KELLY — From the founding of the Kelly community there were either one-room schools or academies for the education of its children. Many children walked miles to attend these.
In 1922 a two-story brick school building was built on the main road which later became Highway 53. It was of the same style as many other schools built at that time. Children from the communities of Kelly, Rowan, Natmore and Lagoon attended the school. It was a high school from 1922 until 1946, and was reduced to the 8th grade and then to the 7th grade. At that time 8th grade students had to choose between going to either Atkinson or Elizabethtown schools.
In 1965 Kelly School closed, and in 1975 the building was torn down. The site has since become a park for activities such as the Kelly Spring Festival.
On May 21, the Kelly Historical Society sponsored a Kelly School Reunion, held at the Kelly Museum on Natmore Road. Nearly 100 people came from Virginia, South Carolina and all parts of North Carolina. A former principal, now age 88, spoke and remembered teaching two and one-half grades in one room. Several of our former students shared interesting, and sometimes “funny”, events that they remembered.
A special “Kelly School” room has been created to display any memorabilia that we are willing to share. The Museum also includes other designated rooms of Kelly history.
After our assembly in the “Sanctuary” of the Museum we adjourned to the “Fellowship Hall” for a time of food, fellowship, reminiscing, looking at old school pictures, etc.