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Hundreds coming to town for Gordon Grammar reunion Saturday

By Rachel McDaniel The first Gordon Grammar School Reunion in decades is fast approaching and organizers hope many former students, teachers and staff members will gather at the Gordon State College Alumni House from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 16. Around 1,000 invitations were mailed to former students, teachers and staff members. There is no walk up registration the night of the event. Those who have registered can check the Gordon Grammar School reunion page for any updates. In case of inclement weather or overwhelming turnout, the event may be moved to the Gordon College Student Center. ’This is the first reunion for the Gordon Grammar School. It’s been very difficult to contact everyone and we’ve been working at it for over a year,’ said Lanie Long. ’We have yearbooks, called the Bull Pups, that were only published the last three years the school was open – 1968, 1969 and 1970. We have had people contact us through facebook and via email and know of several who live in California and all over the country­even as far as Hawaii and Korea.’ The former Gordon Grammar School was located where the Barnesville-Lamar County Library currently stands. When it opened, the school was originally for first through seventh graders, with eighth graders going to Gordon Military High School. In the late 1960s, Gordon Grammar School was for first through eighth graders. The school opened in 1912 and was torn down in 1985. ‘When the building was torn down, they were giving away the bricks, so a lot of former students were going to the school to pick up a small piece of history,’ said Long. The land where the Gordon Grammar School stood was deeded in 1838 by Joshia Holmes with the stipulation that the property should revert back to his heirs if the location ever ceased to be used for educational purposes. After the grammar school was torn down in 1985, the Barnesville-Lamar County Library was built on the property. In 1906, a bill drawn by W.W. Lambdin provided for the establishment a public school system for grammar school-aged students. That year, Lillie Turner became the first principal and in 1907 the school became part of the Barnesville Public School system; the president of the Gordon Institute became the principal. In 1912, the new Gordon academic building was built for $30,000 with the cornerstone laid on Founders Day with a complete attendance of faculty and students. In 1932, the main building of the Gordon Institute and the auditorium burned. In 1933, the Gordon Institute moved to Georgia Industrial College, which is the current location of Gordon State College. That year, the Gordon Grammar School was used for only grammar school students. In 1954, the primary school and cafeteria buildings were built. The Gordon Grammar School was closed in 1970 and the building demolished in 1985. The final graduating eighth-grade class from the school held a reunion in 1990. A reunion committee was formed in March 2014 for the upcoming May 16 reunion at the Gordon State College Alumni House. The idea for the reunion started about three years ago. ’It was really an idea of Kenny Green’s,’ said Kathy Bates Anthony. ’Kenny knew a lot of people through facebook and there were a lot of people talking about the Gordon Grammar School when Jimmy Hammett started the Barnesville Memories Page. There were several of us just talking about having a reunion and we really started planning it three years ago. Kenny Green did all he could to help and it was really his idea to start with. Gordon College has been just awesome with helping us. They did all of the mailings and have taken care of the registration part of it. This has been a culmination of a whole lot of people who want to see this happen.’

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