Windsor uncovers history

Published 10:49 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WINDSOR – The town of Windsor is seeking a new historical marker.

The marker will be in recognition of Bertie Academy for African-Americans which was established in 1895.

“Bertie Academy sat where the Martin Community College campus is currently located,” Windsor Mayor Jimmy Hoggard said. “My dad was telling me about it.”

Hoggard said former Mayor Bob Spivey remembered the building, which was located at the corner of Sterlingworth Street and West Granville Street.

Mayor Hoggard said the information he received indicated that students came from far away to attend the school shortly after the Civil War.

Information provided with the application for the historical marker indicates that W.S. Etheridge served as Principal of the school while D.I. Saunders was the School Matron.

The executive board included the Rev. D.L. Simons, president, along with H.W. Houston who was Vice President and Auditor. Etheridge served as Recording Secretary. Other members of the Executive Board included the Rev. W.H. Leath, William Carter, George Holley, L.T. Bond, M.P. Etheridge, L.C. Cooper and William Taylor.

Windsor Commissioner David Overton was in charge of compiling the information and requesting the marker.

He was able to find several pieces of information from the library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“As far as we know, there are no students of the school left alive,” Mayor Hoggard said. “We believe the last student of the school passed away about 10 years ago.”

Mayor Hoggard said it was important for the town to recognize such historical sites and that if, for some reason, the marker was not approved, the town would look at placing some markers on its own.

“This is a piece of history that was almost lost,” the mayor closed.

In other business, the board:

  • heard an update from Commissioner Collins Cooper on the progress of the cemetery;
  • discussed the possibility of renovating a stable owned by the town; and
  • agreed to hold another meeting providing weatherization information for the town’s citizens.