Historically Black Bullitt County schoolhouse is now a museum, education center

What once was a one-room schoolhouse for Black students in Bullitt County has now been transformed into a museum and education center. The Bowman’s Valley Schoolhouse closed in 1957. It was Bullitt County’s last all-Black schoolhouse before the end of segregation. It’s now been repurposed into a museum and learning center. On Friday, there was a ceremony held in front of the school to announce its new purpose.Lt. Gov. Jackie Coleman was in attendance. “The first African American slave was brought to America in 1619,” Coleman said. “Since 1619, there have been 20 generations of Americans. For 18 of those 20 generations, black people did not have equal access to education and the opportunity it creates.” Coleman said that’s why it was important for her to be in Shepherdsville Friday morning for the re-opening of the Bowman’s Valley Schoolhouse. “I knew one day it was going to happen,” said Frances Madsen, a former student. For Madsen, it’s a day she’s been waiting 14 years for. That’s how long it took for this project to get to this point. Madsen attended bowman from 1953 to 1956. “People didn’t recognize us back then,” Madsen said. “We had students that came out of that school that went to Harvard. We had students that went on to work for the governor, some in the military. We did a whole lot from that school, and where we came from. People wouldn ‘ t even know. “When Madsen attended, the school sat on Cooper Run road just off Highway 61. As part of the project, it was restored and relocated to state Route 44.Project leaders said the reason they chose the location is because they wanted it to be next to the Woodsdale School – the county’s last all-white schoolhouse. They believe having the county’s last all-white schoolhouse next to the county’s last all-Black schoolhouse would be a strong statement. “If you don’t know where you’ve been, then you won’t know where you’re going,” said Barbara Darlene Crowe Ayers, project leader The one-room schoolhouse is now divided into two, with one room replicating what it looked like in the 1950s. The other room is full of technology for current students to learn hands-on. “We have a building now where future generations can come and enjoy,” Madsen said.It’s something Coleman said is monumental for the area. “But if we are going to be honest with ourselves, we have a long way to go,” Coleman said The museum is open to the public, but appointments must be made through the Bullitt County Public Schools or the Bullitt County History Museum.

What once was a one-room schoolhouse for Black students in Bullitt County has now been transformed into a museum and education center.

The Bowman’s Valley Schoolhouse closed in 1957. It was Bullitt County’s last all-Black schoolhouse before the end of segregation. It’s now been repurposed into a museum and learning center.

On Friday, there was a ceremony held in front of the school to announce its new purpose.

Lt. Gov. Jackie Coleman was in attendance.

“The first African American slave was brought to America in 1619,” Coleman said. “Since 1619, there have been 20 generations of Americans. For 18 of those 20 generations, black people did not have equal access to education and the opportunity it creates.”

Coleman said that’s why it was important for her to be in Shepherdsville Friday morning for the re-opening of the Bowman’s Valley Schoolhouse.

“I knew one day it was going to happen,” said Frances Madsen, a former student.

For Madsen, it’s a day she’s been waiting 14 years for. That’s how long it took for this project to get to this point.

Madsen attended bowman from 1953 to 1956.

“People didn’t recognize us back then,” Madsen said. “We had students that came out of that school that went to Harvard. We had students that went on to work for the governor, some in the military. We did a whole lot from that school, and where we came from. People wouldn ‘ t even know. “

When Madsen attended, the school sat on Cooper Run road just off Highway 61. As part of the project, it was restored and relocated to state Route 44.

Project leaders said the reason they chose the location is because they wanted it to be next to the Woodsdale School – the county’s last all-white schoolhouse. They believe having the county’s last all-white schoolhouse next to the county’s last all-Black schoolhouse would be a strong statement.

“If you don’t know where you’ve been, then you won’t know where you’re going,” said Barbara Darlene Crowe Ayers, project leader.

The one-room schoolhouse is now divided into two, with one room replicating what it looked like in the 1950s. The other room is full of technology for current students to learn hands-on.

“We have a building now where future generations can come and enjoy,” Madsen said.

It’s something Coleman said is monumental for the area.

“But if we are going to be honest with ourselves, we have a long way to go,” Coleman said.

The museum is open to the public, but appointments must be made through the Bullitt County Public Schools or the Bullitt County History Museum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button