JCHA Meeting

Learn about the history of Flat Rock High School Sunday during JCHA meeting.

Two new historical markers in the northeast part of Jackson County will be the centerpieces of the Jackson County Historical Association (JCHA) meeting Sunday, July 26, at 2 p.m.

The meeting will include presentations at two sites. It begins at 2 p.m. at Ebenezer Church in Bryant, located at 134 County Road 301, the road across from Bryant Junior High School. JCHA member Ed Carter will talk about the history of this church and unveil the new monument.

After about 40 minutes at this site, members will drive to Flat Rock Elementary School, located at 788 County Road 326 in Flat Rock. At this site, Carter will talk briefly about the former high school, at this location, from 1911-1929. He will also have a display of photographs of the original school campus and unveil the second monument.

Refreshments will be served at this second location. If you plan to attend, please wear a mask and practice social distancing, maintaining at least six feet between you and people who are not members of your household.

Ebenezer Baptist Church is the oldest church on the end of Sand Mountain. Its origins date back to an 1850s log church and school called Gordon Chapel.

The church was renamed Ebenezer, and in 1909, the log church was replaced with a white, wood-framed building located on three acres of land donated by James Monroe and Millie Winters.

In use a half-century, the second structure burned on Jan. 18, 1959. The congregation worshipped at the American Legion Hall until July 1960, when the church’s third sanctuary was completed.

During the previous century, the church was affiliated at different times with the Lookout Valley (Georgia) Baptist Association and the Sand Mountain Baptist Association.

Flat Rock High School existed between 1911 and 1929. At the time it opened it was the only secondary school north of Albertville on Sand Mountain. In 1905, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, authorized Dr. Frank Gardner and his wife, Annie, to begin Flat Rock School.

In 1911, Flat Rock High School formally opened with Gardner as the school superintendent and Robert H. Hartford as the first principal.

The school’s first graduation was held in 1912. In 1914, construction began on a two-story administrative building made of stone quarried from the property of Andrew Hogue.

Completed at a cost of $12,000, the new building featured four recitation halls, a library, an office and a large auditorium with opera-style seating. The auditorium hosted church services and school programs beginning in 1917.

Carter, a native of Section, taught history to portions of three generations at North Sand Mountain High School from 1969 until 2014. He is nearing completion on research for a book on the history of Bryant, which he hopes to publish next year.

Both members and non-members are invited to participate in this historic event, which documents Bryant and Flat Rock history.

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