An important component of black history in Rutherford County – Holloway High School -- has been officially commemorated by the state.
The African American Heritage Society of Rutherford County dedicated the Holloway High School Historical Marker on Aug 24 with approximately 200 people attending the ceremony.
The organization applied for the marker with the Tennessee Historical Society, said African American Heritage Society President Mary R. Watkins. The marker is located at the current Holloway – the old school building was demolished after it closed in 1968, Watkins said.
Every black high school student from around Rutherford County as well as Woodbury attended the old Holloway during segregation, Watkins said.
The marker mentions the school being founded in 1929 as part of a national system of black schools called “Rosenwald Schools.” The first principal was S.G. Green, who served from 1929 to 1949.
Holloway had a huge impact on not only Rutherford County but also the nation as its alumni are scattered all over the United States, Watkins said.
The school is named for E.C. Holloway, a white attorney who championed black education, she said. Descendants from his family attended the dedication.
It was important to celebrate Holloway and let today’s students know about its history, she said.
“We want the young people to know,” Watkins said. “We want to encourage them. Lest we forget what Holloway really stood for in this community. We felt like it deserved that marker.”
Watkins said the application process for the marker did not take long but did require thorough documentation and meeting a tight deadline because the state body that approves markers meets only three times a year. Rutherford County Schools Superintendent Bill Spurlock and other public officials helped, she said. The African American Heritage Society raised the $1,450 required for the marker.
Now that the African American Heritage Society has ensured the placement of the Holloway marker, it is setting its sights on other historical sites, Watkins said. The organization has already applied for a marker to commemorate Mary Ellen Vaughn, who owned “The Murfreesboro Union,” Rutherford County’s first black newspaper. Vaughn also was a nurse who promoted good health throughout surrounding counties and she taught adults to read so they could vote, among other accomplishments. Vaughn Street in Murfreesboro is named for her.