Former students seek to memorialize legacy of historic Huntersville school

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Former students of a historic school in Huntersville are planning how to memorialize its legacy.

Bee Jay Caldwell has fond memories of the Little School off Dellwood Drive, which she attended in 1952.

The Little School, also known as Huntersville Rosenwald School #2, opened in 1952. It was specifically built for African American children, first through fourth grade, to further their education.

There were 26 schools like this in Mecklenburg County.

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The Little School was decommissioned as a school in 1958. It has had some updates over the years and is currently being used as a community center for the Pottstown area.

Earlier in 2022, the school was declared a historic landmark by Huntersville town commissioners. It’s something Caldwell has been pushing for.

“It took much effort. If it had value, why make us fight so hard to give it value?” Caldwell said.

On Wednesday night, Caldwell attended a meeting with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmark Commission to discuss the historic roadside marker that will be placed at the site. Nothing was decided at the meeting, but there was was a lot of discussion about what the marker should say and the language that would be used.

“I can be Black, I can be African American, but back in 1923, ‘24, ‘25 we were Negros. So to me, the sign should reflect Negro. Not African American. Not Black. Negro. And some people did not share that sediment, which is fine,” Caldwell said.

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She said there was also back and forth about what the buildings should be known as going forward, but to her, it will always be the Little School.

“People of African descent are storytellers, so we need the story, as long as there is one to tell that story, that’s good,” Caldwell said.

Four other schools in Huntersville have the historic designation, including Torrence-Lytle School. It was the first African American high school in north Mecklenburg.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmark Commission said it could be a while until they finalize the historic marker for the Little School because they want to make sure it’s right.

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