Place

Orange County Training School

"The OCTS is over here, on Caldwell. And my mother’s father was one of the ones that laid the cornerstone, they were all masons. And so I went to what they called Northside, but was OCTS, from 1945 which was when I started...and so my class was the first class that went all the way through from the 7th to the 12th grade."

- Esphur Foster

In 1916, the Chapel Hill School District Board of Directors took over the Hackney School on Merritt Mill Road and the local Quaker primary school for African American students, consolidating the two schools under the name Orange County Training School. The school burned down in 1922 as the result of a fire that started at a nearby boarding house. Students were taught in various locations for the next two years until a new brick Rosenwald-funded building was constructed in 1924. The school served grades 1-12 and an addition was added in 1935 to allow for a separation of the high school from the lower grades. When Black students and their families objected to the school's name in 1948, it was renamed Lincoln High School, and when a new Lincoln High School building was constructed in 1951, it was renamed and repurposed as Northside Elementary, which it remained until the school was closed and used as office space after the integration of the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools in 1966. Today, the site is home to a new Northside Elementary, which opened in 2013.

Orange County Training School
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Citation: “Orange County Training School,” From the Rock Wall, accessed July 7, 2022, https://fromtherockwall.org/places/orange-county-training-school.

To learn more...

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"We’re writing our own history, thank you!"

Ms. Esphur Foster

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