This website has been created to honor The Ninth Avenue School of Hendersonville, North Carolina. You will find scans of the year books and other memories of this school. There is also a history of the Sixth Avenue School that preceeded the Ninth Avenue School. This website was a project of the Girl Scouts of Troop 404, who worked on this historical documentation to achieve the highest award in scouting, The Gold Award.
We are happy to add remembrances, photos and stories to this site.
A Brief History of the Ninth Avenue School
In May of 1950 a grant for "ninety-six thousand, six hundred dollars and twenty-nine cents from the School Plant Construction and Repair Fund of the State of North Carolina" was requested to fund the building of Ninth Avenue School. It was planned as a "union school," a term for any school that included grades one through twelve within the same building.
On Sunday October 28, 1951, the dedication of Ninth Avenue School was a celebration. The Community Choir sang hymns, local ministers offered prayers and the school glee club added their own voices to the day by singing "There's A Meeting Here Tonight". Principal Marable served as Master of Ceremonies and the State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Clyde A. Erin, gave the keynote address.
The high school was on the second floor of the two story, red-brick building and the elementary grades occupied the first floor. It served as a regional school for blacks, with students coming from three counties, Henderson, Transylvania and Polk. This involved bussing students in to the Ninth Avenue School making some students, especially from Transylvania County, subject to excessively long bus rides.
Because Ninth Avenue was a consolidated school, the two remaining black schools that were still operating closed their doors. Both the East Flat Rock School and the Brickton School, located in a small one-room school house in the Fletcher area, stopped operating at the end of the school term in 1952. In 1960, a new addition to Ninth Avenue was constructed. The new addition housed the cafeteria, the band room and several new classrooms.
An interesting side note to this school campus was the issue of educating the children of migrant workers temporarily living in Henderson County during harvest times. The Hendersonville School Board decided during the period of 1958-1963 that Quonset huts should be erected on the Ninth Avenue property to serve the educational needs of the migrant children.
John Marable served as principal until 1959. After that four principals followed in six years. They were: Mr. Cedric Jones, Mr. William Gordon, Mr. J.R. Wright and Mr. Leon Henry Anderson. Desegregation was now gaining momentum. In 1962, sixty students from Transylvania County pulled out of the school and began attending the public schools in Brevard, greatly diminishing the number of students at Ninth Avenue. The last graduating class (16 students) from Ninth Avenue School held its commencement on May 27, 1965. The Ninth Avenue School became a junior high school in 1966 for children of all races.
(Excerpts from A Brief History of The Black Presence in Henderson County by The Black History Research Committee of Henderson County with Gary Franklin Greene)