HIGH POINT, N.C. — Isolated from the main High Point Museum campus, the Little Red Schoolhouse was seldom used, vandalized and deteriorated.
The High Point Historical Society knew they had to act fast to save the one-room schoolhouse that was built in the early 1930s.
So they started a campaign to raise $100,000 with the City of High Point matching each donation.
It took three years for the HPHS and community to get the job done, but Museum Director Edith Brady is proud that the Little Red Schoolhouse has a new home and renewed purpose.
“It’s very exciting to be at this point,” Brady said. “It’s been a long process and excited to be at the end.”
The Little Red Schoolhouse was built in 1930 by Louis Voorhees. The schoolhouse was an auxiliary classroom for Ray Street School and served as a classroom until 1961.
High Point’s very own Santa Cliff has fond memories of the violin lessons he took at the schoolhouse known as “Little Red”.
“I guess they took us out to the Little Red Schoolhouse so we wouldn’t disturb the main school building,” Santa Cliff said.
Ray Street School was destroyed by a fire in 1961.
While the Little Red Schoolhouse survived, it was never used as a classroom again. Over time, the hardwood floors began to sag and the roof leaked.
Richard Wood, who has a personal connection to the school, was one of the first volunteers to raise funds to preserve the Little Red Schoolhouse.
“I have several cousins. One is coming from South Carolina for the opening,” Wood said. “He’s been so interested in the opening. Every time he comes to town he asks, ‘You got the key? Show me.’ I have to tell him I don’t have a key.”
In 2016, the Little Red Schoolhouse was moved and placed next to the High Point Museum.
That’s when workers fixed the sagging hardwood floors, repaired the roof and put a fresh coat of red paint on it. Now the nearly 90-year-old, one-room schoolhouse is ready for the next generation.
“In the main museum, we don’t have exhibits focusing on preschool to second-grade visitors,” Brady said. “This space is nicely sized for this age group and keeps with the original purpose in being used for younger children.”
The Little Red Schoolhouse will officially open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 10 a.m.
Quill pen writing and games are some of the activities surrounding the opening.
The High Point Museum is hoping that former Little Red Schoolhouse students will attend the opening and bring pictures so they can be added to the school’s history.
In front of the Little Red Schoolhouse, there’s the Little Free Library. The miniature schoolhouse will hold books that people can borrow or donate for free.