Children such as those in this photo attended the Jonesville School but lived in Elkin or smaller nearby communities. Parents sometimes made extreme sacrifices to educate their children because not every community or school system could afford to build a school or to hire teachers. Beyond grade seven, students from Jonesville and surrounding communities were bused to the Yadkin County High School in Boonville.
The one-room school on Cedarbrook Road was attended by Jonesville youth from the early 1940s until 1967. It currently serves as a church. A committee of local citizens who attended first through seventh grades in Jonesville will be collecting memorabilia, photos and interviewing students who attend the school. If you wish to participate in this project, contact the Jonesville History Center at 835-0077.
An upcoming celebration will highlight the history of area African-Americans who attended schools in Jonesville and Boonville before 1968.
The Juneteenth Black Heritage Festival will be held from 2-7 p.m. Saturday, July 30, in Jonesville’s Senior Center.
The Festival, part of Jonesville’s Bicentennial celebration to honor the town’s storied past and heritage, will also recognize Jonesville citizens who have made notable contributions to the town and region. Local citizens to be recognized include Claude Ferguson, Otis Brown and family, Teen Blackburn and Ella Jean Williams.
Exhibits will honor students who attended the elementary school on Cedarbrook Road in Jonesville and those who continued their education at the Yadkin County High School in Boonville. Photos of the 24 graduating classes of the Yadkin School will be displayed.
The event will be coordinated by Effley Howell Sr., former resident and current CEO of Thankful Heritage, Inc., an organization devoted to the preservation of African-American artistic, cultural and historical materials.
Howell, who has been also recognized for his portrayals of Martin Luther King, will display documents and relics related to black history from slavery through the emancipation to highlights of achievements in present day America.
Music will be provided by area artists and choirs. Local classic car enthusiasts will hold an exhibit in the Jonesville Park. Due to space restrictions, vendor space is limited.
Following the festival, select items will be moved to the Jonesville History Center as a rotating collection to be shown with exhibits by Jonesville Historian Charles Mathis and various collectibles donated by Jonesville residents.
Historical Society members, Jonesville Town Commissioners and Representative Virginia Foxx will welcome attendees to the area’s first Juneteenth celebration.
Organizers anticipate that the event may grow in future years as residents become aware of this growing global celebration.
Not only a day to remember the tragedies of slavery, Juneteenth is a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of African-Americans in our communities, our state and our nation.
In celebrating Jonesville’s 200th anniversary as one of the oldest towns in the Yadkin Valley, the Bicentennial Committee has attempted to include all communities, cultures and histories. One particular celebration that relates to African-American heritage is Juneteenth, short for June 19, which began in Texas in 1865 to honor the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth has now become a global celebration. It is a festival of folk and gospel music and praise. The festival is marked by reunions and celebrations by people of all races, ethnicities and nationalities.
It is a day to remember the suffering of those who have passed before us and a day to reflect on the aspirations and opportunities of those who will follow us.