a building. (Atlanta Constitution, Sept. 29, 1913)

  • May 10, 1914 - Hall County's Huckleberry School burns, with a cause unknown at that time. The building was not insured. (Athens Daily Herald, May 12, 1914)

  • May 13, 1914 - Dallas High completely lost to fire, an estimated loss of $12,000. (Atlanta Constitution, May 15, 1914)

  • November 4, 1914 - Fire guts one of the buildings comprising Adair Street School in Valdosta. Students were able to continue going to classes, albeit in double sessions, in the other buildings. Cause was believed questionable at the time. (Atlanta Constitution, Nov. 5, 1914)

  • November 18, 1914 - Police were asked to investigate the origin of the fire that demolished Howell Station School in west Fulton County. The temporary home for the displaced students was described as a "shanty with two small rooms," located at Church and Longley streets. Boxes and water buckets were said to be serving as chairs. (Atlanta Constitution, Nov. 20, 1914)

  • January 5, 1915 - Conyers school destroyed by flames, but the outcome could have been much worse for the city. The fire department was able to halt the blaze, which was threatening 12-15 homes. Though a home had not been secured for the students, it had already been determined that they would start to classes again on January 11. (Atlanta Constitution, Jan. 7, 1915)

  • February 1915 - Scott school in Thomas County burned. School was in session at the time of the blaze and the teacher and students as well as some passers-by were able to grab quite a haul. They were said to have saved desks and books and even the doors and windows. (Thomasville Daily Times-Enterprise, Feb. 25, 1915)

  • March 9, 1915 - Adair Street School in Valdosta had been quickly rebuilt after a fire in November 1914. Valdostans were now certain, it was said, that this one was intentional, as the alarm for the fire had been sounded in another part of the city (or the box had registered the incorrect district, they admitted they weren't sure). The hastily built school was two stories tall. The time wasted by the misdirection cost them the top one. (Atlanta Constitution, Mar. 11, 1915)

  • April 6, 1915 - The administrative building of Third District A&M (Americus A&M) was claimed by fire. Origin was unknown and insurance was carried in the amount of $8,000. (Columbus Ledger, Apr. 9, 1915)

  • November 14, 1915 - Piedmont Institute, the public school at Rockmart, was lost to a fire. (Atlanta Constitution, Nov. 15, 1915)

  • December 9, 1915 - The locals believed they had a case of arson when Mystic school is lost to fire. Books and a piano are reported among the losses. The building was not insured. (Tifton Gazette, Dec. 10, 1915)

  • December 10, 1915 - Fayette County's Brooks School, apparently located on or beside the property of J.C. Woods, burned. Other non-school buildings were saved. Believing the loss to be arson, area authorities brought in tracking dogs from Newnan and they followed a trail for a half-mile. (Fayetteville News, Dec. 17, 1915)

  • December 15, 1915 - Nothing recovered after a fire destroyed Emanuel County's Stillmore High. (Atlanta Constitution, Dec. 16, 1915)

  • January 19, 1916 - Warrenton High burns during the school day, but the students were said to be calm and following proper fire drill procedure. Only two pianos were saved. The fire was said to have started in the furnace. (Atlanta Constitution, Jan. 20, 1916)

  • January 21, 1916 - Eatonton School, including two annexes were lost in a fire whose origins were unknown. Damage was estimated at $10,000. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Jan. 21, 1916)

  • March 22, 1916 - Photo showing ruins of the all girls Tubman High in Augusta, hollowed out by a fire. Date is from Vanishing Georgia.

  • April 10, 1916 - For the second time in a day, fire was noticed at Reynolds High. The first had been seemingly put out by bucket brigade. It was assumed that the fire that claimed it was a continuation of the first. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Apr. 11, 1916)

  • August 2, 1916 - Fort Valley School was severely damaged by a blaze, believed to have started in the basement. Major renovations were predicted, with much of it said to be smoke damage to the walls. (Columbus Ledger, Aug. 3, 1916)

  • November 1916 - "The Powell school house, located in the Nelly district, in the lower end of [Telfair] county, was burned to the ground a few nights ago." There was suspicion that it was deliberately set because of the school's location; another community wanted it moved closer. (Macon Telegraph, Nov. 12, 1916)

  • November 30, 1916 - In Whitfield County, no one is sure what caused the fire at Center Post. The building did not have a stove and the school term had yet to start, so a careless child seemed unlikely to be responsible. No insurance was carried, with the school estimated at a value of $900. (North Georgia Citizen, Nov. 30, 1916)

  • February 20, 1917 - The roof at Cobb County's Mount Olivet caught fire and destroyed the school. While trying to put out the flames, the teacher, Albert Adair, was said to have fallen off the roof and broken his leg. School was currently being held in a vacant house. The fire was said to happen "last Tuesday" and could have possibly been Feb. 13. (Cobb County Times, Feb. 22, 1917)

  • November 6, 1917 - Oak Hill, a small school in rural Thomas County, burned down during noon recess. The fire was first noticed in the building's loft. (Thomasville Daily Times-Enterprise, Nov. 7, 1917)

  • April 1918 - Hodges School burned in Clarke County. The school was described as being "a good structure." It was partially covered by insurance. (Athens Banner, April 9, 1918)

  • June 16, 1918 - A Dooly County school - likely Tippettville - was destroyed in a windstorm. Sunday School classes were taking place at that time in the building. There was at least one fatality. (The report from the June 17, 1918 Macon Telegraph said the storm took place in the "Tibbettville" section of the county.)

  • February 19, 1919 - The roof and second floor of the new Cedartown High were destroyed by fire. Firemen battling the blaze were hampered by the school's windows, which refused to break for the streams produced by the firehoses or by bricks thrown at them. The fire was believed accidentally set by "the fellows who make a practice of breaking into buildings to get a secluded place in which to drink and gamble." (Cedartown Standard, Feb. 27, 1919)

  • April 3, 1919 - Fire destroyed Lithonia High's three-story building. Insurance said to cover $4,000 of the $10,000 loss. The cause was believed to be faulty wiring. (Macon Telegraph, Apr. 6, 1919)

  • August 6, 1919 - Midway, a school located appropriately midway between Columbus and Buena Vista in Muscogee County was found burning and within two days, two men were under arrest, accused of starting it. The men were also accused of being connected with previous fires at Double Churches community (including a school) and several school buildings in Georgia. (Atlanta Constitution, Aug. 8, 1919)

  • March 4, 1920 - Origin of a fire was suspect at the African-American school, Little River, in the Qullians district in Hall County. The school, which was completely burned, was said near where houses had been shot into recently and county authorities were said to be making a thorough investigation. (Gainesville News, March 10, 1920)

  • May 19, 1920 - Cave Spring's Hearn School lost to fire. (Cedartown Standard, May 20, 1920)

  • June 14, 1920 - Two Grady County schools of unknown name, but located north of Whigham caught fire within minutes of one another. They were located two miles apart. Belief was that it had something to do with disagreements on consolidation. (Macon Telegraph, June 16, 1920

  • November 18, 1920 - A blaze just after school began cost Dearing School. The children were said to be happy at first, until a teacher called them over to a nearby church and continued classes that same day. Some insurance was carried. (Macon Telegraph, Nov. 19, 1920)

  • c. February 10, 1921 - New Forest School in Coffee County, said to have burned "a night or two ago." There was no insurance. A church was expected to house the students for the rest of the term. (Macon Telegraph, Feb. 12, 1921)

  • April 8, 1921 - A carelessly tossed cigarette was believed to be the culprit in the fire that left Montezuma High without a home. No injuries were reported, which was fortunate as students from Montezuma and Cordele had been involved in a debate only an hour before the fire was discovered. (Americus Times-Recorder, Apr. 14, 1921)

  • October 4, 1921 - School at Cairo burned. Students are soon set up in a hastily constructed building. The new structure costs $3,500 to build and was insured for $2,500. (Thomasville Daily Times-Enterprise, Nov. 3, 1921)

  • October 4, 1921 - The 25 classrooms and 1,200-seat auditorium at R.E. Lee in Thomaston were lost to fire. (Augusta Chronicle, Oct. 5, 1921)

  • October 21, 1921 - The small consolidated Thompson High, located southwest of Americus lost its three-room structure to a blaze believed caused by a malfunctioning chimney flue. Though the fire happened during school hours, no one was injured and most of the equipment was rescued, including window shades. An area church volunteered to house the students until a new school was built. One was expected to be ready in about a month. (Americus Times-Recorder, Oct. 22, 1921)

