SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A school house built in 1908 in southern Rowan County has won a special designation from the Rowan County Commission.
On Monday night commissioners voted unanimously to designate the Neely School as a "historic Rowan County landmark."
Neely School is now one of only five sites with the designation. The others are the Kerr Mill, the Richard Wainwright Barber Farm, Organ Zion Lutheran Church and the Peter Kern House.
The Neely School was constructed by hand in 1908 by Julius Erastus Neely, a farmer and preacher, and his wife, Katie Stokes McKenzie Neely, so that they could provide education for their seven children and for other children in the community. As the children of slaves, the Neely's had experienced both the severe deprivation of slavery and the hunger for an education that came with emancipation.
The simple one room school house, standing on family land, and administered by the family and with teachers provided by the Rowan County Superintendent of schools, offered the only opportunity for the children of the immediate community to attend a school.
The designation from the county means that the school moved or altered without the approval of the Rowan County Landmark Commission.