It always pays to notice your surroundings.
On a trip through the back roads of Iredell county while dropping off a family member at a friends house, I happened to spot what I thought to be either a school or church hidden in brush and brambles.
What became confusing was the interior of the building. Despite looking like a school or church, the space was broken up into oddly shaped rooms and what remained of “artifacts” seemed like household items. But, as it turns out, after a bit of research, this was once a school called Zion.
Unfortunately, there is almost no information available about this school. It seems almost lost, as it has no mention in the Iredell County Heritage books, nor in the files at the county library save a copy of the article the photo above came from.
What scant little I was able to find I will include here.
The school was in operation for 15 and maybe as many as 20 years, serving a very rural part of the county. What happens between 1926 and when the first aerial photo of the area appears in 1955 is anyone’s guess, but I would like to make one. Generally when schools were closed the county school board would sell off the property, and judging by the photo from 1955, it looks like the building is being used as a home. Add to that the fact that the interior of the building has clearly been broken up into rooms, and that the back of the building appears to have an addition (the slanted roof line you may notice in some of the last exterior pictures) of several more rooms.
I’m unsure when the building was left empty, but in 2001 it’s still apparently in decent shape, if not occupied. Quite frankly it’s amazing it has survived this long after it’s closing, as many times these old buildings were burned or bulldozed to make way for farm land, which surrounds the property now.
It really is a shame that the building has made it this far only to be left to rot.
If you have any information, pictures, or stories about Zion School, I’d love to hear from you. See the contact page for my email address, contact form, or Instagram.