Wilson School was the first public school for children of any race in Florence. Opened on this site by the Freedmen’s Bureau in 1866, it was incorporated two years later into South Carolina’s first system of free public education. In 1906 the original wooden building was demolished to make way for this one, a substantial new brick school for white children, and a new Wilson High School was built on Athens Street, away from downtown in a black residential neighborhood. Today Wilson High School includes an International Baccalaureate program at its fourth location on Old Marion Highway and alumni hold a popular annual homecoming in October.
KEYWORDS: FREEDMEN’S BUREAU, FLORENCE COUNTY