New Sight alums celebrate school’s centennial

Published 5:29 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The former students of New Sight School in Lincoln County will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of their alma mater on Saturday, July 10.

The first consolidated school in the county was formed in 1921, when Confederate Grove, Garner, Clear Branch and Mt. Zion community schools combined. The school was established under the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, designed to promote vocational, agricultural and domestic science education in public schools.

New Sight School began with an enrollment of 248 students and eight teachers. O.F. Grantham was its first principal. The school remained in operation until 1960, moving from first-12th grades to first-eighth in its final few years.

The school was built on 20 acres of land purchased from J.W. Covington for a discounted price of $450 by Confederate Grove School. The school was designed by Glen McComick, the same architect of King’s Daughters Hospital on North Jackson Street, which was constructed during the same time.

Less than 40 alumni remain, according to Harrell Montgomery. Along with his brother Carroll, Montgomery has amassed a large collection of historical items, photos and other memorabilia from New Sight School and has placed much of it on display in the New Sight Baptist Church Family Life Center, 2404 New Sight Drive, for attendees to see and enjoy.

“Some families were just throwing stuff away and allowed me to come get it and keep it,” Montgomery said, holding a small diploma from the early 20th century.

Anyone who attended the school at any point is invited to be a part of the centennial celebration, but everyone is invited to come fellowship and learn, Montgomery said.

The program begins Saturday with a meet and greet at 9 a.m., followed by registration and ringing of the school bell at 10 a.m. A program will follow at 11 a.m., and a covered dish lunch will conclude the festivities.

“We ask that people bring any pictures, yearbooks, report cards, school papers, diplomas, class rings or any other memorabilia you may have,” Montgomery said.

DVDs of previous class reunions will also be available for purchase.

Montgomery flipped through yearbooks and scrapbooks, pointing out photos of family and community members.

“There are a lot of memories here,” he said.

For more information, call Montgomery at 601-835-8770, his brother Carroll at 601-757-0488 or Margie Case Britt at 601-833-3680.