  • November 2, 1921 - Local officials strongly felt they had a case of arson, as now the temporary structure that was set up to house Cairo's students was destroyed by fire. A reward was being offered for the discovery of the guilty party. The Bainbridge paper seemed to indicate that classes had not started there yet as the building was not quite finished, but equipment had been installed. (Thomasville Daily Times-Enterprise, Nov. 3, 1921; Bainbridge Post-Search Light, Nov. 3, 1921)

  • November 28, 1922 - Two children were killed and many others injured in a fire that consumed the school in the community of High Point in Newton County. Several of injured children had broken bones, as a teacher fearing the children were trapped in an upstairs classroom, picked up and dropped 40 of them out of a window, a height of 20 feet. Out of that day's attendance of 99, 38 were said injured. (St. Petersburg (Fla.) Independent, Nov. 29, 1922)

  • April 29, 1923 - Johnson County's Price School was demolished in a windstorm. (Macon Telegraph, Apr. 30, 1923)

  • December 12, 1923 - It was believed the fire that cost Sylvania County Millhaven School started on the front porch during the school day. It quickly spread and blocked off the inside stairs, but luckily the school had recently thought to construct an outdoor staircase. No injuries were reported. (Macon Telegraph, Dec. 16, 1923)

  • January 7, 1924 - Poplar Springs Industrial, reported as being eight miles from Dublin, burned. Male students were able to go inside and grab desks, equipment and library books. Poplar Springs Baptist Church was housing the school in the aftermath. (Macon Telegraph, Jan. 9, 1924)

  • April 4, 1924 - A faulty chimney flue was considered the culprit in a fire that destroyed the school at Godfrey in Morgan County. The building was said partially insured. (Eatonton Messenger, April 11, 1924)

  • May 2, 1924 - A late-night fire demolished Arlington High. Library books and some equipment were said to be saved. When school resumed that fall, a temporary structure, built for less than $1,300, was in use. (Macon Telegraph, May 4, 1924 and Sept. 5, 1924)

  • August 21, 1924 - An unnamed black school in the southern part of Colquitt County was burned and authorities believed it was because of a flare-up in race relations. A school was said to have been burned at the same location within the last year. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Aug. 23, 1924)

  • October 25, 1924 - St. John, an African-American school in the Barretts community of Lowndes County, was lost to fire. (Macon Telegraph, Oct. 27, 1924)

  • November 10, 1924 - The brand new Statesboro High & Industrial, an African-American school went down to a blaze that was noticed just after midnight. The fire was said to start on the second story of the old building, but spread quickly to the new one. A dormitory was saved. The Rosenwald Database said a new building went up during th 1925-26 school year. The database also has a picture of the school that burned. (Bulloch Times and Statesboro News, Nov. 13, 1924)

  • November 21, 1924 - Cause was undetermined at the time for the fire that claimed Concord High in Pike County. (Atlanta Constitution, Nov. 22, 1924)

  • March 2, 1925 - An overheated stove was theorized as the cause of the fire that burned down the wooden Yatesville High. All students and teachers were evacuated, but almost everything else was destroyed. Word had also gotten to Butler that a neighboring house also burned. (Butler Herald, March 5, 1925)

  • March 11, 1925 - A World War Memorial Association in Decatur County journeyed down to Bell-Dixon Consolidated School to collect donations. When they arrived, they found students gathered around their teacher outside, having lessons near the burned remains of their building. Seems it had caught fire a few days earlier. Rats were blamed for starting the fire. Some equipment was saved. The school was planning to continue outside until a new brick building was constructed. (Macon Telegraph, March 14, 1925)

  • September 4, 1925 - A Rosenwald school for African-Americans was built in c. 1924 in Gordon, but it was claimed by fire a year later. The online Rosenwald database does not record the fund helping to build another school, though it was rebuilt. (Macon Telegraph, Sept. 5, 1925)

  • November 24, 1925 - African-American school in Clarke County community of Helican Springs (though name of school is unknown) said to have burned. A brick building said to have just been finished was its replacement. Though no date was given for the previous school burning except it being "about a year ago," the Rosenwald School Database has two for Clarke County that fit quite nicely. This was probably the original school, the date given for its loss as November 24, 1925. Though not stated, this brick building had to be its replacement. (Athens Banner-Herald, Oct. 21, 1926; fire date from Fisk University's Rosenwald School Database)

  • February 11, 1926 - The cause was unknown in the fire that demolished the school at Adrian. All equipment at the school was said to be lost. (Macon Telegraph, Feb. 13, 1926)

  • April 1, 1926 - Fire destroyed Nacoochee Institute in Sautee. It was likely that the dormitory was to be rearranged to hold classes while still being used as sleeping quarters. (Augusta Chronicle, Apr. 5, 1926)

  • December 5, 1926 - A burning woodpile was blamed for the blaze that took out Wacona Consolidated, near Waycross. Though on a Sunday, a singing convention was taking place in the building at the time. No injuries were reported. (Macon Telegraph, Dec. 7, 1926)

  • January 7, 1927 - Brewton School, near Dublin, burned at a loss of an estimated $30,000. The fire was believed to have started in the furnace room. No one was injured and much of the school equipment was reported saved. (Macon Telegraph, Jan. 8, 1927)

  • April 9, 1927 - The cause was unknown for the fire that destroyed the main building of State Teachers and Agricultural College, an African-American school in Forsyth. (Macon Telegraph, Apr. 10, 1927)

  • October 1927 - The fire started on the roof and the three-room Pine Bloom in Mitchell County was soon burned down. (Macon Telegraph, Oct. 23, 1927)

  • November 14, 1927 - Another Mitchell County school burned. On this occasion, it was Laney School. It was said to burn during the school day. No word was given on potential injuries. (Butler Herald, Nov. 17, 1927)

  • April 19, 1928 - A conflagration said to be caused by a blowtorch results in the main building of Ninth District A&M (Clarkesville A&M) being reduced to rubble. Some 350 students were housed there as well as in dining halls and administrative rooms and classrooms. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Apr. 19, 1928)

  • April 23, 1928 - The wooden Glenn Institute, an African-American school in Barnesville, was reduced to ruins in a fire. Arson was suspected. Plans were to hold school sessions in a nearby church. Enrollment was said to be 300. (Macon Telegraph, April 24, 1928)

  • May 11, 1928 - Mystic School in Irwin County burned. School had already closed for summer. Some insurance was carried and plans had already been in the works to build a new school. (Macon Telegraph, May 12, 1928)

  • September 13, 1928 - The wooden Siloam school in Greene County lost to a fire. Vanishing Georgia has a picture of the structure before the blaze. (Athens Banner-Herald, Sept. 16, 1928)

  • January 9, 1929 - The gym at Monroe A&M (Fifth District A&M) burned in a fire of undetermined origin. It was valued at $8,000 with $2,500 carried. The gym was said to have been built by students. (Macon Telegraph, Jan. 11, 1929)

  • March 18, 1929 - Herring School, located four miles west of Doerun in Colquitt County, burned during the school day. A faulty stove flue was said to be its cause. Some furniture was saved. (The Sylvester Local, March 21, 1929)

  • June 1, 1929 - Months after the loss of their gymnasium, the main building of Fifth District A&M (Monroe A&M) burned, believed to have been caused by lightning. Students were on break, leaving only faculty and workers to battle the flames, which they could only do by bucket brigade. (Macon Telegraph, June 2, 1929)

  • October 24, 1929 - No injuries were reported when the four-room Smith High in the Twiggs County town of Dry Branch went up in flames. A faulty flue was deemed responsible. (Macon Telegraph, Oct. 26, 1929)

  • December 18, 1929 - Unionville, an African-American school in Macon, was lost to an early a.m. blaze. (Macon Telegraph, Dec. 18, 1929)

  • February 22, 1930 - The two-year-old consolidated Marvin Yancey School in Toombs County was lost in a blaze. It was believed to have been deliberately set. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Feb. 22, 1930)

  • February 23, 1930 - Tifton High's gym burns. It had been scheduled to host part of the district tournament, but the loss meant that games were played across town at the school now known as ABAC. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Feb. 25, 1930)

  • March 10, 1930 - Fire gutted Metter Grammar School during school hours, but with no injuries as students had left for lunch. (Macon Telegraph, March 11, 1930)

  • April 12, 1930 - Someone's careless extinguishing of a fire was blamed for the fire that claimed Hearnville School, located in Putnam County. It was called a "splendid three-room building." (Eatonton Messenger, April 17, 1930)

  • April 30, 1930 - A blaze of undetermined source burned Quitman Grammar. It was noticed around midnight. Fire escapes were said to have been only installed the day before with the first fire drill planned for the day of its demise. Insurance totaling $66,000 was carried on the school. (Macon Telegraph, May 1, 1930)

  • November 16, 1931 - Some insurance was reported to be carried on the African-American Hodges School in Wilkes County after it was lost to flames. (Macon Telegraph, Nov. 17, 1931)

  • November 19, 1931 - School was out for at least a few days in Tifton. Tifton High was reported damaged in a fire, one the Nov. 26 Sylvester Local said was the third "serious" one to strike it in "recent years." No cause was determined. The building, erected in 1917, kept surviving and is still standing.

