Monday, June 23, 2008

Fargo Agricultural School

Geraldine Davidson, curator of the Fargo Agricultural School, shows a scale model of the school (top photo) that she constructed and her photo in the composite for the class of 1947 (bottom photo).

For 30 years, from 1919-1947, Fargo Agricultural School in northern Monroe County was one of the few places African-Amercian students in Monroe County could get an education.

The school was started by Floyd Brown, a graduate of Tuskegee Institute who had studied under Booker T. Washington.

The students lived at the school, learning academics in the morning hours and spending the afternoons learning crafts and skills like woodworking and farming for the boys and cooking and sewing for the girls.

Geraldine Purcell Davidson, a native of the area who graduated from the school in 1947, for many years has been the curator of the Fargo Agricultural School Museum. Located on the campus of the former school, the museum is a sprawling and impressive collection of photographs, school papers, books, and items the students made like tables and uniforms. Mrs. Davidson gives the best museum tours I've ever had.

You'll definitely want to add this museum to the list of places in Arkansas you want to visit. In the meantime, you can read about FAS and its founder, Floyd Brown, at the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

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