Restored historic school in Stokes County will open to public over weekend

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STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — People will get a chance to step back in time at the newly restored Volunteer School in Pinnacle this weekend.

“I think in 1917, there was 48 students here,” said Avolene Badgett, whose mother attended school there. “They learned how to read, write and went out and bought farms with the education they got out of a building like this.”

Badgett never realized the building was still standing until the property came up for auction and she felt an urge to buy it.

“It was something that really pushed me,” she said. “When I bought that house up there, I had no earthly idea this schoolhouse was on the property because we always thought they tore it down. Even momma always thought they tore the old schoolhouse down.”

But the school hadn’t been torn down. It was just moved to make room for the home that was built on the property decades ago.

“Then I knew why I had been pushed by something to buy that house up there,” Badgett said. “I thought, ‘I’ve got to redo that schoolhouse.’”

For a building over 10 years old, she realized it was in really good shape and had the original doors and windows. But turning it back into a school would take some work.

Badgett covered the cost of it all. First she had it moved back to be closer to the road. Then the restoration work began.

“It’s not completely done, but we are getting close,” she said.

With the help of friends, she started collecting artifacts that would’ve been found in the school like desks of the time period and a stove for heat.

“I’m hoping that primary and elementary school kids can come on field trips here and see how far we’ve come,” she said.

The school, located on the corner of Volunteer Road and Brims Grove Road, will open to the public Saturday, June 19 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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