Arjay Elementary School — Bell County, Kentucky

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The missing piece in the late 90s and early 2000’s tour of abandoned schools from Bell County consolidation (Minus Ward Chapel because it was razed several years before I became interested in photography)  is Arjay Elementary.

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Arjay Elementary was located on state route 66 about 5 miles northeast of the county seat of Pineville.

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Arjay had 126 students enrolled at the beginning of the 1999-2000 school year.

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The school is basically a carbon copy of the schools at Cubbage, Harmony and Blackmont, all built in the 1950s.

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Today most of the windows are knocked out, the doors are knocked down and the building is open for vandals.

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Kingdom Come Settlement School — Letcher County, Kentucky

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Kingdom Come Elementary School is located in Letcher County along state route 160.  This is the school that you can see the roof of off in the valley from the overlooks in Kingdom Come State Park in Cumberland. The school’s roots can be traced back to 1924 when the Kingdom Come Settlement School was founded.

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Until the mid 1960s Kingdom Come Settlement School would act as a combined school serving students from Elementary all the way through high school.

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In the mid 1960s the Letcher County Board of Education decided to start building newer, modern, larger schools.  It was suggested that high school students at Kingdom Come be transferred to Whitesburg High School and Kingdom Come become a K-8 facility.

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In this plan neighboring schools of Bear Branch, Coyes Gap and Hurricane Gap would close and students would be absorbed into the new Kingdom Come Elementary.

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After several delays, in the fall of 1971 construction began.

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A new school was built at Kingdom Come where it remained in operation until 2007 when faced with budget issues the school of 85 students was closed.

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From research I have done, this building was part of the original Kingdom Come School and remained in use as the new school was being constructed.

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The school now serves as a multi purpose community center.

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Trade Elementary School — Johnson County, Tennessee

Trade Elementary School was located off of Modock Road just off of US 421.
                                 Trade Elementary School was located off of Modock Road just off of US 421.

Trade is not only the easternmost community in the state of Tennessee, it is also the oldest unincorporated community in the state.  Trade is located along US 421 between Mountain City, Tennessee and Boone, North Carolina near the Tennessee / North Carolina border.

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Around 1950 Mountain City School, Butler, and Dry Run were built with T. V. A. funds. The other communities in Johnson County wanted equal improvements to all schools in the county. Studies proved that consolidation improved the schools. In 1952 six elementary schools were built including this school to consolidate the one and two-room schools. Thirty-two schools were closed.

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Students attended school at Trade Elementary School until the end of the 1988-89 school year when students were absorbed into neighboring Shoun’s Elementary.

Lonesome Pine School — Hawkins County, Tennessee

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Lonesome Pine School was located along state route 70 in northern Hawkins County near the Hancock County line in the community of Eidson.

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The school was opened in 1941

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and closed sometime in the 1960’s.  The building was most recently used by the Clinch Valley Volunteer Fire Department but is currently not used.

Jolo Grade School — McDowell County, West Virginia

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When you drive in to McDowell County from the southwest from the Grundy, Virginia area you ascend the Tug Valley from a top a mountain on state route 83.  As you travel to the bottom of the valley from Paynesville toward Bradshaw and Iaeger, the first “town” you come to is Jolo.

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Now there isnt a whole lot to see in Jolo, West Virginia.  Its your typical unincorporated small community in a coal mining area.   However, there is a pristine exampe of a vintage New Deal era school construction alive and well up on a hillside from the highway.

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There is that fancy art-deco like font that has been found on many other schools from this era in McDowell.

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Jolo Grade School was constructed in 1939 by the Public Works Administration.

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The school closed sometime in the mid 1990s when students were then consolidated into Bradshaw Elementary less than 5 miles away.  This building now serves as a community center.

Pageton Grade School — McDowell County, West Virginia

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Pageton Grade School is located in the unincorporated community of Pageton, West Virginia in southeastern McDowell County.  Pageton is located about 15 miles southeast of Welch on WV State route 161 about 7 miles from Gary.

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Pageton is a former company centered town once powered by Page Coal & Coke Company.  The old company store still remains standing and has a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Pageton Grade school appears to have closed in the late 1980s or early 1990s.  I assume students from Pageton were moved to nearby Anawalt or possibly Gary, seeing as how at the time when this school closed, schools at Gary were still in session.

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As you can see the interior of the school has been let go very badly and like many other schools in this area has fallen into a state of decay.

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As you can see, the word PAGETON is spelled out on the front entrance in the same font that is used at several other schools that were built in the 1920s and 1930s in McDowell County.   I assume this school was built in that same era.  It is probably most similar to the school at nearby Jolo which will be covered in my next entry in ths blog.

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Ages School — Ages-Brookside, Kentucky

Ages Elementary School is a former school located in the Ages Community of Harlan County, Kentucky located off of Kentucky State Route 38 between the cities of Harlan and Evarts.

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The building is built of beautiful cut stone construction typical of many of the early 20th century buildings in this part of the world.  I cant pinpoint a construction date, but by the architectural details and cues I would guess late 1920s to early 1930s would be a good estimate of the opening date for this school.

Ages1 The building is a basic elongated H shape with wings on both ends of the building.

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The school was last used in the early part of the 2000’s by KCEOC as a headstart and preschool location.

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The building suffered some flooring and roof problems and those classes were moved to nearby Verda Elementary after Verda closed in 2001.

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Im not completely sure when this school was last used as an elementary school.  My guess would be early 80s to late 70s.

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Downstairs the boiler room was left wide open and easily accessed.

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The basic structural integrity of the building is still in tact as the exterior walls are still standing firm and the roof is fully intact.

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The floors have now been removed from every single room that I could see in.

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and there are a few holes in the interior walls exposing the old type construction this building utilized.

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as you can see almost every window in this building has been busted out.  These windows coincidentally appear to be the same size and type that was used at Hall High School / Hall Elementary and that building was completed in 1929.

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Another classroom sans the floor.

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You have to love the nice graffiti that some idiot felt appropriate to tag the walls with.

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Stay away.  Haha.

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At least the front doors are secure and locked now.

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A community park now sits adjacent to the school on part of the school property.

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As always, if anyone has any more information on this school or its history please comment or send me a message.  I would love to hear any input!