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Charlotte historians hope to save Siloam School for future generations

After restoration, the Siloam School will be used for programs and school exhibits for grades K-12. Students will learn school history, racial justice and equity.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A fundraiser to save the Siloam School, one of Charlotte's most historic Black institutions, is close to reaching its goal of earning $1 million. 

The north Charlotte school, a one-room building off Mallard Creek Church Road, housed students in different grades. Prior to the school being built, the area was home to enslaved people who lived and worked there. Many of their descendants attended Siloam School. 

The effort to save the school is another attempt by local historians to preserve Charlotte's historical sites, many of which have been torn down as the city continues to grow. 

"Especially African American historic places," Charlotte Museum of History Board Chair Dee Dixon said.

For example, the Good Samaritan Hospital opened in 1891 to serve as a place for Black doctors and nurses to practice medicine in Charlotte. It was located where Bank of America Stadium now stands.

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During the 1940s, Hotel Alexander in the Second Ward was the only hotel that served Blacks. Originally located on McDowell Street, Hotel Alexander was demolished to make room for more modern buildings. 

One piece of history that is still holding its bearings is Charlotte’s Siloam School.

“This all started in the 1920s during the Jim Crow era when African Americans were faced with so many trials and tribulations but they wanted to provide an education for their children," Dixon said.

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Today it's deteriorating, but a community fundraiser is in the works to move the school to Charlotte's Museum of History campus for generations to come.

“We’ve raised over $660,000 of our goal of $1 million to move this school and make it a reality here on the campus of the Charlotte Museum of History," Dixon said.

Once the school is restored, it will serve as a place for students in grades K-12 to learn about racial justice and equity through programs and exhibits.

“Our young school children can attend the schoolhouse can once it's been restored to learn about our history, about Black history," Dixon said.

WCNC has partnered with Pride magazine to share stories just like this one.

Click here to learn more about the Siloam School.

Here's how you can help save the Siloam School:

  • Donate online at charlottemuseum.org/siloam
  • Send donations to: Charlotte Museum of History, 3500 Shamrock Drive Charlotte, NC 28215

Contact Ruby Durham at rdurham@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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