Schools are a reflection of the growth of the population of Semmes and its surrounding areas.
Schools in Semmes today with attendance are listed below:
MGM offers Academies of study and training in the following special fields:
MGM Electric Car and Robotics Displayed at Semmes Heritage Day!
Video-Mary Montgomery High School is Well Known is on the Mary G. Montgomery High School website.
Semmes Heritage Park videos are on Semmes Heritage Park Vimeo
April 22, 2020
Semmes Heritage Park is pleased to announce that Semmes Heritage Day has been honored by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission with an Alabama Bicentennial Legacy [award/commendation].
The honor recognizes outstanding projects by communities and organizations that were part of the commemoration of the statehood anniversary. Semmes Heritage is a celebration of Semmes History, remembering our past as we look to the future.
“Communities invested time and resources in an amazing range of projects,” noted Alabama Bicentennial Commission chairman Sen. Arthur Orr. “Our successful bicentennial celebration owes a real debt to their efforts, especially for projects that will be important to the state, its communities and its citizens for a long time to come.”
Awards were given in two categories: commendations for outstanding bicentennial programs and projects and legacy awards for projects of exceptional and lasting impact. Forty-one commendations and 21 legacy awards were given, representing more than 40 municipalities in 35 counties.
Projects ranged from celebration events to city murals to preservation and restoration of sites and structures. Many projects were locally focused while some were regional or even statewide. Many are especially notable for their long-term relevance and impact.
The awards represented every region of the state and ranged from small towns to major metros, including Birmingham, Montgomery and Huntsville.
Each winning project will receive a bronze plaque noting the name of the project and its award. The plaques will be a public reminder of the achievements of Alabama communities during the bicentennial commemoration.
For more information on the plaque and plans for a dedication in the fall contact Jeanette Byrd, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Alabama Bicentennial Legacy Awards and the bicentennial commemoration, visit www.ALABAMA200.org or call 334-242-4537.
Mildred Wiggins was a native of Semmes. Her parents were Henry Hiram Pollard and Lena Van Christopher who were married in 1918 and settled in Semmes in 1918. Mildred had six sisters and six brothers. Most of the descendants of the Pollard family still live in Semmes today.
Mildred taught at Semmes School until her retirement, was a founding member of Alumni & Friends of Semmes School, Inc. and the first schoolmarm after the restoration of the little schoolhouse. She prepared lessons for students and served in this position until her death on December 3, 2003.
The vision of the founding members of restoring the one room school and for it to continue to be used as a school goes on today. Children on Field trips experience School 1902 style with lessons in reading writing and arithmetic.
Malone Chapel in the park is a replica of 1902 Mt. Pleasant Church
In 1887 Semmes log cabin school was located on the townships sixteenth section of land which was required by law to be set aside for schools. Highway AL42 now known as U.S. Hwy 98 connecting Mobile to Mississippi ran thru the center of this section. It was the custom in early pioneer days in Alabama for schools to be the center of activity of the community. Church was often held in the school. Mt Pleasant Baptist Church began in the log cabin school.
As the community population grew the church grew and service moved to various locations. The first move was in the place of Mrs. Turner Strike off of the G M & O railroad.
The next move was 1.2 miles northeast of the original location. In those days land was so plentiful that when people wanted to build a church they picked out the land and began to build without finding out if someone owned the land. A couple from the north came down and laid claim to the property. This was around 1900.
Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Harroun had moved here by this time and invited the church to meet in their barn. After meeting for a time in the barn, the church began to look for other locations.
Thomas Jefferson Howell, a local lumber baron came to the rescue of the need for a new school and new church buildings by donating one acre of land with the stipulation that a new school was to be built on ½ acre and a church on ½ acre. This land was located close to the new center of town which was the railroad and is the location of Semmes Heritage Park today.
Malone chapel is a replica of Mount Pleasant Baptist that has the original bell in the belfry. The inside of church looks as it did in 1902 except it has electricity, modern restrooms, and central heat and air and is available to rent for weddings and other events.
Mt. Pleasant Church was renamed in 1904 to Semmes First Baptist. The church moved once again in 1930 to its present location.
Lawrence Malone was principal at Semmes School from 1948-1952. His wife Neil Malone was a teacher at the school during those years.
During Lawrence Malone time as principal a move was made by the Mobile County School Board to tear down the old Semmes One-Room Schoolhouse as new more modern buildings were added. Dr. Malone interceded with the School Board and was successful in persuading them to allow the building to remain a part of the Semmes Campus. It remained in service serving as a classroom, counselor office and the Library until 1992.
Saved from destruction the second time!
In January 1994 Robin Wulff was at the school board office and overhear that the one room Semmes school was going to be renovated or torn down. She immediately alerted Elizabeth Dodd.