  • February 22, 1932 - Hahira High burns, with an estimated loss of $25,000, against an insurance policy of $10,000. Cause was undetermined at that time. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Feb. 22, 1932)

  • May 27, 1932 - Firefighters were alerted at about 1 a.m. to a fire at Fletcherville, an elementary school in Thomasville. While the brick shell held, nearly every classroom suffered extensive damage. The flames did not spread to the roof and it stayed intact. First through third grade were dismissed for the year, while grades 4-6 finished out the term at East Side Elementary. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, May 28, 1932)

  • May 27, 1932 - While Fletcherville burned, firemen noticed a light emanating from nearby Dewey City, which housed African-American students in Thomasville. They arrived too late, though, as the two-story, 12-room building could not be helped. The twin fires were believed connected and deliberately set. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, May 28, 1932)

  • September 5, 1932 - The nine-room Danville High was a loss to flames. No insurance was carried. (Macon Telegraph, Sept. 6, 1932)

  • December 8, 1932 - A very early morning fire claimed Miller County High. All equipment and books were destroyed. Insurance was said to cover just the cost of the building. No decision had been made as to where to house students. (Macon Telegraph, Dec. 9, 1932)

  • November 27, 1933 - The Taylor County-based Cooper's School, an African-American institute located at New Providence Baptist Church, burned during school hours. The pews and blackboard were saved. (Butler Herald, Nov. 30, 1933)

  • July 12, 1934 - Flames claimed the brick Wrightsville High. (Butler Herald, July 19, 1934)

  • September 1935 - Johnson County's Monte School burned. Students were slated to go to the brand new Wrightsville High. It was reported that within two years, Monte was the fourth county school to burn, following Union, Wrightsville and Kite. (Macon Telegraph, Sept. 22, 1935)

  • Spring 1936 - A tornado destroyed Williford School in eastern Crisp County. It was slated to be rebuilt once insurance money arrived. (Butler Herald, April 23, 1936)

  • July 1, 1936 - Macon's Green Street School, serving African-Americans, lost its two-story building in a fire. Plans were to build a smaller building and temporarily sending some students to the old Pleasant Hill School, which had been slated for demolition. (Macon Telegraph, July 4, 1936)

  • July 19, 1936 - Fire destroyed Dawson Street Grammar in LaGrange. Arson was suspected. December of $25,000 was carried, though the building cost $40,000. Police were reported to have said one of the doors had been forced open when they discovered the fire and arson was suspected. (Augusta Chronicle and Columbus Daily Enquirer, July 20, 1936)

  • December 7, 1936 - The elementary portion of Laurens County's Lovett school was the cost of a blaze of undetermined origin. (Macon Telegraph, Dec. 9, 1936)

  • December 12, 1936 - Only a few typewriters were saved when Monroe High went up in flames. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Dec. 14, 1936)

  • December 13, 1936 - Though Braswell School, located just south of Madison lost all of its building in a blaze, "none of the students were injured and practically all equipment was saved, including some furniture." The stove flue is said to have sparked the roof. The school was said to have been built around 1860. A nearby home was being used as a temporary school. (The Madisonian, Dec. 18, 1936)

  • February 4, 1937 - The belief that students hate school is not a recent one. When McDuffie County's Dearing High was reduced to rubble by a blaze, an article expressed shock that students actually cried over the loss, which was estimated at $60,000. Perhaps the students remembered what initial happiness did for them in 1920. Classes were scheduled to be resumed in vacant stores and churches. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Feb. 5, 1937)

  • March 12, 1937 - When Ebenezer School in Crisp County caught fire, it seemed that the only thing lost was the building. Teachers and students were reported to saved all the supplies and several desks. (Macon Telegraph, Mar. 14, 1937)

  • July 1937 - The six-room African-American school at Quitman, presumably Brooks, was lost to a blaze of unknown origin. It was said to be insured for $4,500. Plans were to replace it with a 10-room building, costing approximately $12-16,000. (Macon Telegraph, July 17, 1937)

  • c. October 1937 - An unnamed black school in Stewart County, was destroyed by flames. Classes were currently being taught at County Line Baptist Church. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Oct. 20, 1937)

  • October 22, 1937 - Under the belief that they were practicing a fire drill, students at Fayetteville Grammar dutifully walked outside. When they got outside, they saw that the school was actually burning. Smoke had been initially noticed in the basement. The building was a total loss. (Macon Telegraph, Oct. 23, 1937)

  • January 1938 - Dewey City High in Thomasville burned. It was replaced with a brick building in June. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, May 28, 1938)

  • February 3, 1938 - Fire destroyed the main building at Oak Park High in Emanuel County. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Feb. 4, 1938)

  • March 1, 1938 - Kennesaw's school burned. Citizens had raised enough to qualify for a loan to build a new structure in late August. (Marietta Journal, Aug. 30, 1938)

  • September 25, 1938 - Two men died as a result of a fire that destroyed Antioch School in Polk County. One body was found in the ruins, the other died in a hospital. The latter man told a deputy they left their car near the school to walk home. He said "they laid down beside a coal bin next to the school building and went to sleep, and the next thing he knew the building was afire." (Sept. 26, 1938 Macon Telegraph)

  • October 17, 1938 - In the days following the alleged confession of an African-American man to the murders of a white man and his daughter, violence erupted in Smyrna, several fires burned African-American homes, as well as the burning of the school, Bethal Elementary. The building was located off Roswell-Smyrna road and was two stories, with two rooms and 75 students. (Marietta Journal, Oct. 18, 1938 and Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Oct. 19, 1938)

  • November 12, 1938 - Half of Doerun school was a loss after a fire started in the chemistry lab. Damage was estimated at $40,000 and was believed to be covered by insurance. School would ultimately resume in the building and in 1950, The Atlanta Journal would rate it as one of the worst buildings in the state. (Augusta Chronicle, Nov. 13, 1938)

  • November 15, 1938 - In what would turn out to be a bad week for Laurens County schools, Montrose School burned. The loss was estimated at $20,000. (Macon Telegraph, Nov. 22, 1938)

  • November 21, 1938 - Laurens County's Brewton School was again a fire victim, with an estimated loss of $30,000. It was partially covered by insurance. The previous school had burned in 1927. (Macon Telegraph, Nov. 22, 1938)

  • December 2, 1938 - Fire claims Arnold's Institute, a rural school located a few miles west of Monroe. The loss was estimated at $1,000. Saved items included the teacher's desk and 10 other desks. In a rarity, the building was insured, but only for $800. School was being conducted in "the old Durden hompelace across the road from where the school house was located." (The Walton Tribune, Dec. 8, 1938)

  • December 5, 1938 - Winder High, a two-story brick structure, was lost to fire. The cause was said to be unknown. (The Walton Tribune, Dec. 8, 1938)

  • April 29, 1939 - Coolidge Consolidated School destroyed by fire. Cause was unknown. The school had been built to replace a previous Coolidge school, which had burned in about 1918. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, May 1, 1939)

  • November 4, 1939 - The cause of the fire that burned Floyd County's Model School was unknown. Insurance was carried at $46,000, but damage was estimated to be $70,000. Some equipment was saved, as well as the gymnasium. No water was available for firefighters near the property. (Butler Herald, Nov. 9, 1939)

  • January 7, 1940 - Pitts school burned, estimated at a loss of $55,000. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Jan. 9, 1940)

  • January 21, 1940 - A fire at a girls dormitory at the private African-American Boggs Academy in Burke County (which also was open for area students) killed one and injured seven. Twenty-seven teachers and students were housed in the building. The injured were being treated at University Hospital in Augusta. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Jan. 22, 1940)

