Vacant School in Marlboro
Below you will find photographs of a vacant school in Marlboro County, South Carolina. The floors are rotted as the ceiling has collapsed in several places. It is safe to say that renovations are near impossible now and entering the building extremely risky. What will become of this old school is unknown, demolition most likely. It is the sad fate of far too many historic places these days.
Hundreds of thousands of young men lost their lives in the Great War. The son of W.B. Fletcher was one of those who never returned from overseas. His son, Robert Fletcher, died while in France after being poisoned with mustard gas. A memorial was built to honor Robert. That memorial was the school you see here in these photographs. Even though he lost his life his name was carried on for many more years.
This school was built for the rural children of farmers and therefore had many agricultural accommodations. The two-story main building was built of brick. It contained eight large schoolrooms, laboratories, shops, and much more. The school was heated with fireplaces and contained an auditorium that seated up to 700.
Alongside the main school building, there were playgrounds, a school farm, and a teacherage. It even had a lake nearby that was used a the school swimming pool. Being a farmer’s school many of the classes focused on agriculture. The shops gave instruction in leather, wood, and ironwork too.
Between the years 1920 to 1985 the school covered 11 grades. Many generations attended during the years it was open. Because of the cost of removing asbestos insulation the school has been left abandoned ever since. Although the property was purchased at an auction, it seems that renovations were never possible.
The Bennettsville High school now accommodates all the youth of Marlboro County. The memorial to Robert Fletcher is slowly being reclaimed by nature. After 98 years it is unlikely it will last much longer.
Location: 34.69947, -79.58613
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