Harrington was the largest of three African American communities established on St. Simons during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. All three of these communities were served by the one-room schoolhouse that was built in the 1920s to resemble a Rosenwald-style structure. The school served as the pillar of education for children in first through seventh grades. It wasn’t until the 1950s, when Glynn County consolidated local schools, that the students left the Harrington School to attend classes in Brunswick, Georgia, or in one of the African American boarding schools in the south.
In 2004, Isadora Hunter, who had attended the school in 1928, donated to the St. Simons Land Trust her portion of the property on which the schoolhouse sits. This important donation led to the Trust’s acquisition of the remaining interest in the property, including the Historic Harrington School and the surrounding 12 acres. Completion of the project was made possible through a joint effort of the Land Trust and Glynn County, using state of Georgia Greenspace funds and contributions from Land Trust members and others across the community. Restoration of the historic structure was funded by The Friends of Harrington School in partnership with the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition.
Harrington Community Park was established on the 11 acres just east of the school on South Harrington Road and was opened to the public in December 2016. The property contains ecologically sensitive wetlands, as well as two ponds that provide habitat for federally endangered wood storks and other native wildlife. The project includes walking trails, seating, and viewing platforms overlooking the ponds on the property. This park, the result of efforts by St. Simons Land Trust, Supporters of the Park at Harrington, St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition, and the Glynn County Commission, gives the entire community and its visitors access to the beautiful landscape and rich history of the area.
The Land Trust owns the one acre surrounding the former schoolhouse and has provided a 99-year lease on the property to the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition that maintains and runs the Historic Harrington School.
Please support the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition and Friends of Harrington School in their efforts to preserve and maintain the schoolhouse. For more details, please visit their website, call 912-634-0330, or email email@example.com
Featured on this property is the last remaining African American one-room schoolhouse on the Georgia coast. Surrounding the historic school are 12 acres of woods and two ponds that serve as feeding grounds for wood storks and other residential and migratory birds.