SURVEY AND RESEARCH REPORT
The Bethesda Schoolhouse
1. Name and location of the property: The property known as the
Bethesda Schoolhouse is located at 13129 Alexanderana Road in
Huntersville, North Carolina.
2. Name and address of the present owner of the
Merle King &
Wife, Elizabeth L. King
Creek Church Road
3. Representative photographs of the property: This report
contains representative photographs of the property.
4. Maps depicting the location of the property:
This report contains a map depicting the location of the property.
5. UTM coordinate: 17516402E 3913276N
6. Current deed book and tax parcel information for the property:
The Tax Parcel Number is of the property is
019-151-14. The most recent
reference to this property is recorded in Mecklenburg Deed Book 9879, Page
7. A brief historical sketch of the property: This report
contains a brief historical sketch of the property.
8. A brief architectural description of the property: This
report contains a brief architectural description of the property.
9. Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets criteria
for designation set forth in N. C. G. S. 160A-400.5:
Special significance in terms of its history, architecture, and/or
cultural importance: The Commission judges that the property known as
Bethesda Schoolhouse does possess special significance in terms of
Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the following
1) The Bethesda Schoolhouse, a rural primary school for African Americans in
Mecklenburg County, is significant as a rare surviving artifact of the
early efforts by the county's black residents to educate their children, a
newly won privilege after the Civil War.
2) The Bethesda Schoolhouse is the oldest identified African American
primary school in Mecklenburg County, and is significant as one of the
county's few surviving rural schoolhouses.
3) The Bethesda Schoolhouse is one of the earliest surviving
non-residential African American buildings in the county, and is therefore
important in understanding the broad patterns county's history.
b. Integrity of
design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling and/or association:
The Commission contends that the physical and architectural description
which is included in this report demonstrates that the Bethesda
Schoolhouse meets this criterion.
10. Ad Valorem tax appraisal: The Commission is aware that
designation would allow the owner to apply for an automatic deferral of
50% of the Ad Valorem taxes on all or any portion of the property which
becomes a designated "historic landmark." The current total appraised
value of the improvements is $700.00. The current appraised value of the
lot is $23,800.00. The current total appraised value is $24,500.00.
11. Portion of property recommended for designation: The
exterior of the building and the property associated with the tax parcel
are recommended for historic designation.
Date of preparation of this report: December, 2003
Prepared by: Stewart Gray and Dr. Paula M. Stathakis
Historic Statement and Context
Although North Carolina had developed a progressive system for public
education by the eve of the Civil War, there was no guarantee that
schooling would be available to everyone. Many poor whites could not
attend school either because there was no school located conveniently near
them or because their parents resisted the idea of general education for
various reasons, the most significant of which was they needed their
children home working in the fields. The upper classes, accustomed to the
advantages of literacy, were not always comfortable with the extension of
this privilege and power to the lower classes. Slaves were never educated.
Prior to the Civil War it was illegal to educate slaves in every state
except Tennessee. Consequently, by 1860, ninety per cent of the Southern
adult black population was illiterate.
By the war’s end, freedmen held high hopes for the meaning of freedom, and
understood an education was the necessary first step in acquiring
political and economic parity with whites.
The public school system in place in North Carolina in the ante-bellum
period was non-existent by the end of the Civil War. By this time, the
state was so impoverished that there were no funds to develop another
school system. During this period the state’s black and poor white
population were schooled by external agencies, most notably The Freedmen’s
Bureau. An 1867 issue of the Western Democrat discusses the
establishment of Freedmen’s Bureau Schools in the state noting that in
Mecklenburg County there was at least one in each township. In North
Carolina, over 20,000 children were enrolled in 400 Freedmen’s Bureau
According to contemporary reports, adults and children enthusiastically
attended these schools, desperately eager to learn to read and write. Many
of the elderly wanted to learn to read to be able to read the Bible;
others fully appreciated that literacy was central to economic
advancement. Although The Freedmen’s Bureau was poorly funded and
ultimately dissolved, newly-freed African Americans often pitched in to
raise funds to buy land, build schools, and to pay teachers. Local funding
came from various sources such as Northern benevolent societies and state
governments as well as from initiatives within the freed black community.
