The nonprofit organization, which works closely with the city of Alpharetta, is currently working on a documentary about the Bailey-Johnson School, first known as the Alpharetta Colored School.
“Up until it [Bailey-Johnson School] opened in 1950, Black students in North Fulton only received a free public education through the seventh grade,” noted Miller. “If they wanted to go to high school they had to go down to Atlanta and pay tuition and provide their own transportation.”
When the Bailey-Johnson School opened in 1950 with grades 1-12, it took in students from what is now Milton, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Roswell and parts of northern Sandy Springs. The school remained open until 1967 when Fulton County closed it and moved the Black students to the nearest white schools.
The documentary about the Bailey-Johnson School is just one of the AOMCHS’s ambitious tasks. Working with the city, they have led restoration of the Rest Haven Cemetery at 90 Milton Avenue and are documenting some of the illustrious people buried there.
The historians also manage a small history museum comprised of a permanent collection of artifacts and interpretative displays at Alpharetta City Hall, 2 Park Plaza.
“The city hired a videographer for our stories project,” said Mashburn. “Over a period of several years we brought in about 70 older citizens who spent most of their life here and interviewed them and got them to talk about their memories, hardships and victories, successes and things they’ve had to deal with.”
Those videotaped conversations can be found in the history museum and on the society’s website.
AOMCHS has also been instrumental in helping to preserve the Mansell House and the Future Farmers of America Club log cabin. Both are owned by the city but managed by the historical society.
The Queen Anne-style Mansell House and Gardens at 1835 Old Milton Parkway constructed in 1912, is available to rent for special events with proceeds helping to fund other AOMCHS projects.
The FFA log cabin, originally constructed between 1934 and 1935, was to be destroyed when Milton High School was moved to Freemanville Road. With the help of the city and many donors, AOMCHS moved the cabin, updated it, and now uses it for events and educational sessions.
Yet another project Miller and Mashburn hope to bring to fruition is the preservation of the Farm House Community dating back to the late 1830s that once included a dam across Peachtree Creek that led to a gristmill, cotton gin, sawmill, general store and post office.
Learn more about these industrious volunteer’s efforts at www.aomchs.org.