Historic site in Wilson to be highlighted during special event

Historic site in Wilson to be highlighted during special event

WILSON, AR (KAIT) - The spotlight will shine on a historic site in the city of Wilson.

The city will unveil a historic marker at the former site of the Wilson Trade School.

The trade school was funded by the city's founder, Robert Edward Lee Wilson and received additional funding through the Rosenwald Rural School Project, which helped build thousands of schools for African-American children in the South and Midwest from 1912-1939.

Between 1925 and 1970, the trade school provided state-of-the-art facilities and curriculum to area African-American families during a time when Jim Crow regulations were in effect.

The event will feature members of the Wilson Trade School Alumni Group as guest speakers as well as Jeannie Whayne, professor of history at the University of Arkansas and author of Delta Empire: Lee Wilson and the Transformation of Agriculture in the New South.

Local elected officials will be on hand to discuss the significance of the school and to give updates on the city's restoration projects.

Alumni Association President Gerre Spriggs said the historical marker will help show the significance of the school to others in nearby communities and the region.

"I'm excited that (the community) will get to know the school's history and the great caliber of education that was provided by the school," Spriggs said. "The education we received was consequential in getting us all through life. It gives me great pleasure to see the historical implications of the school recognized."

The unveiling is scheduled for Sept. 3 at 10:30 a.m.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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