Sumter's early schools stood together

Single city block was home to 3 schools, the city’s first Carnegie public library and Temple Sinai

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 10/28/18

Reflections takes a look back at the history of a single city block, bounded by Liberty Street, Hampton Avenue, Church Street and Washington Street, which was the site of three early schools, the city's first public library and Temple Sinai.

1) …

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Sumter's early schools stood together

Single city block was home to 3 schools, the city’s first Carnegie public library and Temple Sinai

Posted

Reflections takes a look back at the history of a single city block, bounded by Liberty Street, Hampton Avenue, Church Street and Washington Street, which was the site of three early schools, the city's first public library and Temple Sinai.

1) WASHINGTON SCHOOL

Opened on Sept. 12, 1892. The Washington School continued as a part of the Sumter skyline until 1978 when it was removed; a branch of Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo) was constructed on the site.

2) HAMPTON SCHOOL

In the spring of 1903, the Sumter School Board was given permission to raise $15,000 in bonds. The idea was to construct a new building to help with overcrowding at the Washington School. The northeast corner of Monument Square was purchased, and plans were made to build a structure to house high school students.

3) CENTRAL SCHOOL

In 1914, the schools in the Sumter School system were so overcrowded that Dr. Edmunds proposed a $50,000 bond to build Central School. The plans were drawn and approved in 1916. The construction on this new school built on "The Green" was complete in 1917. The school was constructed in line with the Hampton School and faced the Confederate Monument.

4) CARNEGIE LIBRARY

"In 1915, the Carnegie Corp. of New York agreed to provide $10,000 for the construction of a library for Sumter, provided that the city would agree to furnish the site for the building and pledge $1,000 for annual maintenance. The papers were signed on Oct. 7, 1915. Records show that in December 1917, there were 53 members of this library with 104 books in circulation."

5) TEMPLE SINAI

The first house of worship was a wooden structure built on the corner of Hampton Avenue and Church Street. This structure was replaced by a brick building which was dedicated in 1913.

6) HAMPTON AVENUE

7) LIBERTY STREET