West Side School

This African American School was erected in 1930 with a donation from the Julius Rosenwald Fund and became the only elementary and high school for African-Americans in Mercer County. It is located near the site where Sally Ann Taylor, African American educator, conducted schools in her home after the Civil War. This Property is on the African-American History Tour.

The Three principals who served the school were Mrs. Maynette Ellioott Sneed (1930-1938), Miss Clara B. Clelland (1938-1959), and Mr. Robert Jackson, Jr. (1959-1961). West Side School was closed in 1961, when Mercer schools desegregated.


West Side School
Corner of Lexington & Magnolia Streets
Harrodsburg, KY 40330

Rosenwald Schools

In 1917-1920 Julius Rosenwald, partner of Sears, Roebuck and Company, Booker T. Washington, and Tuskegee Institute developed an orderly plan for the construction of African American schools in the South. The new schools also included housing and training of teachers.  Rosenwald agreed to pay 1/3 of the building cost when there was a financial and social commitment in the community. 

In 1917-20 two schools were built in Mercer County: the Mayo School, a two-teacher facility, which cost $3,000 and served 100 students, and the Harrodsburg School, a six-teacher facility with a library and a total cost of $6,000.  

A.L. Garvin and Maynette M. Elliott were early educators and principals of the “colored schools.”  

In 1930, the first Rosenwald School in Harrodsburg school was torn down and replaced by another Rosenwald eight-teacher facility, total cost $24,500. This much-loved school, Westside, still stands and is used as apartments.