Laughter, joy and fellowship filled the walls of Beulah School once again for the school’s eighth annual reunion.
Graduates travelled to attend the reunion from as far away as Louisiana, Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia.
Delmar Cockerham, the youngest one attending the reunion to graduate from the Beulah school in the year 1959 joked with a former classmate of his sister’s, whom he had a crush on in school. “I thought I was going to marry her.” When asked her name he responded with “Barbara, Hill was her name in school and all I know is that isn’t Cockerham now.”
A dinner of hot dogs, baked beans and banana pudding was served with tea or lemonade.
Local elected officials were recognized during the assembly, including Surry County Board of Commissioners Chairman R.F. “Buck” Golding and Teresa O’Dell, clerk of court.
Golding met his wife, Shirley, while attending Beulah school, although never dating during grade school, with the two later beginning a relationship while attending college and later getting married.
Charles Golding, another former student attending, spoke with his family and classmates about the national paper called Grit Magazine. Rather than attend school, he would sell the paper, making 90 cents a week, “I would have enough money to go to the movies, buy a hot dog and get back home.”
Phil Marsh, Joe Adkins, Teresa O’Dell, Swanson Richards and Brackey Rogers were often brought up in conversation when reminiscing about who had moved on to bigger and better things after graduation.
“A thrill to see everyone here,” stated Rogers as he addressed everyone in the assembly. “We are all family, I don’t know of any school, anywhere with any graduates who have stayed friends and who are as close as we all are. And to back that up we have people here tonight (people) from 5 states, even those people as far away as Pine Ridge,” joked Rogers.
The same general statement came from most who attended: “It’s good to see everyone.”
The first Beulah School was a one-room structure built in the latter part of the nineteenth century near Beulah Methodist Church. After the turn of the century, a two-room building was constructed nearby.
From 1992 thru 1926, students went to Dobson to further their high school education. In 1927 W.A. York, a Surry County commissioner, and John Richards a member of the Board of Education, helped to get the school built at its present location.
The new school accommodated five teachers who taught grades one through nine. Six months of the school term was state funded. However, in order for the eighth and ninth graders to receive credit for an eight-month term, the community paid teachers and bus drivers. It also furnished gas for the buses those extra months.
By the school year 1929-30, the state fully funded all eight months of the school years. In 1931 tenth and eleventh grades were added.
Devastating to the community on January 18, 1938 Beulah School burned down. Children had to attend school in a community church and two other surrounding schools.
By the next school year, in the fall of 1938, a new 14-room building had been built and completed with lunch room and a gymnasium. In 1945 an agricultural building was added. The twelfth grade was added in 1946.
By 1953 a new school building with three classrooms, a library and a home economics department was built. At this point the school had a faculty of 23 teachers, eight of whom were high school teachers.
In 1959 the Northern District of Surry County, consisting of five elementary schools, consolidated to form North Surry High School. Ninth through twelfth graders at Beulah moved to North Surry High school. In 1975, seventh and eighth graders moved to Gentry Middle school
In 1995, Beulah school merged with Lowgap School, now housed in the Cedar Ridge facility on Flippin Road.
Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or on Twitter @MtAiryNewsEva