David Curry will present the Tennessee Preservation Trust’s preservation of core properties associated with the original Highlander Folk School campus on Tuesday, November 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Tom’s Place.
Highlander Folk School was listed as one of the “Ten in Tennessee” preservation projects for TPT in 2014.
From 1932 until the mid-1940s, Highlander’s mission was to build a progressive labor movement among the region’s woodcutters, coal miners, government relief workers, textile workers, and farming families. Prominent activists, including
Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., participated in workshops at Highlander Folk School in the 1950s.
The school also found support from Eleanor Roosevelt, folk singer Pete Seeger, and others. Over the years, the school faced multiple threats with charges brought by the IRS, the FBI, a congressional Senate security subcommittee, the Georgia Commission on Education, the Arkansas attorney general, Tennessee state legislators, and a Tennessee district attorney.
Amidst charges that Highlander was tied to the Communist Party, threats culminated in 1961 when the State of Tennessee padlocked the buildings, revoked the school’s charter, and confiscated its land and buildings. The property was subdivided and sold at auction.
Everyone is encouraged to attend this event. Tom’s Place is located at 335 West Main Street, Monteagle, across from the CVS store.