• Canvas Two

    Below this canvas sits two old desks from Forsyth County schools. They were part of the collection gathered by former Superintendent Robert Otwell as reminders for future generations of the “olden days”. The wood floor below the desks is from the former Cumming Public School gymnasium, which was torn down in the late 1990s.

    1. This photograph is of Otwell Middle School in 1975. The school was built directly next to Forsyth County High School and featured a sunken brick courtyard. The school was named in honor of Mr. Roy P. Otwell, Sr., a local civic leader, businessman, and banker. In 1981 a ninth grade was added, changing the school to a junior high that fed into Forsyth County High School. However, the school later converted back to a middle school with ninth grade moving to the high school. Due to the student growth at Forsyth Central High School, the original Otwell Middle building was converted to be the West Campus of the high school. The new Otwell Middle School opened in 2001 on Tribble Gap Road. 

    2. This photograph is of students participating in the Maypole dance at Sharon School. The first historical record found that mentions the name Sharon School, named for the community in which it was located, is the year 1904. It was a one-room wooden building with one teacher for all grades. The 1922-1923 school year was the first year that students attended a new brick Sharon School. The new Sharon Elementary opened in 2003 to honor the former school.

    3. As the district’s oldest elementary school still in operation, Big Creek Elementary was built in 1939 from the consolidation of three schools: Harris Grove, Oak Grove, and Italy. The original school building had no electricity. Each room was heated by a coal heater and drinking water came from a well in the school yard. The school is named after Big Creek, a stream in Forsyth and Fulton counties, which is a portion of Vickery Creek that was named after the Civil War.

    4. The Friendship School was named after the Friendship community, located in the settlement of Cuba (named for a card game residents played). It started as a small wooden school next to Friendship Church. It was destroyed by fire, and a new brick school was opened in 1947. The second Friendship School experienced a fire during a school day, which all students and staff safely escaped. It operated until 1968 when the school was consolidated with Ducktown and Matt in the new Sawnee Elementary.

    5. Historical records first list the Center Grove School in 1906 but end in 1909.

    6. Coach D.B. Carroll and the Forsyth County High School girls’ basketball team in 1963.

    7. The Speer School, shown here with its students and teacher in 1924, has records that date back to 1894. It was serviced by the Spot Post Office. 

    8. Photographed are 1963 Forsyth County High School majorettes Delores Wofford, Mary Helen (Mashburn) McGruder, and a teammate.

    9. This photograph is of 1965 Forsyth County School District Superintendent Almon C. Hill (1959-1968) and Assistant Superintendent John Lummus, and their staff.

    10. This photograph was taken in 1963 at Matt School. It shows a first-grade classroom, students, and teacher Mrs. Worley. The original Matt School was in an old wooden schoolhouse on Elmo Road and served grades 1-9. It was destroyed by fire in 1942, until this “new” brick Matt School (also known as Matt High School) was built on Bannister Road in 1945. It closed in 1968. In 2001, Forsyth County Schools opened Matt Elementary to honor this former school.

    11. Photographed are Forsyth County High School senior superlatives from the class of 1962, Jackie Brackett and Shirley Whitt.

    12. This photograph is of Big Creek Elementary in 1956. As the district’s oldest elementary school still in operation, Big Creek Elementary was built in 1939 from the consolidation of three schools: Harris Grove, Oak Grove, and Italy. The existing structure, which includes the original auditorium, has been expanded and renovated numerous times. An early time capsule from the school is located under Highway 141.

    13. When Forsyth County High School opened in 1955, they continued to use the gymnasium located at Cumming Public School. It was not until the early 1960s that Forsyth County High School had its own gym, a stand-alone dome shown here in 1963. It is used presently during the annual “domecoming” basketball games.

    14. Teacher Gloria (Holland) Poss began her 33-year career in 1954 at Cumming High School, teaching general science and mathematics, and moved to Forsyth County High School in 1955, where she also taught chemistry. Mrs. Poss taught the first AP calculus course in Forsyth County and was a Y-Club Advisor for 25 years. 

    15. This Coal Mountain School student and staff photo is from 1902. The original Coal Mountain School closed in 1955. It was located closer to the intersection of Highways 9 and 369 (former Old Federal Road, which as an east-west connector was the earliest postal route west of the Chattahoochee River) than the current Coal Mountain Elementary, which opened in 1981. Though there are no reported findings of coal reserves in the area, the Coal Mountain location did receive its name from an early resident who claimed the land was rich with coal to encourage more development in the area.

    16. This image is from the Forsyth County Schools’ archives of an annual Superintendent’s Report presented to the Board of Education and the community.

    17. This photograph was taken from a Forsyth County High School 1960s yearbook. It shows the uniforms and sports equipment used by students at that time.

    18. Featured in this photograph is Forsyth County High School’s 1965 Homecoming Queen Joan (Corn) Waters.

    19. Using funds from the Board of Education and those raised by the Chestatee community, the original Chestatee School opened with 14 classrooms and an auditorium in 1931 (as photographed) on five acres in northern Forsyth County. In 1939, Crossroads, Hopewell and Pleasant Grove schools consolidated with Chestatee. The school received a gymnasium and cafeteria soon after that, and in 1947 it was bricked. In 1967, Chestatee High School was consolidated into Forsyth County High School, now Forsyth Central High School. The site has been expanded and renovated and is now home to Chestatee Elementary School.

    20. Mr. Jay Holbrook is photographed with one of the first school buses to service Friendship School.

    21. This image is taken from a class photograph page from a Forsyth County High School yearbook.

    22. This photograph is from 1928 at Coal Mountain School

    Note: If you have edits or additional information for us to share, please contact jbice@forsyth.k12.ga.us.