NOXUBEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – In today’s high tech world and the many advances in academic education, we often forget that in the early 1900’s there was a giant leap forward in education with the construction of the Old Salem School in Noxubee County.
Some five miles west of Macon on Hwy 14, an old school house built in 1914 still stands. Although a bit tattered and weather-worn, in it’s heyday students and teachers were serious about the three R’s. Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.
“Fractions; But we had you know Math and English and History. I’m not sure whether we had Mississippi History. But we probably had United States History maybe not World History,” said Joy A. Carlson, Salem Historical Society.
“Its just been vital to that community since 1914 and today’s people don’t want to see it bulldozed down. They still want it to be a vital part of the community,” said beth Ellis Koostra, Historian.
The community formed a foundation to raise funds to restore the school that existed before World War Two. At the time of the one room school houses, consolidation was welcomed news.
“Because one teacher was having to teach 8 grades, 30 children but 8 different levels. And with consolidation the work load could be divided and more subjects could be offered,” said Koostra.
Joy Adams Carlson attended Salem School in the first and fifth grade. So did Sue Adams McDavid, a former student who shot this amature video for the foundation’s records. Then there was Carlson’s cousin Fred Adams, a businessman who later became financially successful.
“He is the owner of Cal-Maine. The one I was telling you about. The biggest egg operation I guess in the world in Jackson,” said Carlson.”
“Nanny George Taylor Robbins, who she and her husband own the Macon Beacon. And she served as editor after his death. And then Mrs. Farrow, I interviewed her. And she went on to become a nurse,” said Koostra.
After renovation of the old building, plans for the structure includes: a coffee house, a commercial gift shop, and a meeting room for rent.
In 1916 seven thousand dollars was spent on the school housing only primary and secondary grades. High school grades were moved to Macon in 1932.