Researcher Races to Save Former African American Schoolhouse in Pilot Point

A researcher is in a race towards the clock in her efforts to attempt to save what’s believed to have been a one-room faculty house for African People in Pilot Level that dates back more than a century. The building might soon be demolished.

From the surface, it does not appear to be a lot. The boarded up house is on East Burks Road. The town of Pilot Level needs the home condemned. An indication posted out front calls the construction a safety hazard.

“It is fairly damaged down right now,” stated Micah Crittenden, a UNT history graduate scholar who’s hoping it may be saved. “Unfortunately, this construction is in disrepair.”

Crittenden stated she sees one thing else here: a chance.

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“My hope is in providing the required historic info, the town will take a quick pause.”

Crittenden is part of a group of students who’ve spent over a yr researching the historical past of St. John’s, a group of freed slaves which settled in Pilot Level in the 1800s. The scholars’ research helped uncover lynchings, floggings and suspected Ku Klux Klan exercise in North Texas. While delving into that piece of historical past, she uncovered the story behind the house at 522 East Burks Road.

“The evidence states this has unimaginable historic worth,” she stated.

Crittenden found history which dates back over one hundred years. At one time, she stated, the building housed the Booker T. Washington Faculty for African People. She solely discovered of the connection a few month ago.

“Then, out of nowhere, comes a one-room faculty home,” Crittenden stated. “That a few of the members of St. John’s attended.”

The varsity was situated about six miles up the street, in Oakdale, close to the Denton/Prepare dinner county line. Based on property data, the constructing turned a house after it was moved to Pilot Point in the Nineteen Forties.

Saving the long-vacant construction is a race towards time. The Pilot Point City Council will contemplate condemning it at Monday night time’s assembly. Crittenden stated members of the family which owns the property can be available. She stated she deliberate to present her findings to council members, hoping to buy some time.

“How uncommon is that to find a structure that when had desks and pupils and a chalkboard?” she requested.

Crittenden stated she she needed the town to carry off on demolition. She believes she’s discovered the pieces that would save the construction.

“This can be a pretty rare second to protect historical past,” she stated.

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