This week we continue our travels to schools in the area from the distant past and focus our attention on classrooms based outside the city of Sanford. As we noted last week, every village feels a responsibility to provide education to its youth, and the history of Lee County provides many examples.
Let’s begin on the Lee-Chatham County border on the banks of the Deep River, in the village of Carbonton. The town itself was formed around 1850. Within a few years, the Carbonton Academy was founded, and it survived for over half a century. The picture at the top of the page is of the girls dormitory, shortly after the start of the 20th century.
If you were to travel downstream on the Deep River just after that time, you’d be close to two other schools. The Deep River School was founded in 1923, graduated its first class on April 29, 1932 and still serves the community along Old US 1, north of Sanford to this day, now as Deep River Elementary School. This original building was in existence until 1990, when it was replaced by a new school on the same grounds. The Deep River Elementary Website has more details on this school’s nearly century old history. A short distance away from Deep River School, for a short amount of time, was the Rose Budd School, named for the daughter of a local physician. Here we see the students that attended this school in its second year of existence, 1917.
In the southeastern part of Lee County, the community of Lemon Springs became home to Greenwood School in 1929. It’s another proud name in local education. This original school was replaced by a new building and a new name in 1990, as Greenwood Elementary School, where it presently teaches over 650 students.
Last week, we mentioned the tragic fire in the main building at Broadway School that took place in January 1963. It’s worth noting that the community pitched together in its aftermath, temporarily relocated all the students in the nearby adjacent buildings, and built a new school in the same location. Students only missed 3 days of school due to the fire. Here is what the fire looked like.
Editorial content, pictures and research background , compliments of Jimmy Haire and Images of America: Sanford and Lee County, by Jimmy Haire & W.W. Seymour, Jr, available here for purchase. All book proceeds go to Sanford’s Railroad House Historical Association, Inc.