Presidents Island Schoolhouse

Historic Presidents Island Schoolhouse Getting Smart New Look

Banner Image – architectural rendering of the new schoolhouse

If you’ve driven past MoSH this summer, you’ve probably noticed the latest artifact to join the museum’s collection on the grounds of the museum – the Presidents Island Schoolhouse. Currently under renovation/restoration by MoSH, the schoolhouse is the last one-room schoolhouse in Shelby County and was previously located on Presidents Island. The schoolhouse was built between 1937 and 1952. It served a small community of Black sharecroppers and farmers that once lived and worked on the island.

It had no electricity or running water, and the students were taught by one teacher, Ms. Elnora Devers. After the school closed in 1964, the building was moved to the Mid-South Fairgrounds, where it sat for decades. In 2010, a group of students from East High School discovered records of the school and lobbied to save the schoolhouse from demolition, and it is now being restored by the staff of MoSH. The schoolhouse will be used as an outdoor learning space to teach about the history of education in Memphis. The schoolhouse, built in the era of school segregation, will now be used to educate students and visitors from all backgrounds.

Slated to open June 28, 2024.

Photos of the latest stages of renovation/restoration of Presidents Island Schoolhouse at MoSH.