Draper Graded School

This photo shows Draper Graded School on the right. This is Fieldcrest Road looking east. Note that the road is not yet paved. (Photo and information submitted by Herman Searcy)

A Brief History of Draper Schools:

Draper's first school was held in a dwelling house on Carolina Avenue. When this school was opened in 1908 there were five pupils and only one teacher, Miss Bessie Howard of Yanceyville. The dwelling that housed the school was also used as a church and as a meeting place for other organizations. Miss Annie Garrett, now Mrs. Annie Trivette of North Wilkesboro, headed this school at the beginning of the second year with an enrollment of 105. The county superintendent visited her and made the remark that she was like "the old woman that lived in a shoe," and gave her an assistant.

Next the county built a two room  school in the old ball park near what is now Draper Junior High. Miss Garrett and a Miss Anderson taught there for a year and a half before the building burned. The school when rebuilt was a three room structure placed on the spot where  the present primary department is located. The number of pupils grew faster than the school plant during these years, and the mill cottages caught the overflow. A quarter of a million dollar bond issue was voted and several brick structures were built in the township system. Draper got the first one, an auditorium and 12 classrooms in what is now the graded school. The new building was opened for use in 1923.

In 1931 the old wooden structure was replaced by the present primary department through the P.W.A. At this time eight new classrooms were added. The latest addition was in 1934 when by the aid of P.W.A. funds, three more classrooms were added.

Up until 1941 the high school pupils from Draper traveled by buses to the Leaksville High School. In 1939 the Draper High School was started with P.W.A. funds and in 1941 the school opened with Archie S. Daniels as principal. There were ten teachers and an enrollment of around 300. In 1947 the two wings to the high school were added, giving six additional classrooms, a cafeteria and dressing facilities for athletic teams for both boys and girls.

In 1952 the high school pupils were transferred to the new Tri-City High, and the school was changed to a Junior High, taking care of the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades.

The cafeteria at the Graded School has undergone great improvements. The first cafeteria was located in what is now the supplementary book room for the 4th and 5th grades. This was a small room about 8' x 10'. The children stood in line in the hall and were served a bowl of soup and crackers for the sum of five cents. In a few years the cafeteria was moved into the basement but they had to stand, as there were no chairs. Soon the cafeteria received aid from the Federal Government and more improvements took place. There were chairs for the children, and more and better food. There were three regular helpers, and Miss Ivie Garrett kindly consented to take over the management along with her regular teaching of the 4th grade. The older girls helped to serve at lunch time. In 1952 the cafeteria was moved to it's present quarters made possible by combining three classrooms into one large room. There is an all-time manager and works with the township dietitian. She has four helpers and they serve around 360 lunches each day.

Today, the Draper Schools have progressed from a one-room school to two up-to-date schools with a membership of 725 students and 29 teachers from grades 1 to 9.
This report was made in 1957. Since that time the Graded School was sold and turned into an apartment dwelling for sometime and now has been condemned and sits vacant and run down. Draper Junior High is still in operation.

This information was also submitted by Herman Searcy

Back to the Photos

Hit Counter