During the late 1800’s, textile mills were the chief means of employment and many people settled in an area around Tolar-Hart, Holt-Moran Mill, and Victory Mill, thus establishing the community of Massey Hill.
To meet the educational needs of the existing community, a school was founded as early as 1897 and was given the of “Massey Hill”. The first class consisted of fifteen students who were taught by Miss Hattie Carver in one room of a two-room house on Lumberton Road. This simple school provided the basics of and education until April, 1905 when the dwelling was destroyed by fire. A new school was built, but as the population of the community increased, so did the need for more and larger classrooms. Within a few years, the high school was forced to hold classes at a local Baptist church.
By 1923, the County Commissioners received a joint petition from the County Board of Education and the Pearce’s Mill School District Trustees. The major provision of the document, which was later adopted, called for a $75,000 school bond to be used for the construction of a new high school. A building committee was appointed to locate a site and make construction plans for the building. A plot of land midway between Tolar-Hart Mills, Holt-Morgan Mill, and Victory Mill was selected. By early 1924, a deed had been secured and plans for the school were set in motion, and Massey Hill School, a combination of grades 1-11, was officially unveiled in the autumn of 1925.
The 1930’s was a time of continued growth and change at Massey Hill School. Numerous minor additions were made in the main building through the years, and in 1942, an elementary classroom section and a gymnasium were erected. The gymnasium built in 1947, the largest in the county schools at that time, served as the recreation center for the entire community. For a number of years it was also used by other schools for county and district tournaments. An Athletic field was also obtained at this same time.
The 1960’s were the years of most notable change. A student handbook, a guidance office, a school seal, and an exclusive girls service club made significant contributions to the school.
In June of 1972, the final senior class graduated, leaving the hallowed halls for the upcoming junior high students. Officially opened in the fall of 1972, Massey Hill Junior High School served seventh, eight, and ninth grade students in District 5. It operated as a junior high school until 1985. From fall of 1986 until June of 1998 the building served as Massey Hill Alternative School.
Massey Hill Classical High School opened in the fall of 1998 as a school of choice. It strives to continue the history, begun in this setting so many years ago, of providing a classic education built on a strong curriculum and traditional values.
Published by Gary Wilson on August 21, 2012