Monticello site named to National Register of Historic Places

Old Howard Academy was a school for African Americans in the Jefferson County community from...
Old Howard Academy was a school for African Americans in the Jefferson County community from 1936 to 1960.(Florida Secretary of State)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 11:24 AM EDT
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MONTICELLO, Fla. (WCTV) - The Old Howard Academy in Monticello has been listed in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places, according to a press release from Florida’s Secretary of State.

“I am pleased to announce that the Old Howard Academy has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places,” said Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee. “The buildings of Old Howard Academy are the oldest surviving schools for African Americans in Monticello, where dedicated teachers educated generations of students.”

According to the release, Old Howard Academy includes two wood frame, one-story buildings. The first building, a four-room school serving African American students from first through 12th grade, was built in 1936.

“The vacant buildings have been stabilized using grant funds awarded by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources, and are awaiting renovations as funds become available,” the release says.

The second schoolhouse was built in 1940 to accommodate the growing student population. That building has six classrooms.

Once the second building was complete, high schoolers were taught there, while elementary and middle school students went to class in the first one, the release says.

Old Howard Academy’s design followed the Julius Rosenwald Fund’s standards, which helped create hundreds of “Rosenwald Schools” for Black students in the South from 1917 to 1932, the release says.

The academy is located on Mamie B. Scott Drive in Monticello. The street is named after a leader in African American education in Jefferson County. According to the release, Scott was committed to that cause for more than 40 years.

Old Howard Academy served the community until 1960, when a modern yet still segregated school for African Americans was built in southeastern Monticello, according to the release. That school was later named Howard Academy.

The release says Monticello schools were integrated in 1967.

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