School construction brings up memories

Published 7:04 am Wednesday, March 4, 2009

By Staff
There has been a lot of discussion and expectation about the building of a new middle school in Brewton in the last few years.
The location was finally been announced last year, and construction will be under way in coming months.
This must have been sort of the atmosphere that existed when previous schools were built and others torn down.
I found this in the issue of The Brewton Standard that ran July 22, 1976. It doesn’t seem as if it has been that long ago. It tells of the last days of the building located on Belleville Avenue which was, at one time or another, the home of the high school and the elementary school. It was the forerunner of the the present city school buildings in Brewton.
Old School Building
to be Torn Down
The old building was built back in 1923 and first began to see duty as the one and only school building for the Brewton City School System. The two story brick structure housed grades one through twelve until 1936 when the Elementary School building was completed diagonally across the street. It then became the high school, operating under the name of T.R. Miller.
Growing pains in Brewton plus the fact that a new T.R. Miller High School was built  forced another change in 1962. At that time, the old school building became the classrooms for part of the fifth grade and the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
It remained that way until 1970 when still further changes in the school population as well as the procedure for integration of the schools throughout the South dictated another change. At this time, the old Miller school became the classroom structure for the third and fourth grades. The first and second grades were being housed across the street in the elementary school building while the five through eighth grades were moved to the old Booker T. Washington School adjacent to Lincoln Park.
Last year, plans got underway for a new two million dollar educational complex to house grades on through four, located to the rear of the old school building. And now its time for the old school to go, outliving its usefulness and destined to be torn down. City School Superintendent Dale Garner announced recently that the old building would be demolished as soon as possible. Bids were opened Wednesday to award the contract for the demolition.
The chairs, desks and other items of furniture will be sold Thursday and Friday, July 22 and 23, to Brewton residents between the hours of 8 and 3 p.m.”
This is just another interesting write-up that fills the volumes in the back room of the office.
Stay with me. I am sure I will find others.
It has been very interesting to look through the bound volumes of old newspapers that we have here. Just looking through those old papers really brings back some memories.
My mind has been jogged of people, places and things of years gone by. It’s very interesting to remember what stores used to be where in Brewton and East Brewton. It’s also interesting to see what has changed over the years as far as the landscape and residents of the area.
I plan to share some of the information I have gotten from those old pages. We have books that date back into the 1950s. Older editions of The Brewton Standard are saved on microfilm at the museum on the campus of Jefferson Davis Community College.
The public is free to look through those volumes as well. We have been known to make copies of old articles if need be.
If there is a topic of family tree that you are interested in hearing more about, I’d certainly like to help if I can. Let me know your thoughts and I’ll be happy to scrounge around to see what I can find.
You can give me a call here at the office at 867-4876 or you can drop me a line by email at I’d also be open to a vist if you’d like to drop by our offices on St. Nicholas Ave.
Until then … happy hunting.