|Owner Joe Stephens stands in front of the Flagg Grove School that will soon be moved to the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. Plans for the school includes interpretive exhibits about African-American education as well as a Tina Turner exhibit.|
We are so excited to announce that the Flagg Grove School, in the Nutbush community, will be saved and moved to the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. Brownsville Mayor and Aldermen have voted to fund Phase 1 of the project that includes moving the school. Once at the Center, the school will be restored and become a part of the Center's permanent exhibits.
The one room school is one of only a few remaining African-American schoolhouses in Haywood County which gives it significant historical value ... and it can be tied directly to Tina Turner's ancestry. The land for the school was bought from Benjamin Flagg in 1889. Flagg was a former slave who came from North Carolina after the Civil War. He was also the brother of George Flagg, Turner's great-grandfather. Tina Turner attended this school while growing up in Nutbush.
The building, along with other artifacts found in the school, is being donated to the Center by local restaurateurs Pam and Joe Stephens. "Pam and I wanted to save the building," says Stephens. "It's an important piece of Haywood County history." The building has been owned by the Stephens family since the late 60s.
Regarding the efforts to save the school and open it to the public, Tina Turner commented: " I'm pleased to know that children from around the world, who stop at the Visitor's Center in Brownsville, will be able to visualize what it was like growing up during the era of my childhood."
While the City will fund the initial move, the preservation work will continue through fundraising efforts of the Friends of the Delta Heritage Center; a non-profit group who supports the work of the Center. Anyone wishing to help with these efforts can contact the Center at 731-779-9000, or donations can be made payable to the Friends of the Center, 121 Sunny Hill Cove, Brownsville, TN 38012.