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  • 1895:

The original 15-acre plot of land Lincoln Heights sits on is sold by F. W. Trogden and the Winston Land and Improvement Company to the Beulah Presbyterian Church for the construction of a black industrial school. This school would become the North Wilkesboro Academical and Industrial Institute.


  • 1899-1901:

The school acquires an additional 4 acres of land.


  • October 24, 1902:

The land and school are given to the Colored Evangelized Executive Committee of the Presbyterian Church.


  • 1902-1919:

The children who had previously attended the North Wilkesboro Academical and Industrial Institute are sent to smaller neighboring schools. A sharp drop in enrollment caused James Transou to approach the Board of Education and propose that the Rosenwald Fund may be a viable option in constructing a schoolhouse large enough for North Wilkesboro African-American youth.1


  • July 5, 1922:

James Transou meets with the Board of Education once again to advocate for the use of the Rosenwald Fund.


  • August 10, 1922:

The Board of Education authorizes the construction of a school with monetary aid from the Rosenwald Fund. This school would become known as Woodlawn School and served grades 1-8 with students then attending high school at Lincoln Heights. While authorized in 1922, the school does not come into being into the 1930s.


  • 1923:

The groundbreaking for Lincoln Heights begins with help from the local community and the Rosenwald Fund. Ruben White, a member of the school board, suggests that the school should be called Lincoln Heights “to encourage students to reach the heights of Lincoln.”


  • 1937-1938:

One-room schoolhouses in Wilkesboro are shut down. This results in white children being sent to neighboring schools. Lincoln Heights remains the only school for African-American students within a 20 mile radius.2


  • 1939:

Gymnasium is constructed for Lincoln Heights.


  • 1943:

The 12th grade is added to Lincoln Heights curriculum; the school had previously taught only grades 1-11.


  • 1920s-1950s:

Eight additional classrooms are added on to the school and modern bathrooms are installed under the porch. An agricultural building on the school’s campus is used as the school store during this time.


  • 1956:

Several improvements are made to Lincoln Heights after the ruling of Brown v. Board including; four additional classrooms, a lunchroom, and an agricultural building are created; modern lighting and plumbing is added; a high school is built; audiovisual aids are added to the curriculum; and multiple new desks and chairs are purchased. A second building located next to the original Lincoln Heights is used by the band until the construction of the high school.


  • 1960:

Gymnasium is renovated in order to create two additional classrooms and add newer bathrooms to the facility.


  • 1962:

Gymtorium and tennis courts are added to the high school.3


  • 1964-1966:

Wilkesboro desegregates schools. Many Lincoln Heights students are sent to schools in neighboring counties, such as Wilkesboro Elementary, Roaring River, East High, Moravian Falls, Ronda, Fairplains, North Wilke City, and Boomer Ferguson, due to the forced integration of the school.


  • 1967:

The Board of Education decides to merge the high school with the elementary school, this makes the 1967-1968 school year the last year for Lincoln Heights as a school.4


  • 1969:

Lincoln Heights Recreation Board is established in order to find a proper use for the now empty school building.5 A day care and automotive and technical repair shop occupy the building for some time after its closing.6


  • 1984:

Former Lincoln Heights teacher Elizabeth Ann Parks Grinton stands between the school and a bulldozer in order to stop it from being turned into a parking lot for the neighboring Career Center.7


  • January 23, 1986:

The Wilkes County Board of Education and the Lincoln Heights Recreation Corporation sell the school for Community Civic Affairs for $1 to the African American citizens of Wilkes county. The school also enters into a study conducted by the North Carolina Historical Preservation Foundation in 1986.8


  • Present Day:

The building no longer functions as a school, but its premises are used to host a number of functions throughout the year as it is now a community center. A local Christian men’s group and the Wilkesboro Freemason’s group (the Liberty Masonic Lodge #45 and the North Wilkesboro Masonic Lodge #407) currently rent three of the former classrooms for weekly meetings.9


[1] Wilkes County Retired School Personnel, Lest We Forget: Education in Wilkes, 1778-1978 (Winston-Salem, NC: Hunter Publishing Company, 1979).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Brenda Adams Dobbins, “Wilkes County Training Center/Lincoln Heights School 1924-1968,” (2015).

[4] Fay Byrd, Wilkes County Bits and Pieces (Lulu, 2011); Wilkes County Retired School Personnel, Lest We Forget.

[5] Brenda Adams Dobbins, “Wilkes County Training Center."

[6] Brenda Adams Dobbins, interview by Philosophy of Historic Preservation Class, North Wilkesboro, NC, September 11, 2015.

[7] Brenda Adams Dobbins, “Wilkes County Training Center.”

[8] Brenda Adams Dobbins, “Wilkes County Training Center.”

[9] A.L. et al, “Lincoln Heights Use and Involvement Plan and Current Use Description”, December 7, 2015.