For thousands of Gloucester County residents and former residents, arrival of the new academic year is likely to produce pangs of nostalgia as two familiar schools are no more. Indeed, one has been demolished, while a new role is sought for the other.
Walker Elementary and Page Middle schools became victims of age, falling enrollment and the forces of nature. We pause here to reflect on some highlights from their histories.
The older of the former schools, Walker’s roots go to the early 1920s. The Gloucester Training School was established on the site by the fundraising efforts of the black community, principally local lawyer Thomas C. Walker. It received little public support but became a flagship central facility for black children at a time when most communities still had one-room schools.
For three decades its patrons struggled for facilities equal to those used by white children, and a pioneer suit forced Gloucester’s hand. By 1949, a new bu...
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