Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Walk to School

"Narrow two-way road" read the sign to Little Greenbrier School.

That did not sound promising.

What followed sealed the deal: "Be prepared to back up." We decided to park in one of the three spots by the entrance and walk the 0.6 of a mile to the school.

The road to the school was clear early this morning, and the light through the trees made the walk more enjoyable than a ride would have been.

Little Greenbrier School is located in the northern section of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park just a few miles south of Wears Valley. The school was built in 1881 after the people of Greenbrier Cove petitioned the County to provide a teacher if the people built the school.

The end of the road led to a clearing with the view on the left. The cemetery in front of the school may seem out of place until one learns that the Primitive Baptist Church held services in the school before a separate church was built next to the cemetery.

During my brief walk past the headstones, I noticed that many identified infants. One for a six-week-old infant caught my eye. It read, in part: "Budded on earth to bloom in Heaven."

Classes were held for periods of six weeks or three months at a time. In the one-room school house both children and adults learned the 3 R's.

The large "blackboard" for the classroom was actually a painted portion of the wall. The school served the students within a five-mile radius until 1935.

In one guide to the Little Greenbrier School, the writer states: "... few tourists know of the beautiful setting of this old-time schoolhouse/cemetery."

On this warm Fall day, a good number of visitors discovered this beautiful setting and this well-maintained school.

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