In spite of the great enthusiasm within the black community for the
promise of education and the potential for opportunity therein, Southern
white society was unreceptive to the idea of educating the large
population of former slaves who had been previously held in check by
enforced ignorance. The Freedman’s Bureau was able to mitigate only some
of the harsh realities of freedom in a hostile society. The agency
provided relief and assistance to both blacks and poor whites who found
themselves bereft of advocates in the bleak and unsettled post-war period.
In addition to economic stress, politically and socially explosive issues
such as extending citizenship to all blacks and voting rights to black men
tested the foundation of the southern social order as well as the Bureau’s
ability to maintain it. In 1865, Freedmen’s Bureau officials recorded that
Mecklenburg County Courts would not recognize changes in the status of the
black population, and that a magistrate had recently beaten a black man on
The dissolution of the Freedmen’s Bureau made life all the more difficult
for Southern blacks. Without the bureau they had no advocates to help
protect their newly acquired rights. Although the new state constitution
established separate schools for blacks, funding was up to the discretion
of local county boards. In general, public opinion regarding education
remained apathetic, and any impetus for change and improvement during the
post reconstruction period came from politicians, not from grassroots
pressures. By 1880, the average school term was only nine weeks and only
one-third of the state’s school age children attended school. Illiteracy
was more prevalent in 1880 than in 1860, although within the black
community, literacy rates were higher than they had been in 1860. In spite
of this small gain, the statistics for North Carolina were bleak. The
state population in 1880 was 1,399,750 and 463,975 were illiterates over
ten years of age. Three-fifths of all illiterates were black, and blacks
accounted for one third of the total population.
In the 1870s, Mecklenburg County was beginning to rebuild its school
system within the terms of the demands of the post-war era. D.A. Tompkins’s
History of Mecklenburg claims that by 1874, there were 34 black schools
and 46 white schools in the county. The first graded school for blacks in
Charlotte was in an old tobacco barn in First Ward, and was later replaced
by Myers Street School.
In addition to the surviving examples of Rosenwald Schools, the Reed
School in Steele Creek and the Bethesda Schoolhouse are the
only surviving rural African American school houses in the county.
Tom Hanchett writes that by 1882 the city established its first graded
schools, “with separate buildings for black children and white.”
The record of the establishment of rural schools is also imprecise.
The state gave authority to the counties to operate schools, a plan that
spared state funds, but gave free rein to county governance to determine
where and how their limited funds were best spent. In some cases, the
insufficient funding available to blacks was exhausted on building the
schoolhouse leaving no money for teachers’ salaries. Both black and
white rural schools were often supported by contributions raised by local
Even through the combined funding efforts of the county and local
families, rural schoolhouses were generally little more than one-room
cabins. Students walked to school, so schoolhouses enrolled as many who
could get there on foot. Children who did not live within a reasonable
walking distance to a school did not go to school. The terms were short
and broken up so that children could help families with planting and
harvesting, and black students' school terms were shorter than that for
white pupils. The average school term in North Carolina was 17 weeks for
whites and 16.01 weeks for blacks. In addition to the difference of the
school term, a greater proportion of whites than blacks were enrolled in
school. In Mecklenburg County in 1903, nearly 70% of white school age
children were enrolled in school, and nearly 60% of black school aged
children were enrolled. These figures dropped for both groups in 1904 to
50% and 46% respectively.
Public instruction seldom extended beyond the elementary grades for white
children and never for blacks. The teachers, in many cases, were barely
better educated than their students. State and federal oversight was
practically nonexistent; and the quality of the buildings, classroom
materials, and teachers was determined by the social and political whim of
county authorities. It was standard practice to pay white teachers more
than African American teachers. Funds were not evenly allotted to all
schools. Affluent districts had good schools, but public resources rarely
found their way into the impoverished areas. As most Southern rural areas
were poor, the schools in poor locales tended to remain inadequate.
