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Pleasant Plains School entered into National Register of Historic Places

Submitted by Terry Hall    

AHOSKIE – The Pleasant Plains School, located in the Pleasant Plains Community in Hertford County, has been entered in the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Register is a list of properties “significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture – a comprehensive index of the significant physical evidences of our national patrimony.”

Pleasant Plains School is located on U.S. Highway 13 across from Pleasant Plains Baptist Church. The school is a T-shaped, one-story, frame building with a belfry tower over the entrance. Built in 1920, the school was the second Rosenwald funded school built in Hertford County. The 1920 school replaced the first school on the property, which is no longer extant and according to local tradition dated from 1866.

The Pleasant Plains School meets National Register of Historic Places Criterion A for its local educational importance as the only graded public school that served local Native American students and local African American students in the Pleasant Plains Community of Winton from 1920 to 1950. The three-classroom school is also of local architectural significance under Criterion C as a very intact, representative example of early twentieth century rural school design. This important public school building meets Criterion Consideration A as it is currently owned by the Pleasant Plains Baptist Church.

William D. Newsome is listed as the school’s first teacher in 1866. For most of the time that Pleasant Plains School was open, faculty consisted of three teachers. A photograph taken in 1930 of the school showed three teachers: Sally Bizell, Addie Collins, and Annie Walden. Other teachers at the school include Effie L. Gadsden, Alice J. Nickens, and Viola Chavis.

Pleasant Plains Baptist Church conducted a program on Oct. 9 to recognize the 150th anniversary of the school and its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Marvin Jones of the Chowan Discovery Group presented a history of the school.