A HERITAGE. A LEGACY.
STILL BUILDING COMMUNITY
OUR RESTORATION PROJECT
HISTORIC CLAFLIN SCHOOL
Friends of Historic Claflin
Our mission is simple: build our community on the strong legacy of Historic Claflin School and a vision for the future of Columbus.
In 1868 a schoolhouse was built in downtown Columbus to educate the African American community following the Civil War. This school eventually became part of the Muscogee County public school system and its campus was expanded in 1921, when a larger masonry building was added.
Claflin School was an elementary school from 1868 - 1973. The original Claflin building was the City of Columbus' first school for Blacks, built in 1868 by the Freedmen's Bureau. It was a two-story, 4-classroom, wood building. In 1921 an 8-classroom building of tile was added to the lot. In 1948 a 12-classroom brick building was added to the lot. The three buildings of Claflin School stood together until November 2 1958, when the original building was destroyed by a fire. The last students to attend Claflin School did so in the 1972 - 73 school year.
Although the original 1868 structure was destroyed by fire in 1958, two buildings from the first half of the 20th century remain.
In 2005 the Muscogee County School District moved their operations to a new building, boarding up Claflin’s windows and leaving the buildings vacant. The campus fell victim to vandalism, theft and deterioration. In 2014 the city of Columbus took ownership of the buildings, which require significant and costly rehabilitation.
In 2014, Friends of Historic Claflin embarked upon a tremendous undertaking to restore the school as a treasured landmark and structure for our community today.
Claflin School is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Georgia Trust’s 2016 Places in Peril.
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
The Georgia Trust’s Places in Peril program seeks to identify and preserve historic sites threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.
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Historic Claflin School Landmark Location:
1532 5th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31906
Friends of Historic Claflin, Inc.
Marshall M.S., Room 301
1830 Shepherd Drive
Columbus, GA 31906 USA
P.O. Box 5231
Columbus GA 31906 USA
Rev. Richard Jessie
Executive Director of Restoration
4321 Olympic Lane
Columbus, GA 31907 USA
Mon - Fri: 11am - 2pm
Saturday: 11 am - 12pm