Section 24 of the North Carolina School Law placed the appropriation of
school funds under the control of the County Board of Education with only
one restriction, the apportionment of these funds was to be made with an
effort to provide equal term lengths for all schools under the board’s
jurisdiction. In 1904, African American schools in North Carolina received
$244,847.38 to pay teacher salaries, build schools and educate 221,545
children. In contrast, white schools received and spent $929,164.26 for
the same purpose and to educate 462,639 students. The fact that blacks,
one-third of the school population, received only one-fifth of the
available funds constituted such an egregious disparity that the State
Superintendent for Public Instruction castigated anyone who would complain
that white tax dollars were put toward education for blacks:
…if any part of the taxes actually paid by individual white men ever
reaches the Negro for school purposes, the amount is so small that the man
who would begrudge it or complain about it ought to be ashamed of himself.
In the face of these facts, any unprejudiced man must see that we are in
no danger of giving the Negroes more than they are entitled by every
dictate of justice, right, wisdom, humanity, and Christianity.
Prospects for blacks and for poor whites improved somewhat in the late
nineteenth century. During the 1880s and early 1890s, the county purchased
a number of sites for black and white schools and probably provided some
funds for construction, operating costs, and teacher salaries. In 1886 the
Board of Aldermen acquired a lot in Second Ward from Col. W.R. Myers on
which they built the two-story Myers Street Elementary School, a graded
city school for African American children.
Although educational opportunities for African Americans in Mecklenburg
County by the turn of the century were inadequate compared to those
available to whites, the county nonetheless subsidized black schools. The
policy to support schools for both races was mandated in the state
constitution. However, it was also part of a developing agenda that
evolved to some extent under the leadership of Governor Charles B. Aycock
and owed some of its advancement to the climate of dynamic economic growth
experienced by and encouraged in the county in the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries. Governor Aycock [1901-1905] was inspired by the
abysmal fact that the state’s system of public education had steadily
declined since the 1870s and that less than half of the state’s school age
children attended school on a regular basis. An advocate of universal
education, Aycock believed that education was an essential investment in
the future. He argued that educated people were better workers, better
citizens, better parents, and more prosperous than uneducated people.
Under Aycock’s direction, increased and more efficient funding was
appropriated by the General Assembly in an effort to raise standards in
poor counties; high school education became more prevalent in rural and
urban areas; and the concept of consolidating rural school districts was
introduced. Part of Aycock’s underlying agenda was to provide equal
educational opportunities for boys and girls, but primarily for boys who
could grow up to become qualified voters; a privilege not available by law
to women or in practice to African American men.
By the 1890s, racial segregation laws and disfranchisement practices
effectively guided Mecklenburg’s social and political patterns, and
segregated schools fell neatly into this new standard. Providing a limited
education that was touted as separate but equal for the improvement of the
local African American population was part of the important civic task of
promoting the county’s significant assets, such as productive agriculture,
a thriving textile industry, an educated population, and a law-abiding,
peaceful citizenry both in the black and white communities. Local "boosters"
were not interested in equal opportunities, but they understood that
newcomers with capital would only invest it in places that were socially
stable as well as economically viable. By the turn of the century, the
majority of the county’s African American population was rural and had a
limited education, but a strong middle and professional class was a highly
visible part of the city population. Charlotte was promoted as a town
where the races peacefully co-existed and where “the Negro is welcomed in
the pursuits to which he is best adapted, and there is nothing of
the race prejudice felt elsewhere and he is given every opportunity to
better his own condition and that of his children.”
