Former Orange County Training School (Northside Elementary School)
400–414 Caldwell Street
This one-story brick school building originally faced Caldwell Street to the south, but it has been enlarged with a brick annex in front of the original school and reoriented so that the original rear facade, facing McMasters Street, is now the front entrance. The first school on this site, the highest ground in the neighborhood, was the Orange County Training School, the first public secondary school for blacks in Orange County. It was established in 1916 when the Quaker Free School, founded in 1871 for black children, merged with a black secondary school. The current building was funded in 1924 and 1925 by the Julius Rosenwald Fund. With nine teachers, it operated as the Orange County Training School until 1949, when it became Lincoln School. In 1951, when a new high school was built on Merritt Mill Road, the old building became Northside Elementary School, its final phase as a public school in the 1950s. The 1957 city directory lists the school at 324 Caldwell Extension, with James H. Peace as the principal. In 1961, Chapel Hill schools were integrated and the school was closed. The building has been enlarged and is now the Northside Child and Family Counseling Center, part of a larger Southern Orange Human Services Complex.
Sources: Fisk University Archives, Rosenwald School Files, Sheet 1469: Orange County Training School; Doug Eyre, telephone conversation with author, May 4, 2004.
SOURCE: M. Ruth Little, The Town and Gown Architecture of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1795-1975 (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2006), 221-2.