MCSD History Project

mcsd_historyImmediately after the Civil War, the City Council of Columbus, Georgia, passed a resolution to provide for public schools. November 19, 1866, is the generally accepted birthdate of the Muscogee County School District. In the midst of Reconstruction, the city was looking to the future, and the leaders knew that public education would be critically important. For almost 150 years, the school district has been educating children, and we have an important story to preserve and share.

In December, 2008, the Muscogee County Board of Education approved the formation of a committee to document and display the compelling story of education in Columbus.  The mission of the MCSD History Committee is to assist in the vision to preserve and display historical artifacts of education in Muscogee County on the “Legacy of Learning Wall” through

  • Wall displays in the Muscogee County Public Education Center
  • A display cabinet for significant historical artifacts
  • DVD’s that catalogue and explain artifacts and portraits and preserve oral histories
  • A book (electronic or print) that tells the history of Muscogee County public education

Why We Need the “Legacy of Learning Wall”

This effort is important for several reasons.

  • We have memories worth preserving.
  • Knowing the past can increase commitment to public education.
  • We have a significant story to tell.
  • So little local educational history relating specifically to African-American children and educators has been preserved to date. This effort will highlight the entire history of education in Muscogee County.
  • This effort is especially important for our students.

Children of all races should understand how segregated systems existed but gave way to our desegregated system and how an emphasis on quality and equity emerged. By understanding the struggles and successes of the past, children can see how this community has a deep, long-lasting commitment to public education.

The next generation must continue that commitment if public education, which has long been the bedrock of our free citizenship, is to thrive in the future. The history exhibit will be a powerful factor in helping our students appreciate the community’s efforts on their behalf and in leading them to a commitment to future generations of students.

Students will have access to the exhibit through field trips, when registering as a new student in the district, and on any other occasion they might take to stop by the Public Education Center. The “Legacy of Learning Wall” will be on the first floor, easily accessible to all visitors.

Suggested Goals for the MCSD History Committee Members

  • Review the history of public education in the Columbus community from the beginning of the settling of the community and the organization of the first schools in the community to the present time.
  • Study framed photographs, pictures, written documents, newspaper clippings, furniture, and artifacts to determine the significance of each item and make recommendations regarding the placement of specific items for display.
  • Develop a timeline for committee activities.
  • Identify a chronology of events to tell the history of public education in the Columbus community.
  • Reflect on significant events that have had a major impact on public education in this community.
  • Design the display of artifacts for the “Legacy of Learning Wall” to tell the history of public education in the Columbus community.
  • Develop a plan so that the display will be a lasting tribute to public education in the community, and so that events, documents, and artifacts in the future can be added to the exhibit in years to come.
  • Attend steering committee meetings and sub-committee meetings as scheduled.

How You Can Help

Because the mission to document our history is to be accomplished through private contributions, not tax money, our first efforts involve planning and fundraising. Our goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of June 2010 and to have plans in the hands of professionals by the end of December 2010.

Please join us in these efforts.

  • Join the History Committee. Just let us know you’d like to help. We meet on the first Thursdays at noon at the Public Education Center on Macon Road.
  • Add your own historical memories to the history blog.
  • Share any significant historic memorabilia or pictures you might have. We will make copies.
  • Make a tax-deductible financial contribution toward our $10,000 goal. Please make checks payable to Muscogee County School District, marked for the History Committee and mail to:
    Muscogee County Public Education Center
    Attn: Karen Jones
    P. O. Box 2427
    Columbus, GA 31902

The wall display in the new building will list contributors of $100 or more, and all contributors will be acknowledged on the website (unless otherwise requested).

Contact Information