In spite of Charlotte’s growth in the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries, Mecklenburg retained a largely rural character until after the
Second World War. By the close of the nineteenth century, Mecklenburg
County led the state in cotton production; but although Mecklenburg County
produced a significant amount of cotton, its dependency on the crop doomed
the local agricultural economy to stagnation and deterioration. By 1920,
American agriculture began a steady decline that was exacerbated by the
Great Depression of the 1930s. Southern farmers who were dedicated to cotton
production and mid-western farmers who were dedicated to wheat production
had no recourse when the international market prices of these commodities
plummeted in the 1920s and 1930s. The overarching response to the crisis
was overproduction, which worsened the situation, leading to increased
foreclosures and an increase in tenancy. Like many of their southern
counterparts, Mecklenburg farmers were hampered by inefficient methods,
such as one or two crop agriculture, and by crop liens. The consequences
of this system were that the number of land owners, both white and African
American, decreased over time; and that tenancy increased, swelling the
ranks of poor rural whites and blacks. Rural African Americans already
tended to be poorer than the majority of rural whites and more likely to
be landless and bound to some form of tenancy.
Of the 4344 farmers identified in the 1920 Census of Agriculture for
Mecklenburg County, 1647 were African American, and of these only 150 were
farm owners, and 1497 were tenants, compared to the 2690 farms operated by
whites, of which 1492 were owner-operated, and 1184 were operated by white
tenants. This data not only illustrates the vast economic gaps between black
and white farmers in the county in the early part of the century, and it
also raises the perplexing question of why there were so few African
American farmers of any type when the rural African American population in
Mecklenburg in 1920 numbered over 12,000. Somewhere scattered around the
county in unincorporated areas and in the small towns outside of Charlotte
were approximately 10,000 African Americans, and slightly over half of
them were over the age of twenty-one. They were likely employed as
domestics, as skilled and unskilled workers in the small towns, on the
railroad, and in processing jobs affiliated with agriculture such as
An education was often the ticket to a job that paid cash wages and
permitted some degree of social and economic mobility, and the only means
for African Americans and poor whites to detach from the debilitating
cycle of sharecropping and dependency.
The Bethesda Schoolhouse
In light of the inequities inherent in the public school system both in
the state and in the county, rural schoolhouses that were accessible to
either blacks or whites were invaluable assets in the development of the
county’s children. The lucky ones who lived within a reasonable walking
distance to a school could at least acquire a fundamental education, and
this was usually the only hope of breaking out of the dead end of tenancy
and rural poverty.
Bethesda Schoolhouse was one small remedy to the pernicious effects of
ignorance, poverty and dependency. Located at 13129 Alexanderana Road in
the northern part of the county, Bethesda is the oldest extant school
building for African
Americans in the county. Officially designated as the Bethesda Colored
School of Mallard Creek Township, School District # 3, it served the
African American community of Mallard Creek and Croft from
approximately 1899 until the 1940s when it was closed as part of the state
program of school consolidation.
Historian Matthew Thomas, a UNCC graduate student, notes its significance as “the last remaining archetype of
Mecklenburg’s rural black schoolhouses that were so important to advancing
education among the county’s black farming communities.” Thomas found
reference to the school in County deed records in which the one-acre of
property where the school is situated was acquired by the County Board of
Education under the directorship of W. M. Anderson, John McDowell and M. A.
Alexander from Mr. Burwell Cashion on December 4, 1904 for the sum of
Thus, Thomas contends the Bethesda schoolhouse pre-dates the Julius
Rosenwald schools by approximately fifteen years. This information underscores the
significance of the schoolhouse as an immensely important historical find
for the County. To further illustrate the meaning of Bethesda’s survival
into the twenty-first century, Thomas offers the evidence of what the
county has lost in terms of rural African American schoolhouses, using a
map of Mecklenburg, circa 1911, produced by civil engineers C. A. and J. B.
Spratt which enumerates fifty-nine colored schools within the county’s
jurisdiction. The Bethesda Schoolhouse is the last one known to remain in
Mr. Merle King, owner of the building, believes it was built in
1899. Popular local legend is that the school was constructed in either
1898 or 1899 by a prosperous and well-liked black farmer of the area named
A “Colored School No. 4” in Mallard Creek is listed in the Operating
Budget for the Mecklenburg County Schools in 1899, which may have been the
Bethesda School. Its allotted operating expenses for the year were $80.00.