  • January 29, 1940 - A fire originating in the boiler room of Effingham Academy in Springfield could not be contained and soon destroyed the building. Hundreds of firefighters were said to be at the scene, but could not do anything since cold weather had frozen all the pipes. The school's gymnasium survived. Effingham was built in 1937. It would not be the town's last run-in with school fires. (Macon Telegraph, Jan. 30, 1940)

  • March 3, 1940 - Sparta Agricultural and Industrial's main building burned, the second building to burn in a month. The structure at the African-American school was known as Drew Hall. (The Sparta Ishmaelite, March 7, 1940)

  • March 13, 1940 - The two-story Devereux School in Hancock County caught fire from a stove in the auditorium at 3 p.m. No students were reported injured. Some desks and furniture were saved. Only partial insurance was carried. (The Sparta Ishmaelite, March 21, 1940)

  • Late March 1940 - Hancock County's bad start to 1940 continued as the African-American St. Marks Methodist Church was badly damaged in a fire. St. Marks was being used at the time as a school after the Sparta A&I fires. (The Sparta Ishmaelite, April 4, 1940)

  • May 18, 1940 - Jersey High burned in a fire of undetermined origin. Nearly all of the equipment was lost. (Walton Tribune, May 24, 1940)

  • July 5, 1940 - Half of the four buildings at Winterville in Clarke County were lost to a fire. Gone were the vocational and grammar school, while the high school and gym survived. (Macon Telegraph, July 6, 1940)

  • January 12, 1941 - Quick community action could not stop the Sunday afternoon blaze in upper floor of the main building of Maxeys High in Oglethorpe County, but did result in the rest of the buildings being saved as well as some equipment on the bottom floor. The community was already well on their way to recovering while the fire still burned, thanks to a big donation from a resident. The cause of the fire was supposed to have been an electric wire between the two stories becoming bare, then sparking. Classes were being held in churches in the meantime. Maxeys was said to have been built in 1919. (The Oglethorpe Echo, January 16, 1941)

  • June 4, 1941 - A bolt of lightning started a blaze at Blakely-Union, totally destroying the school. Vanishing Georgia has an image of the school from the 1930s. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, June 5, 1941)

  • September 19, 1941 - Autreyville School in Colquitt County went down to flames. (Macon Telegraph, Sept. 20, 1941)

  • December 16, 1941 - The two-story Whigham High was completely destroyed in a late night blaze. With the exception of a vocational building behind the school, nothing was saved, including records. As World War II had only started days earlier, Whigham was put into a bind about replacing the building and materials. Churches and city hall were to house students. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Dec. 17, 1941)

  • January 15, 1942 - Jefferson's Martin Institute burned. The fire was first noticed in a hallway by a student at about 7 p.m. Flames claimed both the original building and two annexes. In February, a 16-year-old male student was convicted of burning it because "he was 'tired of going to school.'" His father was said to be the town's police chief. (Butler Herald, Jan. 22, 1942 and Feb. 19, 1942)

  • March 28, 1942 - The two-room Dempsey School in Wheeler County was a fire victim. (Macon Telegraph, April 2, 1942)

  • May 10, 1942 - A blaze wiped out Springfield School, a wooden structure south of Blakely in Early County. The building was a replacement for a previous school lost to a fire. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, May 11, 1942)

  • February 25, 1943 - The "new high school building" at Summerville was destroyed by fire, but perhaps the most valuable items lost were the No. 2 rationing book records for the town, of high importance during the lean days of World War II. Also lost were the auditorium and band and home economics equipment. The grammar school and gym were spared. (Macon Telegraph, Feb. 27, 1943)

  • April 6, 1943 - Both school and gym and Dodge County's Hendrix School burned down. (Macon Telegraph, Apr. 9, 1943)

  • April 13, 1943 - Seminole County's FDR School (Fairchild, Desser and Reynoldsville made up FDR, but the school was named for Franklin Delano Roosevelt) burns, but the next option of a building, Donalsonville, Seminole County, is crowded enough that FDR's pupils would have to wait until the big school's year was over in June before they could finish theirs in Donalsonville. The move was necessary as Seminole County's wartime scarcities included building materials for even temporary schools. (Thomasville Times-Enteprise, Apr. 17, 1943 and June 25, 1943, Macon Telegraph, Apr. 18, 1943)

  • May 10, 1943 - Firemen were able to spare Orrs Elementary, but a blaze took out the main building at neighboring Spalding High in Griffin. (Macon Telegraph, May 11, 1943)

  • June 17, 1943 - Lightning during a thunderstorm hit Toomsboro Grammar. The building was a total loss, as was most of the equipment. The fire was noticed immediately, but the water system was not working when firemen arrived. Toomsboro was said to be constructed in the last few years. (Macon Telegraph, June 19, 1943)

  • August 3, 1943 - LaGrange High had been housed at what was once Harwell Avenue School since a blaze in December 1942. It would again be looking for a residence when the Harwell building was badly damaged by flames, too. (Macon Telegraph, Aug. 5, 1943)

  • March 5, 1944 - The two-story brick Lawrenceville School burned, with origins undetermined. The superintendent was hopeful of resuming classes in a week in the gym and/or a church. (Macon Telegraph, Mar. 8, 1944)

  • November 22, 1944 - R.E. Lee Grammar in Thomaston burned up during lunch, but no injuries were reported. It was first said to be noticed in the walls of a first grade classroom. The building was reported to have been completed in 1943 and losses were estimated at $85,000. (Macon Telegraph, Nov. 23, 1944)

  • December 10, 1944 - It's unknown how long the fire raged at Mamie Brosnan, an Albany elementary, until a police patrol spotted it at 4 a.m. Only two classrooms were relatively unharmed in the two-story building, and they were said severely water damaged from the attempts to stop the blaze. Classes were set to resume two days after the fire at a church's Sunday school. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Dec. 11, 1944)

  • October 11, 1945 - Despite being built out of rock, the grammar school building at Grayson is destroyed by fire. It was said to be the fourth school in Gwinnett County to succumb to flames in four years. The building was not insured. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Oct. 10, 1945)

  • c. 1946 - "Early in the year barracks replaced burned buildings at Peters colored school, at Good Hope, and Fellowship colored school, located in the Pleasant Valley community." (The Walton Tribune, April 11, 1947)

  • February 10, 1947 - In what was likely the middle of the month, Hazlehurst High is a fire victim. No details seem to be available on the blaze, but the Board of Education was seeking a bond issue to build a new school in the Feb. 20, 1947 edition of the Jeff Davis County Ledger and an editorial appeared, bemoaning the loss of the building. No article pinpointed a date, with the last reference to use of a schoolroom being Feb. 5. The gymnasium seems to have been spared. A new school was opened on the site of the old one in September 1949. (Strangely, the date has been pinpointed by The Sylvester Local, in their Feb. 13, 1947 edition)

  • March 1947 - Pavo, which straddles the Brooks and Thomas county lines, lost its school to fire. Churches, the Woman's Club, the Masonic Hall and at least one residence were being tapped as temporary classrooms. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Mar. 8, 1947)

  • March 20, 1947 - Fire destroyed Jordan Consolidated, a Berrien County elementary school. Only about $5,000 in insurance was carried on the building, which lost all of its contents. Two grades were to be housed in the Jordan lunchroom, with the other five being sent to nearby New River. The schools would make the deal permanent in 1954, forming West Berrien Elementary. (Nashville Herald, March 27, 1947)

  • April 5, 1947 - Classes were set to continue for the lost Madison High in the gym, auditorium and "two small rooms" at the grammar school after being destroyed in an early morning blaze. The blaze was said to have probably started in the basement. (The Madisonian, Apr. 11, 1947)

  • June 2, 1947 - On the day 37 seniors were set to graduate, Seminole County High burned down. Exercises were in held in the Methodist church. Even before the loss, Seminole planned on replacing it with a new structure as it was said to be inadequate, having been built in 1915. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, June 5, 1947 and June 12, 1947)

  • November 1947 - The black school at Loganville burned. It reopened in March 1948. Charges of arson were later brought in 1948. (The Walton Tribune, Aug. 13, 1948)

  • November 19, 1947 - Main building for Centerville in Elbert County destroyed by fire. Classes continued in other buildings. Centerville school said to have burned four times, the last in 1933.

