James Island Grammar School in 1938

A photo of James Island Grammar School in 1938. Shows a young boy and a woman standing on the steps.
James Island Grammar School, 1938.

by Sandra Stringer

Some of the most amazing historic photos may be hiding in your family’s photo albums. Going through our family’s photos, I found these pictures of the James Island Grammar School in 1938.

A note on the back of one of these photos was written by my grandmother Joy McDonough Stringer (b. 1925 d. 1998 R.I.P.): “My school – had 2 rooms in it. 4 girls & 3 boys in my graduating class. Old buggy in back shed that teachers used to come to school in. Located off Ft. Johnson Road, James Island, SC.”

James Island Grammar School was the first public school on James Island and was established in 1883.

The building you see in these photos was a newer one, built in 1913 after the older building was moved to Sol Legare to become the fourth James Island school for black children.

All schools were segregated by race during this time in history. When Joy McDonough attended the James Island Grammar School, it was one of only two schools on the island for white children.

A photo of James Island Grammar School, 1938: 6th grade girls.
6th grade girls.

See photo gallery here.

Sources for this article include the Stringer Family photo album collection and the book James Island by by Carolyn Ackerly Bonstelle and Geordie Buxton, an excellent read if you’re interested in the history of James Island.

If you have photos of historical significance such as these that you’d like to share with our readers, write to us at jamesislandbugle.com.

Comment from a reader

Terry Johnston

“This school was on Fort Johnson Road about half way between Camp Road and Folly Road. The school was on the right side of the road going towards Folly Road. My Momma, Mary Ellen Lebby, and my Uncle Bobby, Robert S. Lebby, Sr., attended school there.”

Sandra Stringer is our Editor.

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2 thoughts on “James Island Grammar School in 1938

  1. Gretchen Stringer-Robinson · Edit

    Wow! This is so great! I imagine some folks will recognize pictures of their grandparents or great-grandparents! Love this!

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