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Bladenboro Historical Society Farm Life School Centennial Celebration and Fun Day

By: Tonya Bockover

A beautiful day greeted a large crowd in Bladenboro as the Bladenboro Historical Society’s Farm Life School Centennial Celebration and Fun Day took place. Cool temperatures gave a fall-like feel to the air as folks gathered to reminisce about the days the building served the town’s school.

The day kicked off at 7:30 am, with a pancake and sausage breakfast, hosted by the Bladenboro Rotary Club and Bladenboro Historical Society. Folks were treated to warm pancakes dripping in sweet maple syrup and their choice of meat.

At 10 am, a welcome was given by Ricky Walters, President of the Historical Society, out on the front lawn of the building. After the invocation by Rev. Charles Hester, the colors were presented by West Bladen JROTC. A heartfelt rendition of The Star Spangled Banner was sung by USA 82nd Airborne Choral Group from Fort Bragg.

Many dignitaries then took the stage to welcome the crowd and to say a few words.  Brendon Jones, House of Representatives District 46, delivered a proclamation while Tim Benton, from the Bladen County Board of Education, shared some memories from his time as a student at the old school building.

Ricky Walters gave a short history of the building and grounds, noting that the initial cost of constructing the building in 1917 was $35,000.

Donald Butler spoke on his father’s behalf. His father, William Butler, was the man who lead the effort that saved the building from demolition in 1991.

There were a large number of attendees that  ranged from former teachers at the school to former students who were graduates of the old school. They stood during the ceremony to be recognized.

After the ceremony, an array of entertainers took to the stage to the delight of the crowd.

The activities continued throughout the afternoon with fun for all ages. The museum was also open for tours.

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