Massie looks at education from pre-Civil War to desegregation in Savannah


Massie Heritage Center works with thousands of school children every year, providing curriculum-based educational programming about the history of education in Savannah and the people who fought to educate African-Americans.

The center started as a school in 1856 for poor children, said curator Steven Smith. Prior to the Civil War, the school was run by the city and was free to attend. In the summer of 1865, Massie operated as a black Freedmen’s School, staffed by female missionary teachers.

After the Civil war, in 1866, it became a white public school run by the newly formed school system, he said. Massie closed in 1974, reopening in 1978 as a heritage center under the Savannah Chatham County Public School System.

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