  • November 21, 1947 - Minutes before school was to begin, Dublin's Johnson Street Grammar burned. No one was said to be injured. (Marietta Journal, Nov. 21, 1947)

  • December 2, 1947 - The small Pierce County school, Hacklebarney, was a loss when a spark from the chimney met up with straw on the building's roof. The school, originally a four-teacher one, but down to two, was a total loss. Children were sent to Center Hill. (The Blackshear Times, Dec. 4, 1947)

  • December 27, 1947 - A tossed cigarette might have started the fire that destroyed the gymnasium at Calhoun High. A basketball game had been played only hours before. By the time the flames were noticed, the gym was far beyond saving. In positive news, firemen were able to keep flames from spreading to the school's brand new fence. (The Gordon County News, Jan. 1, 1948)

  • May 9, 1948 - The long history of Bonaire School came to an abrupt end by a blaze of unknown origin. It was said to have started in the wing of the lunchroom and kitchen. Only six years earlier was an emergency addition added to house students from fast-growing Warner Robins. Extra desks were sent after the fire from Perry to finish the year. Graduation was held in a local church. Despite it being a full high school, no grades at Bonaire were resumed because of high building costs. Students were sent to Perry and Warner Robins. (Houston Home Journal, May 13, 1948)

  • September 17, 1948 - Only the granite walls of E. Rivers Elementary in Atlanta remained after a fire. It was believed to have started on the roof, where a janitor was attempting to burn out wasps.

  • October 7, 1948 - School was set to resume Oct. 26, nearly three weeks after Mableton School was lost to a fire. Temporary buildings were to house the students. (Marietta Journal, Oct. 21, 1948)

  • December 14, 1948 - One of Thomas County's newest schools, the seven-room brick Patten Consolidated turned into ashes in an early morning fire. It was believed to have started in the auditorium, possibly as a result of bad wiring. Nothing of value was saved. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Dec. 15, 1948)

  • March 1, 1949 - No cause was suggested in the burning of Western High in the Coweta County community of Welcome, but solutions were already in progress. The county was in the process of obtaining barracks - and an aircraft hangar. The hangar was to be used for classrooms with an eye towards converting it to a gym or vocational building once a proper school went back up. Until the barracks were obtained from Thomasville (and the hangar from Boca Raton, Florida), some students were attending schools at Arnco and Sargent as well as in churches. (The Newnan Times-Herald, March 10, 1949)

  • April 17, 1949 - What was described as the "nice brick school building at Blairsville," likely Union County High (and housed with an elementary) was destroyed by fire. Students said to be attending classes in churches. The loss was estimated at $10,000. (The Dawson County Advertiser, April 22, 1949)

  • September 21, 1949 - The new gym at Chattanooga Valley burned, believed to have been caused by a coal heater that was being used to give the football team hot water after their practice. No players were in the gym at that time. All equipment inside was destroyed. (Walker County Messenger, Sept. 28, 1949)

  • November 8, 1949 - Adel Grammar, already in a temporary building because of a 1946 fire, saw the two-story structure badly damaged by another blaze. Cook County had already planned on building a new one and accepted bids soon after for a county-wide update of educational buildings. The new Adel Grammar was expected to be ready for the 1950-51 school year. (The Adel News, Nov. 10, 1949)

  • March 20, 1950 - Dublin High destroyed by fire.

  • March 28, 1950 - Sylvania's fire department was of little use when African-American Screven County Training was in flames late one night. The firemen found that the fire plug was too far from the building - valued at $75,000 - helping ensure its demise. Classes were expected to continue in small buildings around the city. (Augusta Chronicle, Mar. 29, 1950)

  • May 31, 1950 - Two days after the end of the school year, everything is lost in a blaze that destroys the building housing Lanier County High (also known as being the former Oaklawn Academy). The elementary portion of the Lakeland school is saved, but it would also be displaced as the high school would take over that building. Elementary students would be housed in various buildings around town. Though a local bond issue is immediately passed, the situation would remain as such until the State School Building Authority via the Minimum Foundation Program paid for an elementary building which was completed in 1956.

  • 1950-51 school year (possibly during that school year; mentioned in August 24, 1951 Camilla Enterprise) - African-American school at Baconton burned down. Approximately $30,000 was being set aside at that time - from a county-wide bond issue for school improvements - for a new building. It is unknown if anything was constructed, though, before Minimum Foundation funds built one in 1954.

  • January 9, 1951 - The five-room African-American elementary school at Alvaton in Meriwether County burned down shortly after school ended. Considering the school, a decent amount of property was saved - some books, 20 desks, and a heater. It is unknown where the students went until a new school opened in 1955.

  • January 9, 1951 - The gym at Dade County High was destroyed in an afternoon fire, not long before the local school was set to host Chattanooga Valley in basketball. Nearly all of the school's sports equipment was destroyed, including football gear. Dade immediately set about raising money for a new structure, but the style they desired was not cheap and took a few years to build. For at least a couple of seasons, Dade became possibly the only Georgia school to call Tennessee home; they played games at the John A. Patten School gym, located just outside Chattanooga. (The Dade County Times, Jan. 11, 1951)

  • January 10, 1951 - Pearson High's gym burned in an early morning blaze. Luckily, the fire did not spread to the school. It was assumed to be caused by the kerosene heaters which had been used the night before for games with Nicholls. Gas heaters had been ordered but had not arrived. It is unknown where Pearson played home games from 1951-55, when Atkinson County High was built. (The Pearson Tribune, Jan. 11, 1951)

  • October 7, 1951 - The public school in Springfield, Effingham Academy, went down for the second time in 11 years. The gymnasium and a recent addition of four classrooms were spared. Elementary students were sent to the local Treutlen Building while the high school continued in the gymnasium and the four spared rooms.

  • October 11, 1951 - Brantley County's five-room brick Waynesville School destroyed in a fire with unknown origins. By the time firefighters arrived to the building, the roof was collapsing. Students and teachers were sent to Nahunta. The school was not rebuilt. (Brantley Enterprise, Oct. 11, 1951)

  • October 14, 1951 - Mere months after a new lunchroom and equipment were added, Hart County's Shoal Creek Elementary loses everything in a blaze. A fire truck arrived from Lavonia soon after the flames were discovered, but water was unavailable.

  • October 19, 1951 - Shortly after school ended on a Friday, a fire swept through the three-room Boardtown Elementary in Gilmer County. Origin was undetermined as fire-powered heaters had been allowed to die out much earlier in the day. Boardtown was said to have been recently wired for electricity and repainted. Records, books and the building were a complete loss. No insurance was carried. The 60 enrolled were being taught at Salem Baptist Church. (Times-Courier, Oct. 25, 1951)

  • November 1, 1951 - Falling Creek has fallen down. The elementary school, just east of Elberton burned down in a blaze of undetermined cause. The fire moved so quickly that nothing at all could be recovered. The 200 students were all initially sent to Doves Creek Elementary, but 65 and three teachers (of seven) were moved to the abandoned Middleton school, which had closed in 1947. Middleton would stay in service for several more years, until Minimum Foundation money provided for a new elementary school.

  • March 1, 1952 - Temporary classrooms were being sought after a blaze took out Cohutta High in Whitfield County. Officials believed at the time that a furnace was to blame. (The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, Mar. 2, 1952)

  • Spring 1952 - The elementary portion of Brooks, Quitman's African-American school, burned. The school would run double sessions to accomodate the overcrowding. The situation would last until a new school, Washington Street, was built. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Aug. 22, 1952)

  • May 11, 1952 - Alapaha school was severely damaged by a tornado. School was canceled for the remainder of the year. High school grades would be merged with Nashville and Enigma. A new school opened in 1954.

