Little Red Schoolhouse
The Little Red Schoolhouse was built in the Bromley/Blakeley Community in the early part of
the twentieth century to serve children in the African-American community. Rebecca Burkes Thompkins was the first schoolteacher and principal of the school, which served students in 1st – 8th grade. Her husband converted a farm truck into a makeshift school bus to pick up children in the Bromley area, crossing Bromley Creek when there was no bridge. Many of the students were her own children and kin. There was no indoor restroom in the school and heat was provided by a wood burning stove.
The school cost $1,600 dollars and was built with the state approved plan for one room schoolhouses. Most likely additional funding was provided by the Julius T. Rosenwald Negro School Fund. Rosenwald, the President of Sears and Roebuck, helped financed the construction of schools for black children all over the country. Rosenwald donated $500 dollars; the local community raised the remaining money. The African American families in the community helped provide the lumber and labor.
The school remained in operation until 1950. It was moved to the White House Fork Area in the 1970’s where it served as a Kindergarten classroom. Then it was saved from demolition, restored and moved to the Baldwin County school system office complex area in Bay Minette.
In 2015, the Baldwin County Commission moved the Little Red Schoolhouse school to Bicentennial Park. The schoolhouse is dedicated to Mrs. Rebecca Burkes Thompkins who taught for more than 40 years in Baldwin County.