Historic marker dedicated at ECTS

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Almost 100 years after it was founded, Escambia County Training School received a historical marker from the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage at a ceremony on Dec. 2.

The marker was unveiled after many spoke about the school, and after honors were given to those still living from the 1950-51 state girls basketball championship team.

Louise (Lois) Montgomery received an award, and a relative of the late Johnnie Mae Armstrong Taylor received her award. Both were selected to the all-tournament team after the championship.

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Atmore Mayor Jim Staff read a proclamation for the occasion.

The school was opened in 1926, and closed in 1970.

The marker, which was erected by the Atmore Historical Society, has the seal of the Alabama Historical Commission and an inscription written for the school.

The inscription says:

In 1920, a wooden building was constructed as the Atmore Colored School and operated until 1923. In 1926, a new wood and brick building was erected with assistance from Rosenwald School fund and it was renamed the Escambia County Training School. The current school buildings date from 1959, 1980 and 1981. Located on what was once 8th Avenue, the school offered instructed in academic and industrial education, and students also participated in many extracurricular activities. The girls’ basketball team won the state championship in 1950-1951. The boys’ football team went undefeated and was regional champions in 1958-1959. The boys’ basketball team was also regional champion in 1965 and 1968. The first principal was Robert L. Bradley and Woodrow McCorvey Sr. was principal when the high school closed in 1970 due to integration. The campus became the Escambia County Middle School for the next 30 years.