  • June 12, 1952 - Lightning was believed to be the culprit in a fire that wiped out Ellijay High. Firemen were said to have thought to have extinguished it and wires were further disconnected, but it started back. Firemen from three counties battled the blaze and kept it contained to just the school. The school was said to have been built about 10 years earlier. Insurance was $50,000 on the building and $9,000 on equipment, but the loss was estimated at $160,000.(Times-Courier (Ellijay), June 19, 1952)

  • August 13, 1952 - Lightning was the spark to a blaze that burned down Manassas Colored Junior High in Tattnall County. It was said that there were immediately people on the scene to fight the fire, but were faced with two major problems: the well was operated by electric pump and the bolt knocked out electricity for the entire area, making communication impossible. Knowing the school was lost, area residents broke into the building to grab whatever they could and they did manage to grab some books, desks, chairs and a refrigerator. It is unknown if Manassas continued or not. A new school was not included in the county's school building project. (The Claxton Enterprise, Aug. 14, 1952)

  • December 15, 1952 - As rural Gordon County held out for a county high school, its efforts received a blow when the grammar and high school at Sonoraville burned to the ground. The gymnasium was spared. Cause was undetermined. Students were sent to the local Baptist church and the gym. With an entire plant for Sonoraville now a necessity, funding for another complete school for a county high school began to fizzle and county students were gradually sent to Calhoun, which had been approved for its own new high school. Sonoraville's new elementary was opened in 1957. (The Gordon County News, Dec. 16 and Dec. 25, 1952)

  • 1952-53 school year (date unknown, mentioned in October 1, 1953 Oglethorpe Echo) - African-American school in Lexington lost to a fire; students were taught in a Baptist church. No school was built and some students possibly even bused to Athens until Oglethorpe County Training opens in July 1955.

  • January 5, 1953 - Bradwell Institute's high schoolers were sent back to elementary school. Not because any evil misdeed, but because that was the building available after a fire took out their portion of the school, including new rooms added in a recent remodel. School records were saved, as well as a few typewriters. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Jan. 6, 1953)

  • February 9, 1953 - Lincolnton's African-American school burns down after an afternoon fire. The county rented rooms from area citizens. A new school would open in the fall of 1955, one that also consolidated all African-American county schools.

  • February 18, 1953 - The fire was small, but so was the amount of water and Berryton Grammar in rural Chattooga County was a total loss. Students finished out the school year at the Berryton Church of God, then cash-strapped Chattooga opted to consolidate, rather than rebuild a school for 65 students.

  • Spring 1953 - Some classrooms at Macon County Training in Montezuma destroyed by a storm. They were replaced by October. (The Macon County Citizen and The Montezuma Georgian, Oct. 15, 1953)

  • May 11, 1953 - McCaysville High in Fannin County burned while classes were in progress, but no injuries were reported. The fire was first spotted on the roof. When classes were later resumed, students would be forced to combine their school with Epworth High. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, May 12, 1953)

  • July 1953 - Smyrna school, in Rockdale County, lost to a fire. Students were moved to Conyers, but at least for the 1953-54 school year, were taught separately from Conyers students.

  • September 24, 1953 - Fire destroyed the 22-room Stone Mountain Elementary The school's principal, Annie Britt, said she believed it was caused by faulty wiring in a recent addition to the building. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Sept. 25, 1953)

  • November 26, 1953 - The high school portion of Hubbard in Forsyth is considered a total loss after a fire. A bit of furniture was saved. Plans had already been made to add on to Hubbard through the Minimum Foundation Program. Until a new school was built, students attended classes in the old college dormitory and other campus buildings. (The Monroe Advertiser, Dec. 3, 1953)

  • December 12, 1953 - A Saturday fire demolished Hall County's River Bend school. At the time the blaze was noticed, PTA members were fixing a chicken supper for that evening. The fire seemed to emanate from the boiler room. A bit of furniture and some records were said to be rescued. (The Cleveland Courier, Dec. 18, 1953)

  • January 12, 1954 - Remember that Effingham Academy burned in October 1951? This time, it's the Treutlen Building and Springfield folks were seriously wondering if there was someone who had it in for their school. In between the two fires, there had been suspicious activity. There were rumors of someone attempting to torch the spared Effingham Academy addition and some evidence that an attempt was made on the gymnasium, which in turn made the 1951 fire look iffy. Only one desk and some books were saved from the Treutlen Building. Classes were soon resumed and Springfieldians received new schools - including a consolidated county high school - in 1956. They stayed intact.

  • February 17, 1954 - Pineview school in Wilcox County goes up in flames, a late night blaze believed to have started in the pump room. Teachers living in a nearby building are able to save some records.

  • February 18, 1954 - An unrelated fire totally destroys the African-American school in Pineview. The fire also takes out Mount Beulah Baptist Church. Cause was not determined at that time.

  • February 18, 1954 - The fire might could have been put out on the roof of the black Turner Chapel school in southern Worth County, but the combination church and school lacked ladders. All contents from inside were saved, but the building was a loss. Students and teachers were divided among Oak Grove, Harrisonville and Powelltown. Turner Chapel was likely never again a school. (The Sylvester Local, Feb. 25, 1954)

  • March 4, 1954 - Only months earlier, Fayette County bragged that it wasn't going to have to levy bonds to accompany its State School Building Authority money. They shouldn't have, for bonds were soon in their future. A new (white) high school had not been in the cards, but had to be after fire wiped out Fayette County High. At the same time, they were lucky; the fire occurred during school hours and no one at the school was injured. Adjoining school buildings were spared as well as a slight bit of equipment. These buildings would nicely fill the void until the local bond-aided new Fayette County High was opened in c. 1955.

  • March 29, 1954 - Insurance money was expected to nearly cover the cost of the loss of Ringgold Grammar. The building was valued at $250,000-275,000. The cause of the fire was unknown, but faulty wiring was suggested. Ringgold had quickly added two new wings in 1952. The flames were noticed just as school started that Monday and Principal Nelle Joiner immediately sprang into action. She not only made sure all the 750 children were evacuated by going to each room. One wing was too far gone for her to walk through it, but she got as close as she could to edge and was able to peer down the hall. Joiner made two trips, then turned around and went again - to grab $400 in the school's lunch money. Students were divided for the rest of the year between Ringgold High, the gym and Westview School, the later being located in Hamilton County, Tenn. For 1954-55, they were divided among Ringgold locations. A new building opened in 1956. (The Catoosa County News, April 1, 1954)

  • March 31, 1954 - Dewy Rose had accused Elbert County Superintendent Prince Hodgson in 1951 of intentionally sabotaging it by taking away its teachers and allowing a railroad crossing to be moved. It survived that, only to finally lose to a windstorm that crushed it. Its 56 students and three teachers were immediately moved to Bowman. The school was not rebuilt.

  • May 20, 1954 - Ashburn High is partially destroyed in a fire, with nine classrooms, all offices and the basement lunchroom destroyed. While hopes were that renovations would be ready by September, the county still planned to use churches and the elementary schools in Dakota and Hobby to house students. (The Albany Herald, August 8, 1954)

  • July 5, 1954 - All but one wing of Emanuel County Institute was destroyed by a fire with estimated $150,000 damages. Some records were saved.

  • July 14, 1954 - A bolt of lightning starts a fire that burned down Oconee County High in Watkinsville. The elementary portion was spared. The school's auditorium was quickly remodeled into eight classrooms, which lasted until a new school was built in 1956.

  • July 18, 1954 - Oak Hill, the only high school for black students in Worth County, burned in Sylvester. Fortunately for the county, a new black high and elementary were already in the works through the Minimum Foundation Program, but the system still had to figure out how to house the students until then. Immediate plans were to use the formerly white Doles School, though it is unknown if it was. Abram School, also formerly white, was housing the students at the time the new Holley School opened in 1957. (The Sylvester Local, July 22, 1954)

  • August 30, 1954 - Grady County was forced to hustle to make arrangements for classrooms for African-American Washington High in Cairo after a blaze took out its main building, a wooden structure with a metal roof. The lunchroom and another classroom structure survived unharmed. The lunchroom was slated to be turned into classrooms with plans to utilize church buildings and/or Liberty School in Beachton. Plans had already been in the works under the Minimum Foundation Program to build a new school. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Sept. 1, 1954)

  • October 2, 1954 - Perhaps it's resolve, but perhaps it's insanity as students only miss one week of school when Elberton's Central High suffers major damage in a Saturday night blaze. The fire was believed to have started in the basement and it crept upstairs and severely damaged the staircase on all three floors, knocked big hunks of plaster from the ceiling, damaged the roof and knocked out every window except one. Amazingly, classrooms were left undamaged as the doors to them were sealed tight. Still, major repairs were needed for the stairs, roof, windows, interior walls and it had to be completely rewired. Almost all of this was done in seven days and the building was considered safe.

