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Siloam School to open to the public this week

After eight years of raising funds and restoration, Charlotte Museum of History will host a grand opening to the restored Siloam School.

A small single-story schoolhouse with wheelbarrows and landscape items outside.

The finishing touches are being put on the renovated Siloam School at the Charlotte Museum of History.

Photo by CLTtoday

$1.2 million. That’s how much money was raised by the Charlotte Museum of History to rescue and restore the Siloam School. After eight years of hard work, the piece of Charlotte’s history will open to the public Saturday, June 15.

What is the Siloam School?
The historic schoolhouse is a one-room building built in the 1920s by a local African American church community to educate children during Jim Crow segregation.

It’s also one of Charlotte’s last standing Rosenwald-era schools. “All throughout the rural South, communities came together to fundraise. They get the building plans, construct the building, teach African American children,” said Mea Agazio, the Education & Engagement Manager at Charlotte Museum of History.

What’s unique about the Siloam School?
Built like a log structure, the school was named after Siloam Presbyterian Church and served the Black students living near the Mallard Creek neighborhood.

Now, as one of the oldest African American schoolhouses in Mecklenburg County, it taught more than arithmetic and literature — it provided skills for life.

“The one classroom was your academic space, the industrial room would have been there for different kinds of trade skills — so carpentry, cooking, sewing — teaching older children as well as younger children,” said Agazio.

As the Mallard Creek area grew, the school became lost to time and development. One-room schools were gradually replaced with new buildings with separated grades. After closing in 1947, the schoolhouse was converted to a family home and auto body shop.

A banner showing the words "Save Siloam School Project," with text and imagery, surrounded by lights.

This banner greets guests as they enter the area used to highlight the work of the Save Siloam School Project.

Photo by CLTtoday

How was the school rescued?
The Charlotte Museum of History launched the Save Siloam School Project in 2016 — an initiative to move the building from the neighborhood to its property on Shamrock Road.

In September 2023, the single-room schoolhouse was delivered to the museum.

Nine months later, the schoolhouse is opening to the public.

A single-room schoolhouse with hardwood floors and white walls.

Based on Rosenwald school building plans, each schoolhouse was believed to have one classroom for students of all ages.

Photo via Charlotte Museum of History

“The opening of the restored Siloam School marks a significant milestone in Charlotte’s cultural landscape,” said Terri L. White, president and CEO of the Charlotte Museum of History. “Built more than 100 years ago by a Black community in Mallard Creek to provide their children a quality education in spite of segregation, this restored school will once again function as a dynamic space for education and a symbol of hope for a more just and equitable future.”

Charlotte Museum of History will host a special homecoming event + ribbon cutting Saturday, June 15 at 11 a.m. Public tours of the school will start at 12 p.m.

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