Linton Ingraham and other school name honorees

Many, many Georgia schools have been named for geography. The announcement that the soon-to-open Denmark High in Forsyth County was to be named for a person was a bit of a surprise. Few persons see their names on high school buildings here.

In the days of segregation, many schools were named for geography: Gray High, Tift County Industrial, Houston County Training, etc.

But there were many that weren’t, especially with new buildings opening in the 1950s.

George Washington Carver was a popular name for schools.

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Chartering the ‘State of Dade’

Dade County is about as far out of Georgia as you can get in Georgia.


Dade County, 1864. From Lloyd’s Topographical Map of Georgia and GeorgiaInfo.

Mountains all but isolate it from anywhere else in the state. In the days of segregation, its black school, Hooker, was too small to support a high school. Instead of going somewhere else in Georgia, it was easiest to transport these children to Howard High of Chattanooga, Tenn.

When Dade High’s gym burned in 1951, it perhaps became the only Georgia school to play home games in another state, as the school booked the gym at John A. Patten School, located near Chattanooga, to use until a new facility could be built in Trenton.

Dade County is sometimes referred to as the “State of Dade” or “Independent State of Dade.”

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When supporting integration could get educators fired

The 1950s were a time of upheaval in Georgia.

At the beginning of the decade, community schools were widespread, though there was little money and little to offer students beyond the school being local. Consolidations came to improve standards and with them, plenty of protests about the schools leaving the communities.

By the middle of the decade, many of these debates had subsided, with only a few major ones – Tennille’s objection of losing their high school to Sandersville and Oglethorpe versus Montezuma, for example – still on the table.

But there were other crises.

In 1954, Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, was decided. Effectively considered the end of separate but equal racial policies, the battle was just beginning.

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Counties not Tooke

The state of Georgia is the 21st largest in the United States of America based on land area. It is the largest state by land area east of the Mississippi River.

Despite the fact there are 20 states in America larger than Georgia, the state rockets up to No. 2 in another category: counties.

There are 159 counties in Georgia. At its peak – 1924-32 – there were 161 counties. Only Texas is more ridiculous in county numbers. The Lone Star State has 254 of them.

Georgia was always plentiful in counties.

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Scenes from a dead town


Holmesville and Baxley, from the 1874 Augustus Mitchell’s Map of Georgia and Alabama, posted on Georgia Info.

Holmesville is not a town that rolls off the tip of the tongue. Nor it is a town where anyone says they are going.

Holmesville is not a town on any major maps. It has not been in nearly 150 years.

Located in Appling County, Holmesville probably never properly thrived.

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Banks County keeps ’em coming

Georgia’s mountain counties have always been a little different in attitude.

Dade County fashioned itself the “State of Dade” over its geographic divide with the rest of Georgia. The Cleveland Courier in White County carried a motto in the 1950s that it “covers the mountains like moonshine.”

The Banks County Journal carried on this proud tradition of being slightly subversive.

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Eugene Cook’s high school football segregation fit

Most basic American history books point to a handful of big cases involving the rights of African-Americans.

There’s the Dred Scott decision. Voting rights established in the Constitution and the couple of Supreme Court cases where you can actually remember both sides: Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan. (1954).

Plessy v. Ferguson is commonly attributed as being the court case that established “separate but equal.” The latter, the Brown case, is supposed to have ended segregation entirely.

Of course, history is not as plain as that or as easy to enforce.

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