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Covington Co. school unveils historical marker

Alumni gathered on Monday for a special dedication and historical marker unveiling at the school.
Alumni gathered on Monday for a special dedication and historical marker unveiling at the school.
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 6:52 PM CST
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COLLINS, Miss. (WDAM) - Carver Middle School was known as Carver Central High in the 1950s and 60s. On Monday, Alumni gathered for a special dedication and historical marker unveiling at the school.

Joyce Fairley was one of those former students.

“Just this morning, I went to the locker that I had when I was in high school here,” said Fairley.

Fairly graduated from Carver Central High School in 1966. At that time, it was the only public high school for African American students in Covington County.

“My locker was four down from the English teacher’s room. We cherished memories from this school,” said Fairley.

Now, Fairley is the historian for the Lincoln Hopewell Carver Alumni Association, whose members worked hard the past few years toward Monday’s unveiling of a historical marker at the school.

The school was added to the National Register of Historic Places and the marker recognizes its importance to African American history. The group officially got the designation for the school in 2019 after years of research.

“Just being here today, It just finalizes all the hard work that we put into getting here because this has been going on since 2016. So today (in) 2022, It is such a blessing. Keeping this memory of this school. Keeping a legacy, the history of this school. I think it’s more important for the county than us, you know, I mean, we know the history, so now the county, the state, will know the history,” said Fairley.

Mamie Hardy is another alum who graduated from Carver Central High School in 1967. On Monday, she presented three annual scholarships to graduates of Covington County schools as the scholarship chair of the alumni association.

“It is very important to us and our grandchildren. We’ve all grown up here from first grade through twelfth grade. It’s just a joy to have the school here that we know that our children can read about and come see,” Hardy says.

State legislators, NAACP members, school officials and alumni gathered to celebrate in the cafeteria. There, they had an opening prayer from Covington County School Board Member Charles Fairley, a welcome from Collins Mayor Hope James, and a song sung by Brother Ray Magee, a Lincoln Hopewell Carver alumni member.

The ceremony also included remarks from Covington County Schools Superintendent Babbette Duty and Covington County NAACP Chapter President John Graves.

President of the LHCAA John Barnes joined Hardy to announce the three scholarship winners from the association during the ceremony.

Alumni association members say their next goal is to get the school designated as a historic landmark.

People at the ceremony agreed, Martin Luther King Jr. Day felt like a great day to celebrate the African American heritage at Carver Middle School.

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