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Cleveland County African American Heritage Trail
Item 5 of 11

Camp School served African American students in the small farming community of Shoal Creek, which is located in the southern part of Cleveland County, during segregation. It was one of the schools which closed with consolidation of schools during integration in 1967. Today the building which formerly housed the school serves as a food distribution center for Crossroads Rescue Mission located in Shelby.


  • Road, Road surface, Property, Infrastructure

In 1942 James Camp Sr. an African American farmer sought to organize Camp School for African American students in the southern part of Cleveland County. Camp donated the land in order to construct the school as he was one of the larger landowners in the area. The school began its life as a two story wooden structure where students were taught normal classes as well as courses in Home Economics and Agriculture to better prepare them for life after graduation. The small school celebrated its first graduates in 1943, however, Camp would not support a 12th grade until 1947. By 1960 the school had been fully renovated to what it looks like today. In 1968 the last class graduated from Camp which was then consolidated into nearby Crest Highschool.

The Ezra Bridges Collection at Cleveland Memorial Library. https://lib.digitalnc.org/record/107957?ln=en#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=23&r=0&xywh=29%2C871%2C2844%2C1728

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Earl Scruggs Center