This historic schoolhouse was constructed around 1920 for the education of African American children in the area. The building was funded by local donations that were matched by the Rosenwald Fund made possible by one of the founders of Sears and Roebuck who donated his fortune to support matching grants for African American communities who lacked adequate facilities in the era of Jim Crow. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. There are currently efforts underway to restore the structure and relocate the building next to the Charlotte Museum where it might serve an educational purpose once again.
Backstory and Context
Although early records on the Siloam School are scant, anecdotal evidence suggests that the current building was constructed in roughly 1920 to replace the original log structure. The school was named for the Siloam Presbyterian Church, which is located nearby.
The school is believed by some to be a Rosenwald School, although there are no records to indicate that it was built using Rosenwald funds. The building's appearance is in keeping with the style of many Rosenwald schools, but as the design of Rosenwald schools were widely published, the design itself does not prove the building to be a Rosenwald school.
The Siloam School was apparently in operation until about 1947, when the county school board began looking for a new owner for the property, which was eventually sold in 1951. After being privately owned for a number of years, the building sat empty and in disrepair from the 1980s. At present, there are efforts underway to move the building to the east Charlotte campus of the Charlotte Museum of History, restore it, and open the former school for public tours.
Keane, Beth. Siloam School, National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. June 10th 2005. Accessed October 28th 2019. https://files.nc.gov/ncdcr/nr/MK2441.pdf.