• Timeline

    The Beach Institute

    1865

    Black Savannahians organized the Savannah Education Associate and opened schools for newly freed blacks. The Association contacted northern church societies requesting financial support.

    1867

    Alfred Ely Beach, an inventor and the publisher of Scientific American magazine donates $13,000 to The Freedmen's Bureau to build the first official school for African-American children. The American Missionary Association opened the Beach Institute with 600 students whose families paid teh AMA $1.00 per month in tuition.

    1874

    The Savannah Board of Education leases the building from the AMA and operates the Beach Institute as a free public school for black children.

    1878

    A suspicious fire heavily damages the school, rendering it temporarily unusable.

    1879

    American Missionary Association finally rebuilds and reopens the Institute.

    1905

    A suspicious fire heavily damages the school, rendering it temporarily unusable.

    1917

    Savannah Boy's Club begins meetings in the basement.

    1919

    The American Missionary Association closes the Beach Institute.

    1921

    The Beach houses a nautical school.

    1922-1928

    The Beach is reopened as a continuation school.

    1930-1938

    The building stands vacant.

    1939

    The Savannah Board of Education purchases the building for $5,000 and opens Harris Street Elementary School.

    1960

    The Board of Education closes Harris Street School.

    1961-1967

    Harris Vocational Trade School utilizes the building.

    1971

    Harris Reading Center offers classes in the building.

    1972-1978

    Beach Institute house the Board of Education central office annex.

    1979

    Harris Adult Education Center operates from the building.

    1981

    The King-Tisdell Cottage is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of African-Americans in Savannah and the Sea Islands.

    1984

    W.W. Law creates the King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation Inc

    1983-1985

    The Beach Institute Alternative High School opens.

    In progress.....

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