The Historic Bangham School now formally acknowledged with a historical marker by the Putnam County Archives.
Archivist Glenn Jones said it is one of some 125 locations the archives office is researching. He said they try to find where they were, the year they opened, and the year they closed.
“There used to be neighborhood schools and those schools were important because people couldn’t go all the way to Cookeville like they do now from the Bangham area, you know they were on horseback and walking, so they had to have a school within walking distance,” Jones said. “And I think it’s relevant for the people to know how the communities were important back then.”
Jones said Bangham originally opened in the 1870s as a log cabin. He said it became a brick-and-mortar building in 1936 and was used until the school closed in 1969. Jones said the building was kept in good condition and is now used as a popular community center location.
Jones said the community can also help with the project. He said if you believe you have information about one of the former schools, to reach out with what you know and the archives can do more research.
“The only thing you have to do is call us and tell us what you do know and then we can start researching because we can’t just make a sign and put it up where somebody tells us,” Jones said. “We have to research and make sure that’s the actual location of that school building. And some of the school buildings are in different locations with the same name, so they weren’t exactly in the same spot like Bangham. With Bangham, all three buildings were in that same location.”
Jones said they also have recently done two signs in the Buffalo Valley area.