Zion School

Zion School

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.

Students from the school and their teacher John Sharpe in either 1918 or 1919. The only image I can find pertaining in any way to the school’s history. This image comes from the Iredell Citizen in 2001 when a reunion of sorts was held at the school. It would seem the last two decades have not been kind to the building.

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.

April 6th, 1911 Statesville Sentinel. The Earliest mention I could find of the school.
April 4th, 1912 Statesville Sentinel. A mention of one of the teachers.
April 16th, 1918 Statesville Landmark. School closes for the year, mention of the teachers.
January 12th, 1922 Statesville Landmark. A fairly large list of student names on the honor roll as well as the mention of a baseball team.
February 27th, 1922 Statesville Landmark. By “outfit”, I believe they mean a goal or goals and one or several balls.
June 3rd, 1926 Statesville Landmark. The school will be closed. The same fate befell several other small schools in the area including Liberty and the much larger Henderson school.

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.

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Published by Abandoned NC

I went back to my old home and the furrow of each year plowed like surf across the place had not washed memory away. -A. R. Ammons

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