Atmore resident seeks library commemoration

Published 3:41 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

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Atmore’s James McNeil believes in conserving black history.

McNeil is asking for sponsorships and donations to help commemorate where the Cornelia Elmore Library was located at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Liberty Street.

The Bandstand, which was a gazebo purposed for the high school band, was an enclosed library that served as a classroom for vocational agriculture from 1954-1959 on the campus of the Escambia County Training School. In 1959, the buliding was moved to the corner of MLK Avenue (now MLK Drive) and Liberty Street.

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McNeil said it was then named the Cornelia Elmore Library.

“This library is a very important artifact for African Americans in Atmore,” McNeil wrote in a letter asking for sponsorships and donations. “Mrs. Cornelia Hixon Elmore served as a supervisor in the Escambia and Baldwin County Schools. She was well loved and a highly respected educator and leader in which the library is named.”

At present, the library is located at Heritage Park and is now used as a Boy Scout lodge.

“It is my desire to commemorate the library by creating a memorial space in the spot it inhabited for well over 20 years,” he said. “We owe it to our current and future generations to teach them this important part of history as it was a staple in the black community’s education.”

To make donations, an account has been set up at United Bank in Atmore under James McNeil: Library Fund.