VERNON - Shady Grove Road is more than just a name for a road in the small town in Washington County. It is also the name of a very famous former African-American School. Now it is soon to be dedicated a historical site in the town.

The school was built in the 1950‘s , when Washington county purchased six acres of land from Roland and Ida Pompey to construct a school house to centralize education for the African-Americans during the time of segregation. The school house was used until 1969, when portions of the school was cut and moved to different locations. In 1991, the ownership of the Shady Grove school property was transferred to the city for use as recreational property.

The Vernon Historical Society, applied for a marker dedicating the property as a historical heritage site. In their letter of application for the heritage site marker they said that though the building no longer exists, the property remains intact with the original boundaries.

"Known as the Shady Grove Ballpark, it presents a strong presence of history of African-American education in Vernon and Washington County," the letter said.

The historical society said that as time has past many changes have been made in Vernon and in surrounding towns including Ebro and New Hope over the past several years.

"Much of the community has disappeared under the asphalt of a four-lane road," they said. "As time marches on, we need to do what is possible to preserve the legacy of our ancestors and historical events."

The society said seeing the Shady Grove project through to completion would ensure the school remains a part of the historical infrastructure of the city and the county.

An edited version of this article was first published in the February issue of the Washington County News