Gowensville School Alumni Day set for Saturday, Nov. 2

Published 11:14pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Gowensville Community Center holds many memories for students who attended elementary school there until the mid-1950s.
Sponsors of the Nov. 2 Alumni Day hope to capture many of those recollections to preserve the history of what was once called the Gowensville School.
All who attended the school are invited to come between 2 and 4 p.m. and to bring photographs and their memories of student days there. A videographer will be on hand to record remembrances; pictures can be reproduced on site with a scanner.
Dean Hamrick and his daughter Lynne Paff will be among those attending Alumni Day. Dean attended grades first through sixth in the school, starting in 1942. Lynne is president of the Greater Gowensville Association (GGA), which is sponsoring the first Alumni Day.
The brick building, erected in 1922, replaced a wooden one, which burned on the same site.  At one time grades first through seventh were housed there.
The school closed in the mid-1950s and the school district conveyed the property to the community association.
The two-story building with its working bell tower is recognized with the Greenville County Historic Property Designation.
Hamrick recalls that first grade and advanced first grade students were housed on the left side of the first floor, with solid walls separating grades two and three on the right side. Grades four through seven were upstairs. A small stage and school store were also upstairs.
The library and lunchroom were found in the small brick building on the property. The brick house next door served as home for the unmarried teachers and for the principal and his family.
Separate latrines for the boys and the girls were located behind the school where poison ivy was a constant hazard.
A pathway behind the school led to Gowensville Baptist Church where students attended the annual revival services during school hours. Every Friday, the students took part in chapel services.
For more information, contact Lynne Paff, 864-457-4343 or Kay Smith, 864-895-1866.
- article submitted by Ellen Henderson

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