John Young’s actual role in the establishment of the school is vague, but
his involvement with the schoolhouse is clearly a matter of record, and
local accounts seem to tie him firmly to the establishment of the school.
History shows that it was not uncommon for local community leaders to
direct the promotion of necessary social improvements such as education.
Young was listed in the Mecklenburg County Board of Education’s Operating
Budget dated 1909-11, which authorized expenses paid to him for the annual
delivery of firewood and for various repairs to the school. The Budget
Records also show a Colored School in District #3, Mallard Creek, called
the Youngsville School. This school had 46 students taught by two
teachers, Lula Wood who instructed grades 1-3 and earned $55.00 a month,
and Sarah Byers, a certified elementary teacher who was responsible for
grades 4-7 and earned $70.00 a month.
According to Mrs. Kathleen Harris, her husband Robert Harris attended the
Bethesda School from around 1922 until 1930. Mrs. Lucile Henderson Alison
attended the school for two years starting in 1937, when she was in the
second-grade. At that point she recalls that it was a two-room
building, heated by a woodstove. The daily routine at Bethesda would have
been similar to that in the several other rural schoolhouses in the
county. Louis Caldwell, who attended the Lawing School in Shuffletown,
recalled that in the winter, the schoolhouse would be horribly cold and
the first children to arrive were responsible for building a fire in the
old coal stove.
All grades would have been taught in the same room, and the lives of the
students revolved around the patterns and demands of the local agrarian
According to Mrs. Harris the school was no longer in operation in the
1940’s, and county records show that the Board of Education sold the
property to John and Bertie Young on July 10, 1946.
Between 1938 and 1952, many small Mecklenburg County schools, both black
and white, were closed as part of a statewide push to consolidate students
into larger, more modern schools. Even after the building had
outlived its use as a school, it remained a focus for community social
gatherings, with annual picnics held there until the 1960s.
Long-time resident Robert Dixon, who lives a short distance from the
school, reminisced that Mr. Young and his family hosted fish-fries at the
school for as long back as he could remember and that local people, both
black and white, would come from miles around to socialize there. Silas
Davis remembered that the immensely popular fish fries started on the last
Wednesday of August and lasted until Saturday night. The fish were gutted
and “fried with the head, tail, bones and all” and were then “just slapped
between two pieces of bread.” Mr. Dixon and Mr. Davis both believed that
the fish fries ended sometime in the mid nineteen-sixties.
county funding forced African Americans to find alternative sources of
money from their own communities. There are several examples of this in
Mecklenburg County. Fish fries were not only popular ways to gather
the community together for relaxed socializing, but were often used as
fund raisers for local schools and community centers. For example, the
Crestdale Community, the historic African American neighborhood in
Matthews, raised necessary funds to support its community school by
having fish fries, and by assessing the parents $25.00. Farmer and
neighborhood leader Logan Houston of Davidson organized many fundraisers
selling ice cream, made with milk from his own cows to support the
Davidson Colored School.
resourcefulness and determination of local African American community
leaders to maintain their small schools in the face of municipal
indifference is a powerful statement of their understanding of the
implications of the significance of educating their children. Long denied
the benefits of education, African Americans clung purposefully to the
promises made possible by literacy. The unassuming rural schoolhouses such
as Bethesda were able to provide a modicum of education to the surrounding
population, and this basic schooling was but a step in the
improvements in education available to future generations. The small
Bethesda Schoolhouse made possible by those who worked to build and
support it helped improve the lives of the African American children of
Mallard Creek, the descendants of slaves and the parents of children who
would enjoy even greater educational opportunities.
Bethesda Schoolhouse is a one-story, cross-gabled, frame building situated
on a one-acre lot in northern Mecklenburg County, in the Croft Community
south of the town of Huntersville. The setting is rural.