  • October 29, 1954 - Bowdon's gym burned and many people stated that they would have preferred to see the dilapidated school go instead. The fire was believed caused by a coal heater in the gym and hit the roof. Football, band and basketball equipment, stored on the bottom floor of the two-story building, were all saved. The gym was said to have been built eight years earlier. (Carroll County Georgian, Nov. 2, 1954)

  • November 1, 1954 - Blue Ridge Grammar became the second school in 18 months to burn down in Fannin County. The blaze was thought to have started in the attic over the home economics room. In the days after, the losses were estimated at $200,000 and only a few desks were pulled from the building. A building program was already in the works for Fannin and included a consolidated high school for the city. It is unknown if any adjustments were made or if Blue Ridge Grammar was moved to the old high school. (The Blue Ridge Summit-Post, Nov. 4, 1954)

  • November 23, 1954 - Dade County's one-room African-American Hooker School was discovered by students one morning to have burned. Hooker, which was two teachers despite the single room, had already been approved for a new school by the State School Building Authority. However, it had not been started yet and kids had an even longer break from school as the church they were to use as temporary quarters had not been completed either. The new school opened at the start of the 1956-57 school year. (The Dade County Times, Nov. 25, 1954)

  • November 30, 1954 - Cause was unknown at the time as to what started the blaze that ended the Seminole County High gym. Football equipment and all basketball gear, save for the uniforms, were lost, as well as the electronic scoreboard. The gym was said to be 30 years old. Games were played on the road or in the city of Colquitt until a new one was built the next year. (Donalsonville News, Dec. 3, 1954)

  • January 27, 1955 - It was believed that the afternoon fire at Douglasville Grammar started in the boiler room, but no one could guess at a cause. The fire burned slowly enough through the three-story building that some equipment - including desks and toilets - were saved from the basement, but everything else was lost. Douglas County school officials would install double sessions at Douglas County High and change schedules at the remainder of the schools to accommodate buses. A new grammar school, which had been previously been planned for under the school building program was quickly built.

  • March 8, 1955 - The main building of Jenkins County Training went up in flames; the vocational building and library were saved, but all other equipment was lost. While fortunately a new school was already in the works under the Minimum Foundation Program, JCTS spent an uncomfortable year in nearby churches and lodges waiting for its completion. The new school would open March 30, 1956. On April 3, it was officially named Burgess Landrum in honor of the county school superintendent.

  • April 2, 1955 - A windstorm in Hancock County knocked Green Springs, a two-room African-American elementary school, off its moorings and partially collapsed the roof. There is little damage to the equipment inside, but students had to move to Green Springs Church for classes. The Sparta Ishmaelite speculated the school would have to be rebuilt, but no follow-up was given. Green Springs would stick around in name somewhere until Hancock finished its school building project in 1959-60.

  • May 30, 1955 - Fire destroyed the main building of Avondale High. Firefighters were able to save an annex. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, May 31, 1955)

  • October 11, 1955 - An early morning fire destroyed the main building of Evans. The community quickly rallied and students were distributed among the churches and replacement schoolbooks arrived within three days. Columbia County, which had previously filed plans with the State School Building Authority, begged the state to expedite the process. Construction started in January 1956 and a new Evans opened that fall.

  • November 7, 1955 - Ye deities of fire must not have been pleased that Elberton was able to repair Central High in October 1954 as there was no stopping this fire at Central. It was a vengeful deity, too, as firefighters thought they had things under control but hours later, the blaze sparked the adjoining auditorium and took it out as well. Some typewriters and band instruments were saved. Elementary students were sent to another city school, Stilwell, which ran double sessions until a vocational building at Central was outfitted. High school students were split between the Methodist and Baptist churches. Elbert County, which had rejected an amendment to combine city and county school systems in November 1954, agreed in January 1956 to combine, which set forth plans for a new, consolidated county high school. Elbert County High, which was finally completed in 1958, was built on the same grounds. Elementary students also received a new school of their own.

  • December 4, 1955 - Damage was only estimated at $250 to Hall County's Murrayville School after a fire, but it was the start of a much stranger case. The Dublin Courier-Herald, running an article from the INS wire, said "[a] 57-year-old school teacher admitted today that he set fire to a Hall County school building Sunday because it seemed the quickest way to have a worn-out building replaced." The man was planning on running for county school commissioner. His platform? "First burnt, first built." The plan backfired. Murrayville was one of the schools not retained after Hall's building program finished in 1957. Insanity was plead in the trial in January 1956. (Dublin Courier-Herald, Dec. 6, 1955 and Jan. 24, 1956)

  • January 24, 1956 - O'Neal Grammar and Junior High, located in Cordele, burns with estimated losses between $300,000-$400,000. Area churches volunteered rooms for classes to continue. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Jan. 25, 1956)

  • January 17, 1957 - Bostwick Elementary in Morgan County went up in flames and left the system in a quandary. While churches immediately volunteered space and the gym could be used, there was the problem of money. Morgan County was about to finish their school building project and money was tight. Some money was expected from insurance and the county hoped it could use money from scrapping the lunchroom that was to have been built at Bostwick, but elementary schools were not cheap. It was decided to risk a bond issue election. On the plus side, the county had spare plans to use. Initially a African-American elementary had been planned for Rutledge, but was dropped after population shifts. Ultimately, Bostwick would get a new elementary.

  • July 13, 1957 - Already battling to avoid consolidation, Ball's Ferry Elementary in Johnson County was a total loss in a blaze believed to have started in the kitchen. Nothing was recovered (save for a plaque from its opening), but thankfully duplicate copies of records were being kept in Wrightsville. The school was not rebuilt and scrap metal and bricks from the ruins were sold at auction a few months later.

  • July 1957 - In the midst of a countywide war over consolidation, Temple burns. Temple's high school had been suggested for closure earlier in the decade, but with some industry moving to town, it was tentatively safe. The county suggested that the State School Building Authority rebuild it and believed it had almost $100,000 dangling to use based on proposed improvements, insurance and surplus money from the state. The source of the cash and when it was rebuilt currently remains a mystery, but Temple indeed survived. (The July 30, 1957 Carrollton Times-Free Press said the fire occurred "two weeks ago.")

  • September 26, 1957 - Vandals were said at the time to be responsible for a fire that wiped out Hazard Training, a African-American elementary school on the campus of Albany State. An on-campus auditorium was also damaged. Hazard would be rebuilt. Georgia's Virtual Vault has a pair of photographs showing the extent of the damage.

  • January 6, 1958 - Grammar school in Greensboro destroyed shortly after school ended that day. Some records and books were saved. Lucky/unlucky for Greensboro students, they lost no time from school as the city had a spare building, as old Greensboro High was available as that school had just moved into a new building.

  • January 16, 1958 - A four-alarm fire severely damaged or destroyed the second floor of Atlanta's African-American Georgia Avenue Elementary, which had formerly been a school for caucasians. No word how severely affected the rest of the school was. (St. Petersburg (Fla.) Independent, Jan. 16, 1958)

  • January 5, 1959 - Byromville Grammar burns in an evening blaze of then-undetermined origin. Though the National Guard arrived within 15 minutes of the call, the building was a total loss. (The Macon County Citizen and The Montezuma Georgian, Jan. 8, 1959)

  • c. January 1959 - Rabun County's Lakemont School was said to have recently burned down with no injuries to its 160 students. (The Sparta Ishmaelite, Jan. 29, 1959)

  • January 28, 1960 - William James Elementary, an African-American school in Statesboro, goes down in a blaze that was noticed just before school was to begin. A vocational building was saved. WJES had been a wooden building with a brick veneer and originally for all grades until a new high school was built. (The Bulloch Herald, Feb. 4, 1960)

  • May 9, 1960 - A 70-year-old janitor was placed under arrest after a fire gutted nearly all of Green Acres Elementary in Cobb County. One wing was saved by firemen. The accused was alleged to have started 11 fires at the school during the past three weeks. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, May 10, 1960)

  • March 11, 1961 - The lunchroom and gymnasium were the only buildings spared when Richmond Hill School went up in flames. It was said to have been built in 1934. (Marietta Journal, Mar. 12, 1961)

  • January 16, 1962 - The sound of a 4 a.m. explosion alerted locals to a fire at Dawson County High. Though a number of area fire departments were able to respond in minutes, the high school was destroyed. Firemen were able to prevent it from costing the other three buildings on site. The gym and lunchroom were spared, but the ag building's roof was severely damaged. The only items saved "were the books carried home by the students." The building was erected in 1940. (Dawson County News, Jan. 18, 1962)

  • July 14, 1962 - No cause had yet been determined for the fire that burned almost all of Hutto High School in Bainbridge. It had started in the auditorium. Students were likely housed partially in the spared portion, which was connected to the rebuilt school in 1964. No information is known where others were sent. It is likely that part of the burned building was a Rosenwald school. (The Post-Searchlight, July 1962)

