Looking back: This photo of Thorsby High School was taken in the early 1970s before being destroyed by fire in 1975.
Looking back: This photo of Thorsby High School was taken in the early 1970s before being destroyed by fire in 1975.

Archived Story

Remembering town’s old high school

Published 9:46am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

By Tracia Bussey | Thorsby Community Columnist

Seeing the photo above will most likely bring back many memories for those who attended Thorsby High School, or lived in the area prior to 1975.

The creaking wood floors, the smell of chalk in the classrooms and the old auditorium with the wooden theatre chairs are like the students’ voices which filled the halls of the old school—echoes of another day and another time in Thorsby’s past.

This school building was erected in 1925, following a fire that destroyed the school, which was at that time Thorsby Institute. Thorsby Institute was a private school of higher learning, supported by private donations and The Congregational Church.

The private school closed its doors and deeded the school and property to the state of Alabama in 1957, which then established Thorsby High School as a public school for grades 7-12. Grades 1-6 were conducted in the Thorsby Elementary School building near Thorsby First Baptist Church. Both buildings were built in 1925 using the same design that was common for school buildings in that day.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the building in this photo was destroyed by fire on April 25, 1975, interestingly occurring 50 years nearly to the day since the fire that destroyed the Thorsby Institute on April 27, 1925.

–Tracia Bussey is a community columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. She can be reached at traciadbussey@gmail.com.

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