The schoolhouse sits near the intersection of Alexanderana and Eastfield
Roads. Alexanderana runs north-south, 140’ west of the schoolhouse,
and Eastfield runs roughly east-west, 65’ south of the building. The
site’s gently rolling landscape slopes down from a north-south
Norfolk-Southern Railroad line that runs 80’ to the east of the
schoolhouse. Large open fallow farm fields extend eastward from the
railroad tracks. A modern metal church building neighbors the
Bethesda School to the north, and the Maxwell House, a large 19th
century farmhouse, is located about one hundred yards to the south across
T-plan building, the Bethesda Schoolhouse features two-types of metal
roofing and a distinctive row of five tall windows typical in school
buildings. The original building and the later addition were erected
on brick piers that are now infilled with both bricks and cast concrete
blocks. The roughly 40’ by 20’ side-gabled original section of
the building dates from around 1900. Many of the building’s
construction details help to date the building. The standing seam
metal roof on the original section is typical for late 19th
century and early 20th century construction. Framing is
rough-sawn with cut nails visible in the framing and the siding.
While cut nail use in siding continued well into the 20th
century, cut nail use in framing usually indicates pre-1900 construction.
Original brick pier with in-fill curtain foundation
Originally the side-gabled schoolhouse was oriented south with the
entrance, now boarded-up, near the building’s southwest corner.
Though much of the original façade is now obscured by an early 20th
century addition, original paired windows close to the southeast corner
survive. The rear elevation of the principal section appears to be
unaltered and features a row of five, tall six-over-six double-hung
windows that are now covered with plywood. The west elevation
contains another tall six-over-six double-hung window centered in the
wall, and a second, shorter window that was added later to accommodate a
bathroom. The east elevation, which faces the nearby railroad track,
Extending from the south elevation of the principal section is a
substantial gabled wing that appears to date from the early years of the
20th century. The wing’s steeply pitched roof is covered
with metal shingles, a typical late 19th and early 20th
century roofing material. With the addition of the wing, the
schoolhouse’s orientation shifted to the west. The wing’s west
elevation features a shed-roofed porch protecting a five-panel door, and
two tall six-over-six double-hung windows. Like the principal
section, the east elevation of the wing is blank. The gabled
south elevation is two bays wide, containing two windows and a louvered
vent in the gable. Patched-in siding indicates that some of the
wing’s windows were originally taller, like those on the principal
schoolhouse features small interior brick flues in both sections, and a
block flue was added to the corner where the wing attaches on the east
side of the original school building. While basically intact, the
building’s exterior is in poor condition, with some deterioration and loss
of siding, and many damaged window sashes.
interior of the original building most likely consisted of a single large
classroom, lit by natural light coming from the schoolhouse’s many
windows. The early 20th century wing addition also served
as a classroom. The unadorned utilitarian design of the building’s
exterior was reflected in the interior. The trim around the doors
and tall windows is simple square stock. Walls and high ceilings
were covered with tongue-and-groove beaded-board. When constructed,
electricity would not have been available and original plumbing was
limited to the hand pump still located to the northwest of the
The schoolhouse's interior reveals a lowered ceiling
and beaded-board behind the wall boards.
beaded-board ceiling is intact above a later ceiling
interior is now in poor condition, and has been divided into several
smaller rooms. The high ceiling has been lowered with framing and
wallboard, supported by stud walls that divide the space and obscure the
original walls. It appears that some, if not all, of the
original walls and ceilings are intact behind the newer interior walls.
Bethesda Schoolhouse has retained a good degree of integrity, meaning that
many of the historic building materials and features of the design of the
building have survived. While a major addition was constructed, it
appears that the addition is of sufficient age and appears to have the
requisite integrity to contribute to the significance of the property.
The building’s condition is poor, and if the deterioration of the building
is allowed to continue, the integrity and the significance of the building
could be negatively affected.
of Mecklenburg County's African American historic resources conducted by
the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission in 2001-2002
identified only three pre-1900 rural building with structural integrity.