  • January 24, 1963 - Superintendent J.R. Trippe said one body had been found after African-American Dickerson Elementary in Vidalia burned and he feared it was that of a teacher. He said he hoped that no students were killed. No other bodies had been found so far. The fire started in the early morning, before school had begun, but after some students had arrived on campus. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Jan. 25, 1963)

  • March 13, 1963 - Webster County Grammar, said to be slated for demolition when a new school was built, had the job done early when it burned. (The Sparta Ishmaelite, March 14, 1963)

  • April 27, 1963 - Richmond County's Bayvale Elementary was extensively damaged in a fire. Firemen said a lack of water intensified the loss. They were able to spare a newer wing. Area residents were able to grab much of the school's records. (Augusta Chronicle, April 28, 1963)

  • December 5, 1963 - The gymnasium at Walker County's Rock Springs Elementary, said to be one of the oldest school-related buildings in the county, was a fire victim. Officials believed it was caused by a falling stove pipe. (Walker County Messenger, Dec. 11, 1963)

  • March 28, 1964 - An 18-year-old was charged with arson after the black elementary school at Faceville in Decatur County burned. First and second grades were being sent to Fowlstown, third through sixth to Attapulgus Elementary and seventh and eighth were going to Attapulgus-Mount Moriah High. Faceville, already small at four teachers, would not be continued. (The Post-Searchlight, April 9, 1964)

  • October 24, 1964 - Two years after the high school burned, the gymnasium at Dawson County High went up in flames, which also destroyed six classrooms that were part of the building. Also possibly quite by coincidence, a truck belonging to the school was also stolen that night. The truck was found soon after, out of gas. The gym was insured for $60,000. (Dawson County Advertise and Dawson County News, Oct. 29, 1964)

  • October 26, 1964 - A series of fires in recent days in the Cumming area saw Chattahoochee Elementary claimed in Forsyth County. Arson was being investigated. The 100 students at Chattahoochee were being sent to Chestatee and Cumming elementaries. (The Tifton Gazette, Oct. 27, 1964)

  • September 23, 1965 - R.L. Osborne Junior High in Marietta destroyed by fire. Arson was suspected. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Sept. 23, 1965)

  • May 13, 1968 - An addition and the cafeteria were spared at Airline Elementary in Hart County, but little else was in the second blaze to strike a school building in the county in a week. The Bio School, which was not in use, was also lost in a fire. School was slated to continue at Crossroads Baptist Church, as well as the saved buildings. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, May 14, 1968)

  • May 30, 1968 - A portion of Lomax Junior High in Valdosta was lost because of a fire. Firemen said it started in the basement. (The Palm Beach Post (Fla.), May 31, 1968)

  • August 29, 1969 - Cusseta High lost to fire. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was looking into the incident as "wooden plugs wedged into fire hydrant spouts hampered firefighters." (Augusta Chronicle, Aug. 31, 1969)

  • November 10, 1970 - Miller County Junior High's students were forced to bunk with the high school after losing their school to a fire. (Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal, Nov. 13, 1970)

  • November 11, 1970 - Pine Log Elementary, of Bartow County, destroyed in a fire with an estimated $500,000 loss. The Nov. 13, 1970, Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal said the cause of this and the Miller County blaze were undetermined as of that time.

  • April 29, 1971 - Distance and a blaze noticed at 1 a.m. were enough to prevent Tiftarea Academy from being saved. The private school, then leasing the old Ty Ty School from the Tift school system, was 10 miles from the nearest trucks. Portable buildings were brought in to finish out the school year. Tiftarea would move to the old Chula School for the 1971-72 term before a new building was ready just south of Chula. (The Tifton Gazette, April 29, 1971)

  • January 4, 1972 - Commerce Junior High lost to a fire. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Feb. 29, 1972)

  • c. January 1972 - Half of Barrow County's County Line school razed by fire. Damages were estimated at $100,000. (Gadsden (Ala.) Times, Jan. 15, 1972)

  • February 1972 - Commerce Elementary damaged in a fire. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Feb. 29, 1972)

  • February 28, 1972 - The horrible year for Jackson County educational buildings continued as flames destroyed Benton Elementary in Nicholson. Arson was suspected in this one, which was said to destroy 10 classrooms. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Feb. 29, 1972)

  • October 21, 1973 - In a case believed to be arson, Enigma Elementary was reduced to rubble in a midnight blaze. Classes would continue in the gymnasium and lunchroom/library: "[Berrien school officials] plan to obtain portable school rooms and necessary equipment within the next few weeks. Students will be housed in portable school rooms until permanent quarters can be secured" (Berrien Press). The portable classrooms would last until the school's closure - in 1988.

  • December 11, 1974 - The old portion of Sardis Elementary in Hall County was destroyed by flames in a fire thought to have started in the attic. A newer portion, which contained the school's offices, library and some classrooms, was spared. Scarily, The Spartanburg Herald reported that "Officials were alerted to the blaze when a teacher noticed smoking debris falling from the ceiling of her classroom." No injuries were reported. (The Spartanburg (SC) Herald, Dec. 12, 1974)

  • March 2, 1975 - Rabun County High burned. The Rabun County Historical Society's entry said that the blaze began at the door of the auditorium and that the school had been condemned a year earlier. It was rebuilt at another location, moving it from Clayton to Tiger.

  • July 19, 1975 - Fire destroyed Lyons Junior High, which had been undergoing repairs. (Rome News-Tribune, July 20, 1975)

  • August 18, 1975 - Eight classrooms, the library and lunchroom of Blythe Elementary in Richmond County were destroyed in a blaze. Four classrooms were undamaged and students were expected to start the school year there as well as portable classrooms. A new school opened in 1977. (Augusta Chronicle, Aug. 20, 1975)

  • April 24, 1977 - An estimated $500,000 in damage was caused to Chattanooga Valley Elementary in a fire. It was believed deliberately set. Classrooms were being found for students in grades 3-6. (Augusta Chronicle, April 26, 1977)

  • August 5, 1978 - A Hogansville man would be held two days later, accused of deliberately starting a fire that destroyed Hill Street Junior High in LaGrange, leaving only the cafeteria and gym standing. Students were to be assigned to other schools. (Rome News-Tribune, Aug. 7, 1978)

  • January 29, 1979 - One wing of LaBelle Elementary in Cobb County was lost to flames. (Marietta Journal, Jan. 30, 1979)

  • August 9, 1984 - A 1 a.m. fire destroyed that gymnasium at Rome's Johnson Elementary. Two men were were charged with burglary and arson within hours. Only a boiler was said to be salvaged from the gym. Johnson had previously been a high school, but it is unknown if the gym dated that far back. (Rome News-Tribune, Aug. 9, 1984)

  • January 29, 1992 - Investigators were trying to sift through the rubble of Armuchee Valley Elementary in Walker County to determine a cause for the fire that destroyed the building. It would later be ruled arson. (Rome News-Tribune, Jan. 31, 1992)

  • June 17, 1992 - Another Walker County school, Naomi Elementary, burned in what was believed to be arson. It was also believed connected to the January fire at Armuchee Valley. (Calhoun Times and Gordon County News, July 15, 1992)

  • September 21, 2009 - Austell's Clarkdale Elementary evacuated in the early afternoon as waters began rising on campus. The historic flood would soon inundate the school, leaving it uninhabitable. A new, larger Clarkdale would be built on the same grounds.

  • August 14, 2010 - Lightning was said to be the blame as the main building of David Emanuel Academy was lost to a fire. Firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to the school's other buildings. Classes were to be delayed for at least one week. DEA inhabited the old Stillmore school. (Savannah Morning News, Aug. 16, 2010)

  • April 27, 2011 - Located side-by-side, Ringgold Middle and Ringgold High were both severely damaged in the series of tornadoes that devastated the southeast.

  • June 22, 2013 - A car accident would end the life of the driver and leave a young passenger injured when a vehicle slammed into a school in Buena Vista in Marion County. It had formerly been the home of Marion County Middle, but they had moved out and it was now the home of the Performance Academy. The fire was initially under control and the building had minimal damage, but started back up hours later, destroying the school.

  • January 10, 2015 - Closer Look Christian Academy, a small private school in McDonough, lost its two-story building to a blaze of undetermined origin. Classes resumed at nearby Tabernacle of Praise Church. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jan. 12, 2015)