Burritt on the Mountain

The Daniel Foundation of Alabama awarded a $50,000 grant toward the organization’s goal of $1,000,000 for the construction of the Rosenwald Schoolhouse Museum. The project included the construction costs of the schoolhouse and an industrial room that will house historic crafts such as tinsmithing, weaving, and pottery. The foundation supports projects that preserve history, culture, and community heritage within the state.

In 1955, Dr. William Burritt donated his home and surrounding acres of Round-Top Mountain to the city of Huntsville making it Huntsville’s first museum. Original homes from the area were brought to Burritt to be restored and utilized as an education facility focused on preserving the history and culture of the area and creating an educational environment to teach about rural farm life in the area between 1800 and the early 20th century.

As part of their ongoing commitment to enhancing lives and building community through educational experiences, the organization’s most recent project was to build a four-room schoolhouse based on the Julius Rosenwald model to create the Rosenwald School Museum. Alabama had close to 400 Rosenwald Community Schools as part of an initiative spearheaded across 15 states by Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington. These schools were instrumental in the education of both rural and African American children.

Once open, students that visit the museum will experience a day of immersion in the lives and classroom experience of children in the early 1900’s. The full day of lessons based on current education standards will include experiences such as period dress, students taking their lunch to school in a lunch pail, recess that includes historic games, and classroom lessons in elocution, grammar, arithmetic, science and geography.