Historic Lemon Street Elementary
back to instructing students
2022 | FACTBOOK 113
By Thomas Hartwell
The renovation of the historic Lemon Street Elementary
School was completed in 2021, after years of wondering
whether the building once used as an elementary school for
Marietta’s Black students would have to be torn down.
Prior to school integration in the 1960s, Marietta’s Black
student population attended Lemon Street Elementary at
353 Lemon Street, before crossing the street to Lemon Street
High School. The high school building was razed in 1967.
The elementary school closed in 1972 and was used for
storage until 2021, when the renovated elementary school
building opened to night classes, an alternative school and
the Marietta Performance Learning Center.
Marietta City Schools has plans to construct a new central
office building across the street from the elementary school
and to include in that project a replica of the front of the
high school building.
Money for the project will come from the sale of the
existing central office, at 250 Howard St., Marietta, and from
$8.5 million in a building fund, district officials said.
The renovated elementary school’s doors were opened
to the public in February 2021, giving visitors and alumni
of the Lemon Street campus a look at the history of the
Informational displays are installed at the front and on
the walls at the entrance of the building detailing the history
of Lemon Street Elementary School and Lemon Street
High School. Visitors also have the opportunity to listen to
interviews from former students through Kennesaw State
University’s Lemon Street Oral History Collection.
Kennesaw State University worked with alumni and the
school district to preserve oral histories and artifacts from
former students and others.
Alumni who spoke with the MDJ said they’re appreciative
that their school’s history had been preserved.
George “Zanny” Miller said the teachers at Lemon Street were
not just teachers, but felt like family. Miller said it was a teacher
early in his education, at age 6, that taught him his name.
He’d always thought his nickname, Zanny, was his actual
name, he said. And when his teacher realized he’d never had
the news broken to him, that teacher marched him down to
his house, near where Lemon Street teachers lived in a house
built for them, to have a talk with his mother.
“I refused to write my name on my sheet,” he said. “Ms.
Edwards took me home and told my mom, ‘He doesn’t
know his name.’ And my mother started laughing, and she
said, ‘Son, your name is George Miller.’ And I said, ‘No,
no, no.’ ... But they finally persuaded me to sign my papers
Alfreda Hill, who attended the school in the 1950s, said
her teachers stressed to the children they could do anything
they set their minds to.
“We do not use the words ‘I can’t’ in our vocabulary,” she
said. “You can, you can, you can.”
Likewise, she said, she and others had heard many times
during discussions of what could be done with the grammar