Flagg Grove School
On the first of June 2012 they moved the school to its new location. Here are photos and a video about it.
Here is another update about the move and restoration of the school Tina went to.
"We do have a time frame, we need to have the school off the farm by the first of May, since we are using City money we have to advertise for bids, we will do that in the little weekly paper today and again next week. We think there will only be one bidder. He is doing the work on the Denmark Church for us and is experienced in historic restoration. He is ready. He will do some work on the building before the move to stabilize it. Remember it is over 100 years old. We are forming a friends group and looking for as many of the students as we can find who attended the school. Mrs. Carolyn Flagg is helping us, she and Tina were good friends. Bill"
This is a message I got from Billy King, the president of The Big Black Creek Historical Association over in Madison County.
"The Brownsville City Council voted to pay the cost of moving the school from the present site. The farmer needs it off his land, so he can put in a sprinkler system.
We plan to move it to the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, and after the move we will restore the building. It still has some of the original desk, chalk board and the little stage in it.
We already have Sleepy John's little house there and a room dedicated to the music of the area.
Their website is http://www.westtnheritage.com/. The director there is Sonia Outlaw-Clark, she is doing a great job.
We already have some items that belonged to Tina. We will write a grant through Haywood County to completely restore the little building, it probably is one of the last one room schools left in Haywood County.
I am president of The Big Black Creek Historical Association over in Madison County, we are in the Denmark Community, Tina would be familiar with this area since we are just over the Haywood County Line. Denmark is the oldest town in West Tennessee, 1820.
Our web site is http://www.bigblackcreekhistorical.com and our Facebook pages are Big Black Creek. The school appears on both of these sites. Thanks again. . . we are very excited. Bill"
10 April 2012 - Brownsville Aldermen vote to preserve historic school
BROWNSVILLE TN :Flagg Grove School , in the Nutbush community, is one of only a few remaining African-American schoolhouses in Haywood County . The Brownsville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Tuesday evening to help preserve the school where music legend Tina Turner once attended grade school, by funding its move to the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center . Once at the Center, the school will be restored and become a part of the Center's permanent exhibits.
The one room school has significant historical value for the community and can be tied directly to Turner's ancestry. The land the school is built on was bought from Benjamin Flagg in 1889. Flagg was a former slave who came from North Carolina after the Civil War. He was also the brother of George Flagg, Turner's great-grandfather. The school closed in the 1960s and has since been used as a barn.
"Ideally, we would love to preserve Flagg Grove School on its original acre of ground," explains Delta Heritage Center Director Sonia Outlaw-Clark, "but since this is not possible, it just makes sense to move it where it can be restored and seen by the most people."
The building, along with other artifacts found in the school, is being donated to the Center by local restaurateurs Pam and Joe Stephens. "Pam and I wanted to save the building," says Stephens. "It's an important piece of Haywood County history." The building has been owned by the Stephens family since the late 60's.
Moving the school to the Center ties directly to the mission of the Center which is to promote the heritage of the region and increase tourism in rural West Tennessee . "The school will become an integral part in telling our story," says Clark, "especially where education and music are concerned in Haywood County ."
Regarding the efforts to save the school and open it to the public, Tina Turner commented: " I'm pleased to know that children from around the world, who stop at the Visitor's Center in Brownsville, will be able to visualize what it was like growing up during the era of my childhood."
While the City will fund the initial move, the preservation work will continue through fundraising efforts of the Friends of the Delta Heritage Center ; a non-profit group who supports the work of the Center. Anyone wishing to help with these efforts can contact the Center at 731-779-9000, or donations can be made payable to the Friends of the Center, 121 Sunny Hill Cove, Brownsville , TN 38012 .
The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center is a tourist information center and home to three regional museums depicting the history and culture of the West Tennessee people. Inside visitors will find the Cotton Museum , the West Tennessee Music Museum and the Hatchie River Museum . Over 20.000 people toured the Center in 2011 from 38 countries. To learn more about the Center, visit http://www.westtnheritage.com or call 731-779-9000.