Historic Markers Across Georgia

New Life For Dorchester Academy 1932-1940

Marker ID:  
Location: 8787 East Oglethorpe Highway, Midway, GA
County: Liberty
Coordinates: N 31° 48.031    W 081° 27.891
  31.80051666    -81.46485
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None
New Life For Dorchester Academy 1932-1940 Marker
Photo by Mike Stroud


New Life For Dorchester Academy 1932-1940
Dorchester Academy

— Museum Of African American History —

J. Roosevelt Jenkins, who was Dorchester Academy's assistant principal, science teacher and athletic director, replaced Elizabeth Moore as principal after her death in 1932. He continued to strengthen the school's curriculum and the thriving athletic programs. During his administration, Dorchester Academy was in its academic prime. In 1934 the entire graduating class was admitted to college. Jenkins made sure the school kept its Georgia accreditation. In doing so, Dorchester Academy earned the coveted "A rating" from the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In 1934, the school was classified as a Group I Georgia accredited high school. This meant it was one of " the best schools in teaching staff, equipment or laboratory, library and buildings, and three fourths of the academic teachers holding degrees." The boys' dormitory, which burned down in 1932, was rebuilt and formally dedicated as the Elizabeth B. Moore Hall

During this time, public school opportunities were growing for African Americans in Liberty County. The Board of Education had, until then, neglected to adequately fund African American public education. With the creation and growth of the Liberty County Training (LCTS) in the 1930s, accredited, public, adequately funded, county administered African American high school education was now available. Because of this the American Missionary Association (AMA) closed Dorchester Academy in the spring of 1940 because they did not want to duplicate the work of the local public schools. All of the 1940 twelfth grade students voted to receive their diplomas from Dorchester Academy and the remaining students were distributed among the other African American public schools in the county.

Boys' Dormitory
Elizabeth B. Moore Hall
photograph taken 2004
Most of Dorchester Academy's old buildings were torn down by the AMA in 1945 because of their poor condition. They decided it would be cost effective to remodel the new brick boys dormitory. The AMA contributed $10 for every $1 raised in Liberty County, up to $20,000. Locals organized the Dorchester Cooperative Building Fund Drive and raised $2,000 to save Elizabeth Moore Hall.

Erected 2004 by City of Flemington.