The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

My First School

By Addie J. Wood © 1984

Issue: June, 1984

my first schoolMeadows of Dan School, 1908. FIRST ROW - Jesse Reynolds, Lawrence Cox, Hobart Sparger, Preston Williams, Albert Wood, Hoy Boyd(?), Henry Boyd(?), Marvin Hylton, Kyle Hylton. Goldie Shelor, Winnie Hylton, Mary Burnett, Addie Wood, Mamie Reynolds, Audis Hylton, Lizzie Boyd(?), Gladys Boyd, Clyde Reynolds(?), Claude Reynolds. SECOND ROW - Henry Cockram(?), Isaac Boyd, Elisha Burnett, Sander Cock(?), Carson Sparger, (Hutchins boy?), Langhorne DeHart, Clarice Blackard, Ruth Lawson, Carrie Boyd, Bertie West(?), Fannie Shelor, Claude Shockley, Fred Shockley, Hannah Shelor, Kyle Shelor, Harvey Knowles, Eric West, Bennet West, Soloman West. THIRD ROW - Ernest Wood, Cecil Wood, Claude West, Charlie Wood, Edwin Boyd, Hoy Blackard, Lorna Blackard, Myrtle Shelor, Agnes Shelor, Minnie Cock, Ina Reynolds, Ida Shelor, Bertie Marshall, Eva Shockley, Winnie Reynolds, Lillie Wood, Eunice Burnett, Madie Scott, Ruth West(?). FOURTH ROW - Irby Sparger, Posey Shelor, Bennie Scott, Talmadge Webb, Edward Wood, Joe Williams, Johnny McAlexander, Webster Scott (teacher), Sam Boyd (teacher), Ray Scott, Cara Williams, Lillie Williams, Kath Cockram, Callie Cock, Callie Scott, Ticise West, Georgia Wood, Louise Boyd, and Sarah Ann Boyd.
Click on photo to view larger image.

The first year I went to school was around 1908. The building was a two room school with an enrollment of about 60. It sat on a bank of the Danville and Wytheville Turnpike in Meadows of Dan, Virginia between where the white brick building and the red Craft House on highway 58 are now. Two teachers taught from the first to the seventh grades.


When it became too small to house the children, they moved the building up to where Parkway Car Care Center is now. The ground there was level with the Meadows of Dan Baptist Church then. Two rooms were built on one end. The original two rooms were made into one room, making three rooms in all. The photograph that was in the January issue of The Mountain Laurel was made by the side of the old school house showing the new one built on to it.

Then the community out grew the three room school. The old building was sold to Elroy (Teet) Shelor. He was selling goods on the corner of the Danville and Wytheville Pike. He moved the building back down on the road where state road 614 now leaves highway 58 and used it for a garage and storage. The first garage in Meadows of Dan was in that building and was run by Benjamin Harris.

When Elroy Shelor had to go to the army, he closed out his store. The building was on Demaris Harris's property. She bought the building, later moved it down near the spring and made it into a dwelling house. Several families lived in it. When the four room school house burned, they taught school in the old building again until they rebuilt the four room school.

When her son, Loy Harris married, it was torn down and the best part of the lumber was used to build his house up on highway 58 where the Gulf Station now stands. He moved to Kibler Valley and sold the house to Bud Hopkins, the Gulf Distributor. Mr. Hopkins moved the house below the road and built the Gulf Station.

Lora King now lives in the house. So, at last, the old house has stood on one resting place, on the same road it was built on some 75 years ago, only a few rods away from where it was built. The original buildings in Meadows of Dan were:

The first was the Odd Fellows Hall, built where the white brick building now stands on the corner of road 795 and highway 58. The first floor of the two story building was used for a store. The second floor was the Odd Fellows Hall.

The red Craft House was built by Goodwin Blackard for a dwelling house when he had goods in the first floor of the Odd Fellows Building.

The Meadows of Dan Baptist Church was at the spot of the Yeatts memorial in the lawn in front of the present day church. (We have been unable to locate any photograph at all of the old Meadows of Dan Baptist Church. If anyone has one we would really appreciate seeing it.)

The first store house on the corner of the "Pike" was built by Enos Hylton around 1900 and used as a small store by him. (Miss Addie said she drank her first Coke there when she was 16.) Later it was run by Charlie Dehart, then as a dwelling house. When the school house burned, it was used to finish the school term out. Now it is owned by Wetherbee Realty.

The photograph was made my first year in school in front of the old Hylton store.