Meeting set to discuss restoration of Village 1 school in Sheffield

By  | October 22, 2017 | Filed under: News

In 1918, during World War I, the U.S. Government built this unique village of 85 bungalows, school, and officers barracks to house personnel at nearby Nitrate Plant #1.

SHEFFIELD-A community meeting to discuss restoring and reusing the Nitrate Village 1 schoolhouse, in Sheffield, will be held 2:30-4:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct.29, at the Sheffield Public Library. “We want to find ways to help the community and city rehabilitate the building, keeping it as close to the original as possible while utilizing the space in new ways,” said Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area interim director Carrie Barske. “The school is in need of immediate restoration to prevent further deterioration.” The MSNHA, city of Sheffield, Alabama Historical Commission and Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments are sponsoring the meeting. Nathan Willingham, of NACOLG, and Mary Shell and Collier Neely, of AHC, will facilitate. Village 1—including the schoolhouse–was built in 1918 to house supervisors and employees from

Carrie Barske

nearby nitrate plants. The nitrate factories were planned to help produce ammunition for World War I but the war ended before they were functional and Village 1 occupied. Later, after TVA was formed in 1933, Village 1 (and the now-razed Village 2 in what is now Muscle Shoals) housed TVA workers. In 1949 TVA deeded the Village 1 school house along with streets and playgrounds to Sheffield, and the houses were auctioned to the public. “The schoolhouse is architecturally significant, as is the whole village,” Barske said. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the building has been vacant since the late 1990s, she added. Prior to the community meeting, an open house will be held at the school, 1-2 p.m. Everyone is invited to both the open house and the asset-mapping session.

Media Release/Cathy Wood, media coordinator & grants administrator
Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area

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