While more 20th century African American buildings were identified, most
rural sites are now facing either neglect or pressure from development.
The vast majority of historic African American buildings in the county are
homes, and all surviving commercial and institutional buildings are very
important in understanding how the black communities in the county
functioned. While several Rosenwald School, such as the Huntersville
Colored School, Billingsville, and McClintock, have been preserved and are
relatively similar in size, setting, and construction, none is as old as
the Bethesda Schoolhouse.
Croft Schoolhouse, 1890
Rural Hill School, 1890
All surviving rural 19th century and early 20th century school buildings
in Mecklenburg County are
so rare that any school building with a good degree
of integrity in terms of setting, design, and/or material is a significant
artifact, important for understanding the history of Mecklenburg County,
which was largely rural until the Second World War. While both the
Bethesda Schoolhouse and the nearby 1890 Croft Schoolhouse are simple
utilitarian structures, the much larger size of the Croft Schoolhouse may
demonstrate the advantages offered white students. Another
northern Mecklenburg white schoolhouse, the 1890 Rural Hill School is
similar in size and design to the original section of the Bethesda
Bibliography for the Architectural Description:
D., and Wells, Tom. Historic Louisiana Nails: Aids to The Dating of Old
Buildings. Baton Rogue, Geoscience Publications, 1993.
Stewart. “Early 20th Century Barns in North Carolina’s Southern
Piedmont” Preservation Brief , Graduate Project, Department of Interior
Architecture, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2001.
Roofing in Victorian stamped steel and copper is still practical today”
William S. Powell, North Carolina Through Four Centuries, [Chapel
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989, pp, 418-419.
Eric Foner, Reconstruction. America’s Unfinished Revolution
1863-1877, (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), p. 96.
Janette Greenwood, The Black Experience in Charlotte-Mecklenburg,
1850-1920, Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission,
1984, p. 3-31; Powell, North Carolina, p. 419.
Foner, Reconstruction, pp. 97-98.
Paul D. Escott, Many Excellent People. Power and Privilege in North
Carolina, 1850-1900, [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Press, 1985], p. 129.
Powell, North Carolina,p. 420.
Janette Greenwood, The Black Experience in Charlotte-Mecklenburg,
Tom Hanchett, The McClintock Rosenwald School and the Newell
Rosenwald School, 1987.
Ibid; Biennial Report and Recommendations of the Superintendent for
Public Instruction of North Carolina to Governor Charles B. Aycock
fo rthe Schoalstic Years 1902-1903, 1903-1904, [Raleigh, N.C.: E. M.
Uzzell & Co., State Printers &Binders, 1904], pp. 16-17, 36, 96-97.
Hanchett, The McClintock and Newell Rosenwald Schools.
Biennial Report and Recommendations of the Superintendent for Public
Instruction, pp. 73, 79.
Ibid; Greenwood, The Black Experience in Charlotte-Mecklenburg,
The Greater Charlotte Club, Charlotte, [Charlotte, N.C.: 1913]
U.S. Census of Agriculture, 1920; U.S. Census of the Population, 1920.
Matthew Thomas, “Historical Sketch of the Bethesda Schoolhouse” 2003;
Stewart Gray, “Bethesda Schoolhouse” 2002, survey file from The Survey
of African American Buildings and Sites, Mecklenburg County 2002.
Deed Book 195, P. 500, 29 April, 1905.
Thomas, “Historical Sketch of the Bethesda Schoolhouse.”
Thomas, “Historical Sketch”; Gray, “Bethesda Schoolhouse.”
Operating Budget 1899, Mecklenburg Schools. Public Library of Charlotte
and Mecklenburg County.
Thomas, “Historical Sketch”; Mecklenburg County Board of Education
Survey of African American Buildings and Sites, 2002.
Stewart Gray, “Bethesda Schoolhouse.”
Deed Book 1200, P. 31, 10 July, 1946.
Thomas, “Historical Sketch”; Gray, “Bethesda Schoolhouse.”