The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation's Places in Peril program seeks to identify significant historic, archaeological and cultural properties that are threatened by demolition, deterioration or insensitive public policy or development, and have a demonstrable level of community interest, commitment and support. The ten Places in Peril are selected for listing based on several criteria. Sites must be listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or the Georgia Register of Historic Places. Sites must be subject to a serious threat to their existence or historical, architectural and/or archeological integrity. there must be a demonstrable level or community commitment and support for the preservation of listed sites.
In 1959 British folk singer Shirley Collins accompanied Alan Lomax (folklorist whose recordings with his father John helped develop the Library of Congress' Archive of American Folk Song ) on his trip through the south to record traditional folk music. She wrote about their trip in her book America Over the Water. In chapter 21 "Georgia Sea Island of St. Simons” pages 165-170 she described meeting and recording John Davis, Bessie Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers. Imagine my delight reading this paragraph:
"The music was superb, the conditions difficult. We were working in the old school house, and Alan said it was worse than recording inside a barrel. For two nights we worked there, taking bottles of bourbon and crates of Coca Cola to keep everyone going. The nights were hot and sultry. One night, after we'd opened up the windows to let in some much-needed air, I counted moths that flew in and settled, and gave up at over four hundred."
This is very exciting because it means that those 1959 recordings at the Library of Congress were made in the Harrington School -- a historical note that contributes greatly to our efforts to restore the building!! You can hear those recordings at ACE website www.culturalequity.org.
To read and/or listen to a story about the Harrington School broadcast by VOA click below.
Clarification to VOA presentation: Acting independently, three board members of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society -- Patty Deveau, Rawson Gordon and Ron Upshaw -- requested a second opinion from historic preservationists on whether or not the schoolhouse was "beyond repair."