St. Luke Elementary School

Take a look at this building … take a good look with your mind’s eye. Can you see the children sitting at their desk with excitement on their faces, some with their hands raised to their teacher? They knew not to talk to their peers or to speak out of turn, for sometimes punishment would cause their hands to burn.

The time they spent in school was so very precious because there was so much else to do. Spring was planting season and fall was the harvest. Don’t forget the chores and the crops that needed to be chopped throughout the summer.

The children mastered arithmetic, learned how to read, write and to speak in an intelligent voice, enabling them to carry home knowledge to help their parents who never had the opportunity to attend school and learn outside the home. St. Luke Elementary School was an extension of the community.

Home, church and school were the the basic foundations for family structure. Community pride was the connecting force held together by the strong faith of the families. The process is continuing today, as the offspring of past generations venture out over the nation, taking with them a part of St. Luke Elementary School.

The doors are closed now after over a hundred years of service. The building is silent, sitting alone with memories of love, a humble smile that can only be seen on the faces of those in the community with ties there.

Editor’s Note: There are plans to renovate the school in the future.


“Then” A day in the life of a farm family

This painting won “Honorable Mention” in one of my first art shows at the Arts Council in Elizabeth City, NC. I was excited just to enter the show, and absolutely thrilled to win a ribbon!

This house is located across the road from my house. It is owned by some of the offspring of the original owners. Everyone who lived back here was related in some way. My late husband, one of the land owners/ heirs would spend hours looking over the land. He would get very emotional while telling the history behind it… how his great great grandparents worked the farm during slavery, and were blessed to buy all of it when they were freed.

While talking with a family member (whose parents built this house) about the way things were back then, once again, using my imagination, I started to paint. A fitting name came to mind, “THEN.” The judge at the art show liked the name. His encouragement was a big inspiration to me. I was entering a new phase in my life, one that allowed me to express myself.