Mrs. Dodd called Julane Greenlee and Rita Durant and together they went to see Mrs. Katherine Montgomery, the principal of Semmes School to present the idea of preserving the one room school. Mrs. Montgomery was very receptive, and encouraging.
Theodore had recently restored an early school, so Julane and Mrs. Dodd made an appointment with Carolyn Dumas and Kathy Nelson, who had led the restoration at Theodore school. They gave us a tour, copies of their corporation history and grant applications.
Marion Howell and Mrs. Dodd went to the Courthouse to research the original deed and found the deed in Book 102, Page 179 and obtained a copy of the deed. The deed revealed that In 1902 Thomas Jefferson Howell donated to the Mobile Co. Public School Board one-half acre of land to build a new school and one half acre to build a new church to sit beside the school.
Bobby Nelson, who was in charge of new school board construction, Mark McDonald, Director of the Mobile Historic Development Commission were contacted and asked to inspect the school to see if might be restored. " We were assured our little treasurer was well worthy of the efforts of restoration." said Elizabeth Dodd.
Julane Geenlee contacted Jay Grelan, who wrote an article on May 13, 1994 in the Mobile Press on our historic school house announcing a meeting May 22, 1994 to form a committee for the purpose of preserving the little school house.
On May 22, 1994, a group of sixty-seven citizens and former students of Semmes School met together in the Semmes School cafeteria. Donations were collected in the amount of $370.00.
May 25, 1994 an organizational meeting was held in the Semmes School Cafeteria and the name of Alumni & Friends of Semmes School was chosen. Officers elected were President Jospeh E. Shumock, Vice-President Norville H. Couey, Treasurer- Mary Waters Hopkins, Secretary Kathryn K. Shumock, and Corresponding Secretary Linda Hudson Davis. Board of Directors were Joe Shoemock, Mildred Wiggins, Sara Wilson,
On July 18, 1994 Alumni & Friends of Semmes School was incorporated as a 501 © 3 not for profit organization. August 25, 1994 the school was declared an Alabama Historical Landmark, as the oldest continuous in use school in Alabama.
In 1917 the school had been moved from its original site across the road to sit besides the new stucco building. Allentown School, Morris Hill (Crawford) & Powelltown schools were consolidated into Semmes School in 1917.
The schoolhouse was donated by the Mobile County Public School System to Alumni & Friends of Semmes School, Inc. and returned to its original location in 1998. Restoration was completed in 1999 and a dedication ceremony took place May 5, 2001.
Source-Interview with Elizabeth P.( Lib) Dodd before her death on February 1,2018
In case you missed it, please see!
http://vimeo.com/281942738 “The History of Semmes Heritage Park”
http:// vimeo.com/221413870 “The Semmes Heritage Park”
Coming Soon! Semmes Scrapbook of Memories 2020
Advance Purchases available now $20 -Sale Price $25
The book is an updated book of the original Scrapbook of Memories, the history of Semmes by the people of Semmes looking at the past, present, and future!
The Semmes Camellia Festival that was reborn in January 2013 continues to be a celebration to honor Semmes Nursery History and still is an elegant affair as it was when it began in 1949.
The festival program included the following:
“A picture is worth a thousand words. “
The following was from a letter written in 1955 announcing the Sixth Annual Camellia Festival. “Semmes was once the heart of the Camellia and Azalea industry of America.”
The first Semmes Camellia Festival was a community event that began in 1949 at Semmes School. It was an elegant affair with the displays of individual Camellia blooms, Camellia flower arrangements, and landscape displays provided by Semmes Nurserymen.
Students of Semmes school provided Camellia’s in Art and a Camellia Pageant. The Camellia Pageant consisted of a King and Queen from the Senior Class and a court of Camellia Maids and Knights representing each class. A theme was chosen and Entertainment for the court was provided by each grade.
Revived Camellia Festival
In October of 2012 Camellia Maids were selected from applicants to become good will ambassadors for Semmes Heritage Park.
In January 2013 a new Camellia Festival was held at the Semmes Public Library.
Since this was our first show I contacted Semmes resident Walter Creighton, a member of the Mobile Camellia Club Show for advice. Walter chairs the Mobile Camellia club show. With his advice the show was set up and the Semmes New Camellia Festival was born. Walter participated showing a variety of blooms, some from plants that he had developed.
Don Oyler, another member of the Mobile Camellia Club brought many blooms to show. Carolyn Oyler, the wife of Don, created and displayed a photo gallery of Camellias. This first show had 100+ Camellia blooms contributed by hobbyists, home gardeners, individuals and local nurseries. The show included Camellia arrangements (tablescapes), art displays and information displays on the growing of camellias. Nurseryman Vaun Jarvis was available to answer questions.
Preserving our History