Walnut Grove High School

walnut grove

It seems the first school held in Walnut Grove was in 1859. According to records, the Masonic Lodge was organized that year and the first school and church in the community met on the first floor of their building. During the Civil War, the building along with others at the Cornelius Spring was burned.

Soon after the war, the Baptist rebuilt their church at the present site of Walnut Grove Baptist Church and the facility was used for both church service and school until 1880. At that time a one-room log school building was constructed and it was used for several years. As the community grew it became apparent a larger facility was needed; therefore, the citizens organized a building committee. From this effort, a two-story building was constructed at the intersection of Altoon Road and Murphree Valley Road. For several years, this building was used, but its condition deteriorated and it became unsafe for a school.

In 1923, school officials began to plan for a new school building. Mr. C. L. Morgan donated five acres of land and many other people donated timber, other materials, labor and money. It seems the construction of the school was a community effort and construction of a new ten-room building got underway on the property that is now occupied by West End Hith School. As the building neared completion, a fire completely destroyed it.

Apparently, the community remained determined to have a new school and immediately started contructing a new one. At completion, this facility had two stories and ten rooms. Over the years Home Economics and Vocational Agriculture buildings were added as separate buildings on the campus. In 1940, a fire once again destroyed the main building.

As quickly as possible, a new school was constructed on the same site. It was a one-story brick facility that opened in the fall of 1941. In 1951, four more classrooms were added to the main building and in 1957, four more classrooms were added behind the gymnasium. In 1961, a new building for Home Economics, Vocational Agriculture, a lunchroom and dressing facility for athletic teams was constructed.

Walnut Grove High School, which was for students in grades one through twelve, proudly provided educatoinal opportunities for children in the area until the final glass graduated in 1966. At that time, the school combined with Altoona High School and it was decided to call the newly formed school West End High School.

(complied by Jerry McCright, Class of 1964, taking most information from HISTORY OF WALNUT GROVE, ALABAMA, by Mattie Cole Stanfield and Norma Self Cornelius, 1964--edited)