Twin alums to share history of New Sight School, 1921-1960

Published 9:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2023


SPECIAL TO THE daily leader

Local history buffs will have a chance to learn about the New Sight School on Thursday, Aug. 24, at the Furlow Senior Center in Brookhaven.

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Each year, alumni return to New Sight Baptist Church to experience a one-of-a-kind reunion for the school that existed from 1921 until 1960.

Brothers Harrell and Carroll Montgomery will share all they know about the school and community in a presentation hosted by the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society. 

Born in Brookhaven in 1952, the brothers have resided there most of their lives. The Montgomery twins have basically lived some of the history themselves, and have done extensive work to capture the school history and support the annual reunion. The presentation starts with the origins of the school and will describe several points of interest. 

“We started school at New Sight in 1959 and stayed there until the school closed in 1960.  We graduated high school at Brookhaven High.  New Sight School had been operating 38 years before we entered school,” said Harrell. 

“We have collected many unique pieces of memorabilia from New Sight School history and we plan to have a few on display at the Furlow Center next Thursday night,” Carroll said.

New Sight was created from the consolidation of four county schools — Confederate Grove, Garner, Clear Branch and Mt. Zion. The land was bought in 1920 for $450.  A new school name was needed so the decision was New Sight.

The original school building was designed by architect John Bishop Seavey. There were 248 students when the school opened. Teacher salaries started at $80 per month.

In 1923, Lincoln County had more than 40 county schools, not including the Brookhaven School District. New Sight was the third largest school in the system that year.

Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society President Cathy Bridge said presentations such as this one are important to the organization’s mission of keeping Lincoln County history alive. 

“Part of what the society is about is to know our county where we live,” she said. 

Bridge said the society is interested in hosting more presentations on the county’s small communities. Anyone with the knowledge to make a presentation is asked to call Bridge at 601-754-8483.

The free program begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Jimmy Furlow Senior Center on South First Street, and refreshments will be served.