CRITTENDEN, Ky. - Nestled between a tree line and a playground in the Grant County Park in Crittenden, Ky, is the Rosenwald School. The former Dry Ridge Consolidated Colored School was preserved via restoration and transplanting. Now the one roomed schoolhouse serves as the Grant County Black History Museum.
The use of the building came when Grant County-native Connie Taylor was researching African-American family ancestry.
"I realized that we had a lot of black history that nobody knew about," said Taylor. "I feel that it was a story that needed to be told."
Taylor began researching anything should could find about the subject. What she found was rich history waiting to be shown.
"Grant County only had three legal hangings," Taylor recalled. "One of them… the last one was Earl Thompson, who was a 17-year-old boy who was accused of rape… of a white woman of course. "
Hanging on a wall, is a copy of the newspaper report of Thompson's trial and verdict. Beneath the article, the shackles keeping Earl's feet together are on display.
Taylor explained the rape victim, later admitted that the encounter with Thompson was mutual and that the rape accusations were to save her name. She and her husband later divorced.
"I think if we lose that part of our history, we've lost a huge chunk of it," said Taylor.
There are numerous stories on display with photos and artifacts to prove them. The schoolhouse closed in 1958 when Grant County Schools integrated its system.
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